News Brian May at the launch of the anti-cull campaign

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was embroiled in a row yesterday after the leak of a confidential internal report by a senior figure which said the charity’s future was in jeopardy because it had become “too political”.

Snap up some rarities on Sound and Vision's eBay site

At Sound and Vision's annual invitation-only event at London's Abbey Road Studios, where Tom Jones and The Feeling will perform this year, guests bid in a silent auction for photographs of pop stars in aid of Cancer Research. Others can bid for VIP tickets and music memorabilia, including hand-written lyrics by Plan B, Paul Weller and the Happy Mondays, through the Sound and Vision eBay site.

Music biopics: For those about to rock, please don't bother

The sensational storylines are already in place, says Fiona Sturges, so why are biopics of music stars so frequently dreadful?

'Is it because I has a mankini?' Ali G creator to take on Queen

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in a film about the star's colourful life

Sacha Baron Cohen to play Queen star Freddie Mercury



Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen is to swap moustaches for his latest role - after signing up to play late Queen star Freddie Mercury.

Free podcast: Kerry Ellis interview

Kerry Ellis amassed a legion of adoring fans when she went "green" playing Elphaba in Stephen Schwartz' smash-hit musical both in London and on Broadway. But her preeminence as a musical-theatre-diva-cum-rock-chick was secured earlier still when Brian May, the celebrated lead guitarist of Queen, asked her to play Meat in the Queen/Ben Elton show We Will Rock You. May quickly recognised a symbiosis between them and their CD single Wicked in Rock sprung a rip-roaring reimagining of "Defying Gravity" with Brian May's amazing guitar riffs a key feature.

Who the hell does Brian May think he is?

The Queen guitarist doubted reports that foxes attacked twin babies, reacted angrily to his critics, and now threatens to quit the UK unless we can all behave

Riffs

The first and latest records bought by David Arnold, the composer best known for his James Bond theme tune

Live: Those about to rock

FOO FIGHTERS

Human threats replace cosmic terror: Total eclipse

Clogged roads, overpriced B&Bs and an invasion of New Age travellers, or cloudy skies and a celestial sputter: take your pick

I've got my own project to do (sniff)

Musical differences. Personal differences. Sex. There are many reasons why bands break up. And they're all part of the career trajectory, man.

As Sir Billy Butlin's holiday camps turn 60, Decca Aitkenhead spends a cheerful but chilly weekend by the sea in Lincolnshire

When Billy Butlin's first holiday camp, on the bracing seafront of Skegness, opened on Easter Saturday 1936, a sign on the reception desk displayed a quotation from A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Our intent is all for your delight". Sixty years on, the Butlin organistion's intentions have not wavered, even if some of the delights on offer over a weekend on the Lincolnshire coast may not be exactly what Billy had in mind 60 years ago.

Too casual to take the limelight

Rock

ARTS The men who know

SHOW PEOPLE LEE AND HERRING

Star's tapes stolen

Burglars stole 'irreplaceable' tapes of newly composed music from the former Queen guitarist Brian May's home in Notting Hill, west London.
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
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Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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Star turns: Montacute House
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution