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.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project