Arts and Entertainment

Political editor shut off his iPad before the 'embarrassing lyrics' started

The king of Loonies is dead. Long live the Loony Party

HE DIED on Wednesday, the nation briefly mourned and that, most of us thought, was that. Goodbye to the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Books: Inspirations - Crime Writer Reginald HIll

Place: The Lake District where I live. If I had to pick one specially blessed spot, there's a fell top, not one of the highest but in sight of the highest, unapproached by any of the Wainwright super-highways, where a man can sit in airy solitude and think Wordsworthian thoughts, and it's called... but no; you find your own!

How can we preserve cultural biodiversity?

Lose any one of these communities, and something disappears from all our lives

The tame men of rock

Pop stars used to trash their hotel rooms; these days, they're Hoovering them. Cayte Williams is aghast

Books: Goodbye Kenny, it's nice to see you back

Roger Clarke on the anarchic tendencies and lonely death of the altar-boy who never grew up; In the Best Possible Taste: The Crazy Life of Kenny Everett by David Lister Bloomsbury, pounds 16.99

I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake by Malcolm Hardee with John Fleming, 4th Estate pounds 8.99.

What could a man who has built a career around the public display of his genitalia (albeit occasionally shielded by a hard-pressed balloon or three) possibly have left to reveal? A fair bit, it turns out. This characterful and not overly ghost-written autobiography contains a feast of scabrous reminiscence. It is also a great deal more fun than Malcolm Hardee's act - but then again, so is having your appendix removed.

Legends of the comedy terrorist

Malcolm Hardee, hard-drinking King of the Fringe, is still ripping his clothes off in the name of showbiz anarchy.

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Simon Calder visits Zanzibar, where gentle people go about their modest business - and moderation is the key

TELEVISION Crapston Villas (Channel 4)

A 10-minute drama with Plasticine stars is Jasper Rees's idea of a good soap opera

Lennon and Mercury head an eerie battle of the bands

The battle for the Christmas number one album is likely to have a particularly ghoulish flavour with the release of new work featuring the late John Lennon and the late Freddie Mercury.

Victims don't make art

The dance critic of the New Yorker refused to review a recent work by Bill T Jones, dismissing it as `victim art'. Adam Mars-Jones sees red Aids, by its nature, gives people a good long time to think about endings What are artists affected by HIV to do, if not include it in their working prac tice?

Metromania: Fans in Freddie's footsteps

No matter how gracious, some queens cannot be saved. It's three years since Freddie Mercury left us for a better place - Rio, one fondly imagines - but the fans haven't forgotten. November sees a month of fan fund-raising - often in 'full regalia' - as the devoted take to the streets of London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Birmingham and 16 other British cities to collect for the Mercury Phoenix Trust. The charity drive ends with a concert by the Queen clones Magic at the Hammersmith Apollo on 30 November. Be there or be somewhere else.

ARTS / Lives of the Great Songs: A case of rock and roll-on: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Not many anthems are named after a deodorant. In the third extract from our history of the hits, David Cavanagh looks at Nirvana's theme tune

IT WAS the end of 1991. Freddie Mercury had died on 24 November and the year was all set for solemn foreclosure. Nobody expected a rock phenomenon to squeeze in through the little aperture between St Andrew's Day and Christmas. But on 30 Nov-ember, the new singles chart had an extraordinary tale to tell: at No 9, straight in from nowhere, was 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana. A trio of miscreants from America's flaky underbelly had hit serious oil.

Snapped up

Unmodernised houses in Kensington are proving very popular, according to Cluttons. The agent has just sold 7/7a Logan Mews, W8, next-door to Freddie Mercury's former house, for more than pounds 200,000 after 15 buyers tendered sealed bids. The property has two garages with three rooms above, but the total floor area of 1,185sq ft offers great potential.

Solzhenitsyn warns of 'manure from the West': Returned exile finds the young prefer rock to his books. Andrew Higgins reports from Vladivostok

THE NOBEL prize winning writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 75, has made a disturbing discovery since returning to his homeland on Friday.
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