Arts and Entertainment

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

Double bill: Pretending to be Roy Orbison, Elton John or Neil Diamond on a rainy Sunday evening in High Wycombe may not sound like very much of a job, but for some people it's true stardom

THE PEOPLE of Rhyl, in North Wales, will have the opportunity tonight to see six rock legends perform their greatest hits - for only pounds 10.50 for a front row seat. Elton John, wearing a pair of canary yellow trousers and a gold banana pendant, will get the show off to a rockin' start with a medley of 'Pinball Wizard', 'Daniel' and 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. He will be followed by Rod Stewart, dry ice, Neil Diamond, dry ice and Tina Turner.

Freddie Mercury's stamps for sale

A stamp collection built up by Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of the rock group Queen, is to be sold on Friday to help the Aids charity set up after his death. It is expected to fetch about pounds 8,000 at the Sotheby's auction.

Edinburgh Festival Day 4: Word of Mouth

TWO elderly Australian punters, having smiled benignly throughout Malcolm Hardee's boudoir production of I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, commented upon leaving: 'He was a bit over our heads.' Others prefer to keep the intellectual and escapist aspects of performance apart. Bod from London recommends Greg Proops for giggles and A Strange Bit of History at Hill Street Theatre for cerebral thrills. 'It's fascinating to see people from Eastern Europe come to terms with their past.' Jessica from New Zealand highly recommends both professional lesbian Lea de Laria and Ukrainian Theatre, in Podol's A Feast during the Plague. 'It's all in Russian but it's easy to understand. I'd say it was spiritual.' Comedian Pete McCarthy also craves the lyrical. His choice is writer-singer Kinky Friedman who uses 'well-chosen words'. Kinky, unfortunately, appeared at the book festival for only one night. Interested punters can always buy his classic Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed.

Edinburgh Festival Day 1: Reviews

ROLL-A-PEA

Letter: Unfair verdict on screen test

Sir: As the company that supplied and operated the giant video screens at Highbury and Bramall Lane in last Saturday's FA Cup quarter-finals we were intrigued by Nick Hornby's comments on the Highbury event (Independent, Sport, 8 March).

Vicar rocks the flocks with Queen

THE SPIRIT of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, who died a year ago, lives on at St Augustine's Anglican Church in Bradford. Three hundred people filled the church earlier this month for a new multi-media production based on Queen's hit records. It was written and presented by the vicar.

Who's the dummy?

'IS that Freddie Mercury?' demanded a small Australian girl. 'No, dear,' replied her mother after careful consideration: 'That's Prince Charles.'
Career Services

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?