Michael Ball - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
Arts and Entertainment Paul O'Grady in his show 'For the Love of Dogs'

The 58-year-old comedian has had two heart attacks previously

Cycling: Armstrong doping inquiry closes in US

United States federal prosecutors dropped their investigation of Lance Armstrong last night, ending a two-year effort aimed at determining whether the seven-time Tour de France winner and his team-mates participated in a doping program.

Retirement homes group's £8.8m loss blamed on loan costs

McCarthy & Stone, the Bournemouth-based retirement homes group that was taken private for £1.1bn in 2006, has posted an £8.8m loss following heavy interest payments.

How the Proms turned populist (without offending the purists)

This year, everyone is welcome at the Albert Hall. David Lister salutes a vintage season

Aspects of Love, Menier Chocolate Factory, London

Passion play wins a place in the heart

Diary: George gathering dust

Even committed political agitators need a hobby. In a blog for the Daily Record, George Galloway reveals he's working on – what else? – a musical about Dusty Springfield. The fiery former MP recently spotted a CD of 1960s hits at a service station. Soon, he writes, it was gracing his car stereo. "The star who shines brighter than all the rest on this trip down memory lane is Dusty Springfield – as fresh today as a spring field should be. And, as it happens, one of the many projects on which I'm working – with Scots writer Ron McKay – is a stage musical, eponymously entitled Dusty." McKay and Galloway must've bonded over Springfield's hits while campaigning for Gaza. Yet Diary feels obliged to inform them their idea is not an original one. Dusty musicals have already been staged in Australia, The Netherlands and Bromley. Last year a theatre producer even appeared on Dragons' Den hoping to persuade Britain's best business minds to back her version (also eponymously entitled Dusty). Needless to say, they declined.

The Proms: The<i> IoS </i>offers its A-to-Z guide to the 115th season

It's that time again. Prom season is upon us. With 100 concerts in 58 days, starting on Friday, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to tuning in. Read on...

Transfer talk (Thursday, 2 July)

They shoot...

David Lister: The Sky's the limit for 3D drama

Rupert Murdoch, patron of the arts. It still has a most unlikely ring to it. But it has to be said that the investment of Sky television in culture is proving quite impressive. It now has four arts channels (OK, two are HD versions of the first two), but even just having two arts channels counts for something at a time when ITV is axing The South Bank Show and the BBC has insufficient arts strands.

Lives Remembered: The Revd Canon Clive E. Wyngard

My father, Clive Wyngard, who died on 24 March after a long and brave ight against prostate cancer, arrived here from South Africa as a teenager to follow his calling to be a priest. His parents in Kimberley sold their piano to pay for his voyage. He studied at Leeds University then Theological College at Mirfield, Yorks.

Leon Osman: 'You have to give Moyes everything'

A star from Everton's academy, Leon Osman has been key in the club's march towards the FA Cup and Europe. Ahead of eight crucial days, he talks Ian Herbert through his rise

The Proms are taking a walk on the wild side of music

Goldie, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and Bollywood included in this year's line-up at the Albert Hall

Exclusive interview: Michael Ball

Edward Seckerson interviews Olivier award-winning actor and singer Michael Ball about his time performing as Edna Turnblad in the West End production of Hairspray.



Hughes running out of time

West Bromwich 2 Manchester City 1

Hughes hails perfect City show

Schalke 04 0 Manchester City 2

City aim to sell Elano in January clear-out

Mark Hughes will make a flying visit to Abu Dhabi today to tell Manchester City's owner, Sheikh Mansour al-Nahyan, that he is planning a mass clear-out of players, which may see the Brazilian Elano leaving the club in January and Wayne Bridge arriving, if Chelsea can be persuaded to part with the left-back.

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Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
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The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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