Queen star Brian May on music, astrophysics and badgers!

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Image caption Music, science and charity keep Brian May busy these days

Badgers, astrophysics and guitar solos aren't topics that come up in every interview - but when pupils at the Tomlinscote School and Sixth Form College in Surrey got the chance to interview rock legend Brian May, they managed to squeeze in questions about all three!

The reporting team - Allie, Cassandra, Chloe, Darcy, Elliott, Jack, Jade, Jamie, Kerry, Marta and Melissa - got the chance to interview the former Queen guitarist and went armed with lots of probing questions.

He told them about how he got started in the music business and how finding success seemed very daunting at first.

"We didn't have an agent, we didn't have a record company, we didn't have anything… we just had our belief in ourselves and each other," he explained.

The team almost stumped May when they asked him to tell them about the highlight of his career - but he eventually said that getting a song in the charts for the first time was special "because suddenly it's real… it's the most amazing feeling".

Although he is still involved in music, he also has lots of other interests that the reporters wanted to explore, including his charity work.


He is an ambassador for the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an Aids charity set up in the memory of his former Queen band-mate Freddie Mercury.

"One of his wishes before he died was that we would carry on and raise awareness of Aids and it still goes on, that charity really kind of marches on a lot of energy still," he said.

The team also found out more about his work to protect wildlife, particularly foxes and badgers.

"I suppose because I've always felt animals by and large get a bad deal in the world at large. And even in Britain, where we think we are an animal friendly nation, really the way we treat animals on the whole is appalling," he said.

In 2007, May got his PhD in astrophysics and the School Reporters asked him what first got him interested in the topic.

"There was a lot going on when I was growing up, for the first time a man stood on the moon… I think it's the greatest mystery and I can't fail to be enchanted about finding things out about the solar system, the galaxy, the whole universe," he explained.

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