All hail the return of BOB! The mighty street cat, who started off selling The Big Issue with his owner James at Angel tube station in Islington, is now a world-wide publishing sensation. Currently working on his sixth book with high-fiving superstar feline Bob, James tells us how his life has changed and how the vast quantities of fanmail they receive from around the world means so much to them. Bob has his say, too.
And Andrew Burns speaks to Big Issue vendors who share powerful and emotional insight into how their dogs have been their saviours. The companionship of a pet can be everything to a homeless person – yet only 8% of night shelters accept dogs. These stories explain why that must change.
Also in this week’s magazine…
- Fifty years ago The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night set the standard for pop movies that’s never been surpassed. As it’s reissued in cinemas and on DVD, we talk to its director Richard Lester about how the Fab Four broke the mould. Eat your hearts out 1D!
- It’s also 50 years since pirate radio pioneers Radio Caroline hit the airwaves and Bob Stanley – member of pop group Saint Etienne and author of a brilliant authoritative biography of the entire history of pop music – reflects on how the pirates forced Britain to embrace teen revolution.
- PLUS: 50 years on a new pirate ship is setting sail, with a cruise featuring original pirate DJs including Emperor Rosko and Johnnie Walker and bands who were swinging at the time. Promoter Stuart Lyon – who gave Elton John and Led Zeppelin their big breaks – explains why the revolution still lives.
- We interview the world’s undefeated female MMA (mixed martial arts) champion Joanne Calderwood – and her Mum, Jeanette. It’s a surprising and touching interview, as a loving mother explains what it’s like to see the young girl she nurtured become best in the world at a brutal sport.
- Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow talks acne, teenage angst, being shy with girls and flying the flag for gay rights in Letter To My Younger Self.
- Still smarting after England’s early exit, know any Brazilians still sobbing into their shirts or a Murray fan in the doldrums? Guest columnist broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove shares his guide to getting over disappointment and the art of being a good loser. It will make you laugh and it will definitely make you cry.
- Mark Lawson, arts critic and author, takes a forensic look at the epidemic of murders in the literary scene ahead of Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival in our crime books special.
- JK Rowling’s latest crime novel – The Silkworm, written under pen-name Robert Galbraith – is reviewed in audiobook form.
Other bits and pieces…
- Film: is a review of Mike ‘Wayne’s World’ Myers’ new docufilm about a legendary Hollywood fixer, called Supermensch.
- TV: Nick Knowles of Lottery show Break the Safe lifts the lid on what it’s really like hosting one of the BBC’s biggest quiz shows.
- My Week meets the man who will arrange the cars to pick up Commonwealth Games athletes and makes sure the roads aren’t gridlocked in Glasgow.
- Music it’s classical, it’s summer season, and the Proms are upon us.
- My Pitch is with Derek Doggett who’s just started a new pitch in Cirencester, and is saving up to go travelling. He tells us what the food’s like in Southeast Asia…