Freddie Mercury is always on Brian May's mind.

The Queen guitarist is currently on a UK tour with theatrical singer Kerry Ellis - whose album 'Anthems' he helped pen - and admitted not a day goes by when the legendary singer isn't in his thoughts as he is so ''proud'' of their work together in the band.

Speaking about Freddie's influence on his life, he said: ''As well as being the perfect frontman, he was the perfect catalyst to channel the band to the audience.

''He's always very much in my mind and I feel very proud and I'm proud of what we did together.

''I grieved a lot and it does strange things to you because it's like losing a family member, but I'm very joyful about what he created.''

Brian also hopes to carry on Freddie's ''wonderful'' legacy by raising funds during the tour for the Born Free Foundation to help protect endangered species.

He explained on ITV1's 'Loose Women' chat show: ''His life was dedicated to just doing wonderful things and not only did he have a great time himself, but he helped other people to have a great time.

''I love singing his songs and we do a lesser known song by Freddie which is called 'Life Is Real'. It's really beautiful and soulful and different from the flamboyant stuff.''

Tickets for Brian and Kerry's 11 date Born Free tour have already sold out and Brian said in a statement on Queen's website: ''We have found that the two of us just working live off each other can distill the very essence of a song - and that's what we hope to bring you in these dates.

''After all, if you have great songs and a great singer, what more do you need? Well, maybe just a little bit of guitar!''