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Dear All,

We-hope-you-are-well-and-looking-forward to... stuff this. IT'S FRIDAY!

We've got one of the hottest acts on the music scene tonight... and a former world champion boxer... and a gorilla. You won't even get that on 'Britain's Got Talent'. Except perhaps on the judges' panel.

The former world champion comes in the form of Mike Tyson. Now, if this was a pantomime (oh no, it isn't) there'd be boos and hisses at this point. Mike Tyson, the man who bit off more than he could chew.. from someone's ear. And he was convicted of rape.

So, is this the sort of man you'd pay lots of money to hear giving a public talk? Is this the sort of man who should be giving talks for cash anyway? Lots of people have handed over their money for an 'Evening with Mike Tyson' in Loughton tonight. Lots of other people aren't happy about it. But before you start jumping up and down - save it, and send us an email later.

Now, what you doin' tonight? Fancy going to a party? It's 'bring a bottle'. And it's underground. On the tube actually. You may well have seen adverts on the internet. Some would say the parties planned for the Circle Line this weekend are a suitable send-off for 'boozing on the tube' - ahead of the ban, coming into force on Sunday. Transport for London's not impressed though. Neither are the unions.

What you mustn't do is go to one of these parties (any party actually), drink yourself silly, then head home to the internet and... start looking for a date. Lord KNOWS who you might end up with. I mean - there are some real gorillas out there. Actually, there's one fewer now after a big beefy male called Damisi (formerly of Paignton Zoo) found his true love at Chessington Zoo. What I want to know is what he put down on his profile.. Favourite Film? 'Planet of the Apes', one imagines. No - 'Gorillas in the Mist'.

Beth Rowley may well have a new favourite film - the one she's just contributed a song to - 'The Edge of Love'. It stars Sienna Miller and Keira Knightly. Beth's having a rare old busy time at the moment. Debut album charting at No6 with a UK tour coming up to boot. Have you heard her voice? Personally, I think it's simply fabulous. You make your mind up for yourselves - we'll play a bit and chat to Beth later.

And Mr King will tell us what he thinks of 'Sex and the City' on the big screen. Once again, Salma's terribly excited. (If you're interested, she gave Indiana's 4th outing a 'thumbs up'). Still it's up to you. Take it. Leave it. I know what I'll do, thanks.

With more news, What Not to Miss and the weather... all together now...


See you at SIX.

Ben & Salma








London Tonight Tonight Thursday 29th May

London Tonight Tonight Thursday 29th May

Hello, Hello, and, once again, I say... Hello.

We're busy here this afternoon, so you'll forgive me if I don't flit off on some flight of fancy today but stick to a straightforward rundown of why we're busy here this afternoon...

Knives. London knows what a scourge they've become on our streets. We see and hear about the repercussions on an appallingly regular basis. To be fair, the Met takes is seriously too but when the top cop, Sir Ian Blair, stood up today and effectively said "The Met's now stepping things up a gear", more than one person was left saying "NOW you're stepping things up a gear..?"

Anyway, with more stopping and searching announced recently, there's NOW also a video showing the reconstruction of a stabbing and posters showing some real life injuries inflicted with knives. Posters? Are they really the answer? Well, we'll be asking the experts tonight. A panel of 15 year old Londoners will tell us if any of the above will have a positive effect.

We'll also be talking to someone who's seen knife crime up close. He's Duwayne Brooks. He was Stephen Lawrence's mate and he was there when Stephen was stabbed. It's his first TV interview in 10 years. We'll ask what he thinks. And then we'll ask you what you think.

Next up: the bridge collapse involving rail lines in the East End. It happened yesterday evening but the after-effects went on until lunchtime today. You'll know what we mean if your commute normally involves Liverpool Street station. Some people had a hideous time getting home last night. Others - a hideous time getting into work today. And they're paying for it.

We'll also tell you what a certain lady called Naomi (as in Campbell) was told at Heathrow police station today - not good news.

And there's some extraordinary footage of a bit of a ride at Thorpe Park... flying off the ride at Thorpe Park.

Plus quiet please, show some respect. There's a fascinating new exhibition opening at Goldsmiths in the City - silver and gold ware from churches around the country, pulled together for the first time. There are some great stories to some of the pieces, and we'll hear what the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks about it all.


And then there are The Osmonds. All of them.

That's a packed show, if ever you saw one.

And you'll see it at SIX.

Ben & Katie


London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 28th May

London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 28th May

Afternoon all,

Why, oh why, oh WHY would anyone want to keep a snake as a pet? Not just ANY snake, mind. A poisonous snake... a DEADLY poisonous snake. Now, I'm a dog man, me. But I accept not everyone likes dogs. In the same vein, I'm not a huge fan of stinky, pointless, cats. But I'm open-minded enough to accept that some people think they make perfect furry friends (ie our programme editor).

But when it comes to something that would quite happily kill you - and not feel remotely sorry afterwards... What's the attraction?

Well, we'll be asking someone live on the programme. I say 'live'. He nearly wasn't - thanks to a Common Death Adder. I mean, even the name says 'Don't expect any cuddles from me'. Apparently, if a cuddly snake you're after, you want a python. But even then...

So keeping poisonous snakes - that to me, is dangerous. What some people might think is not dangerous (although we, as unbiased journalists couldn't possibly comment) is sitting as a passenger on a stationery bus while someone bounces a somersault on the front of it. No, I haven't been at the gin. A group of acrobats really did do some routines down at Waterloo, leaping about on buses and bus-stops. And when Transport for London found out... gosh, they were cross. And they issued a statement saying how dangerous it could be for bus passengers. You should see the pictures. And you will, if you watch at SIX.

Anyway, that's not where we start the programme.


The programme kicks off at the Old Bailey, because the husband of Nisha Patel Nasri was today found guilty of her murder. She was the special constable stabbed outside their home in Wembley last year. He was the chap who appeared on our TV's a few days later begging for help in catching the killer. As they say, be careful what you wish for... Not a nice man - it turns out he'd been sleeping with prostitutes, was having an affair and needed to cash in his wife's life policy to pay off his debts. That's why he hired two hitmen.

What else, what else... Ah yes, FRAUD. In fact, we'll be telling you not which borough has the most fraud in Britain, but the actual street. Here's a clue for now - it's in Tooting. Plus we'll have a live demonstration in the studio of a simple thing we can all do, that will help keep our personal details safe.

We'll also report on the latest worries over 2012 funding... as well as the threat to theatre-types who insist on misrepresenting critics' quotations in a bid to persuade punters to buy their tickets.

So, lots to see.

We'll see YOU at SIX.

Ben & Romilly



London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 27th May

London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 27th May
Good afternoon.
I fear I have to write cautiously and speak quietly: walls have ears and my words may be gathered up and used by a Foreign Power. In "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", the John Le Carre masterpiece, the most unlikely suspect turned out to be the "sleeper", the "mole" - the senior figure in British Intelligence who was, in fact, a Russian spy. I say all of this, perhaps too openly, because I have not seen Katie since her undoubted triumph at the Man U-Chelsea game in Moscow. I fear she has done a Philby, Burgess or MacLean and started to bat for the other side.
Whilst we investigate this, I am delighted to say Romilly has stepped into the breach. There I go already - "stepped" - a reference to the sweeping lowlands of central Russia or a mode of movement? One cannot be too careful.
No amount of care or intelligence-gathering seems to be able to curb the exponential growth in murderous youth crime. Robert Knox could have made the transition from promising child actor to thespian greatness, like so many before him. But a "knife in the hand" put an end to that. We talk to his granny who utters the cliche "society is to blame". But Sir Ian Blair, of the Met, agrees, along with countless others. "Cliche" is a French word from the printing trade which means a set of letters or words in constant use - they make up a block and are used regularly, thus avoiding having to assemble the same, and predictable, thing - time and time again.
Is youth violence the same? Can no-one smash the "cliche" ? We listen to granny and ask Camila Batmanghelijdh what she thinks.
We've asked her to come early incase the fuel protest is continuing. Harris says it "ran of gas" quite early on: a wordsmith and a man of sound judgment is our Harris. The Welsh lorry drivers said they weren't coming to London for the demo' because they can't afford the fuel. I think it is because they couldn't find the way.
Joan Bakewell couldn't find the way to make the parking machines in Westminster work and ended up in all sorts of trouble. Phil went to meet her only to bump into another woman who, whilst not the Thinking Man's Crumpet, brought her own unique persona to the telling of this significant tale.
Another significant tale centres on when you believe the Doctors and when you don't. From being told their unborn child faced such an awful life, it might be best to terminate it - (it is what medics call abortion) - to a bouncing six month old is quite a fraught journey. Ronke guides you through it.
Leah is four and she guided the Fire Brigade to her neighbour's home in Essex when she heard the fire alarm sounding. They all say she is very clever and possessed of a great presence of mind. Ben also meets Leah and her folks, lucky man.
Less lucky is Robin who we wanted to put in a boat for his forecast but there's been a row - that is an "argument" rather than "the verb: to propel a boat through the water by pulling on oars". Anyway, he'll give you his forecast but has left his Sou'wester in the props cupboard.
Lucy has found some girls scouting. Roms and I both thought that girls who "scout" are called 'guides' or 'brownies', depending on their age. We are wrong and will be intrigued to discover why as we dib dib dib our way through this arm full of merit badges we call a running order.
See you at 6.
Alastair and Romilly




Hello, Hello and welcome to F-F-F-FRIDAY.

Now, someone on the team is very, VERY excited today... because a certain film has opened in London's cinemas today. Yes, the man in the hat, the man wearing the leather jacket, the man with the whip... ALL of them are back in - "Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Zimmer Frame".

When I say excited - this person has a seat booked in at the Odeon Leicester Square this very evening. When I say excited - this person used to act out scenes from the previous Indy adventures. So, this person s definitely excited. So, we'll get James King in to tell us whether Harrison Ford still cuts it, or whether he needs nursey to help out at meal times.

Our top story tonight is a sad one. A six year old girl, Elisabeth, died in the rented family home because the landlord hadn't serviced the boiler properly. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning. What a dreadful, dreadful waste of life. And the price paid by the landlord - a £20,000 fine. Enough? Too much? Should have gone to jail? We'll be asking for your views later.

Also on the programme, we'll be talking to star of the stand-up circuit, star of the radio and star of the TV panel show - Phill Jupitus. About why he's chancing his arm as a star of the West End stage.


Q: What do you call a man with two jobs?

A: Boris Johnson.

Q: Which jobs?

A: Mayor of London (you had heard, hadn't you?) and MP for Henley.

Q: When's he giving the MP bit up?

A: Sooner, it would seem, than originally thought.

Q: How... okay, let's leave that there until 6 o'clock, shall we?

A: Yes.

You won't want to miss our live link up with New York... via an en-OR-mous telescope, or to give it its proper name, 'telectroscope'. You may have seen it down on the South Bank. It is HUGE and our (not-so-huge) Glen Goodman will be looking down the barrel at the Brooklyn Bridge. Now, as I write this, there's a big chat going on about how it's going to work, because Glen's going to be having a transatlantic chat with his NY oppo called Monica Morales. She's a reporter with the NBC affiliate in the Big Apple. It sounds like a great idea, doesn't it. Cross your fingers, my friends. Glen will be.

Oh, and Robin will be with some jumping dogs.

Who needs Indiana Jones...?

Ben & Salma










Good Afternoon.

"Someone said 'football is more important than life and death to you' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'."

So said the late, great, Bill Shankly. What, though, he'd have made of the scenes around Stamford Bridge last night is anyone's guess. So-called fans throwing bottles and bins at the police. Just because their football team lost. And yes, we all know how passionate true supporters can be about their team. When it brings strangers together, it's to be admired. When it drives people to the lawless behaviour exhibited on the streets of London last night... well, you can finish that sentence. To help you choose your words, you can see the evidence at SIX.

It's a shame too that the actions of a few thugs overshadowed the behaviour of thousands of others, and the game itself. It was a cracking game, wasn't it? I was working here on our late (very late) news last night, but I'm told that with every twist, turn, hit and miss there were 'ooh's and 'ah's ringing out across the capital. And just think, we've still got all the England games to look forward to in Eur...oh, no we haven't.

Now, there is other news tonight. We've a young film star, the number one pop group and a walk in the trees.

And there're more serious stories too.

Do you remember the story of the Polish nurse who had just clocked off - after looking after residents in an old people's home - and then she got shot. Dead. Caught in the cross-fire as two men shot it out in New Cross. Well, one of those men was found guilty of Magda Pewska's murder today. He may not have fired the bullet that killed her, but in the court's eyes he was guilty as if he did.

And there's another shocking story - 200 women who had a caesarean section at hospitals in Basildon and Southend have been told they now need to undergo a test. For HIV. It seems a health worker has the virus and, while it's very unlikely that any of the Mums have been infected... they have to be checked.

Now, the film star I mentioned is one of the up and coming actors in the Narnia series. Personally, I loved 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. So, I'm rather excited about seeing the next instalment - 'Prince Caspian'. We'll show you a clip and speak to young Skandar Keynes this evening.

Meanwhile Lucy has been speaking to the 'Ting Tings' about being the latest thing-things.

And then there's a walk in the trees which... well we can't give the whole game away, can we?

See you at SIX.

Ben & Romilly













London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 21st May

London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 21st May

Здравствуйте.... from Katie... and a very good afternoon from me!

I have to tell you I feared for the travel plans of "Lara", as I insist upon calling her for the next few hours. From ITN, last night, to the Asian Women awards and then home. Then from home to Paddington, on to Heathrow and finally to Moscow: it was an itinerary that made Napoleon's doomed march on the Russian capital in 1812 look like a stroll in the park.

Anyway, in the fine company of Marcus, a life-long Gooner, she will be presenting our coverage of the Great Game. Clearly more of a lacrosse and polo girl, "Lara" has been revising like she hasn't revised since Cambridge - clever, beautiful and in Moscow? How cruel life can be to the rest of us mere mortals.

Rich in drama and emotion, our coverage features the great West Hammer Frank Lampard Snr, there to support his brilliant son as they both still wrestle with the sadness of losing Pat, a loyal and loving wife and mum.

Graeme Le Saux, one of the brighter and more articulate booters of the ball, will be waxing eloquent about 4-1-4 formations, lob balls and passing patterns. He played for Chelsea and England, I am told, though I remember his twilight years in Southampton and the fact that he is a Channel Islander. But he is bright and handsome so "Lara" will be happy.

Ronaldo is The One To Watch, it seems. This may be a footy observation or a warning to the young belles of Mockba but I am sure Marcus will explain.

Our build-up also features the Rolling Stones performing Jumping Jack Flash which Faye, in elegant cream and grey today told me I'd like that. She does know me, doesn't she? We've sent "Lara" out to buy a copy of the Moscow Times to see what their front page is dealing with. I hope she doesn't, like the original "Lara", disappear for several decades in the cold political frost of a revolution - only for me to die, from a heart attack, running alongside a tram, whispering "Lara", "Lara", finally slumping to my untimely death in the post-revolutionary snow. We'll see.

Here, we have wonderful pictures and the most moving of tributes to Emily Diamond, whose tragic death haunted us all yesterday. The random nature of her demise seems to me to have been made even more cruel, the more we find out about the lovely young woman who was so full of promise, but who is no more.

Boris was always full of promise and, like Max Wall blended with Tommy Cooper with just a soupcon of Eddie Izzard, took Mayor's Questions today for the first time. Harris holds his sides but points out the deceptively important bits which may continue to impress you.

Then, to strains of a balalaika and the pounding of Czarist cavalry hooves, we will canter back to Moscow for a final thought from "Lara".

Most of you probably back the Blues but we will not ignore the fact that many of you back the Reds. That is true in Hong Kong, Adelaide, Los Angeles and Monte Video but I just felt the need to reassure you that "Lara" and I will be entirely impartial. Marcus thinks the whole thing's a fix and it should be Arsenal out there. Ken says West Ham "woz robbed.." This could be endless so I'll end it and see you at 6.




London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 20th May

London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 20th May

Good afternoon.

I love my job but sometimes it is very difficult. I don't even know the poor soul's name yet but , earlier today, shortly before lunchtime, she died. I don't know where she had come from - perhaps, by the time we go on air at 6, I will. I don't know where she was going and perhaps I never will. She was walking close to Tower Bridge, one of London's many sights to behold. For all I know she may have been enjoying the view, planning a meeting, going for a job or just out for an early stroll. It's thought a bus struck a tree and a limb crashed down and hit her. She died. Eighteen other people were, in varying degrees, luckier. They were on the bus. 9 were taken to hospital and 9 more were treated at the scene by the brilliant men and women of our emergency services. But it is that poor woman who haunts me. Lewis will tell us what he's been able to find out, and I will learn with you the full tragedy of a London woman whose life was cut short. No knives, no guns - just a bus and a branch. So very sad.

We will raise our spirits, and yours, unless you are visiting London from the North-West or are among that huge number of itinerant supporters who need have no relationship with the great city of Manchester to support the Reds, by listening to Marcus, live in Moscow. On the eve of Chelsea's great moment, he talks to a Russian "Blue", bumps into a mate of Abramovich's in a late night bar, and reports on why "poor sods" are an issue in the capital of the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, within an enigma.

The enigma that is Boris Johnson met with the mystery that is the IOC today as they came to check out our progress on solving the riddle that is London's 2012 Games. Wonder what they made of him and what he made of them? Harris solves it all, as only he can.

How do you solve a problem like not having enough primary school places for our little ones? You build more schools. Well, not just yet. You hire a taxi and a carer to take this particular little darling to school. I know... But what can you do but report on it, which is what the lovely Liz does. Ms Wickham as a school ma'am? Not a thought that has crossed my mind before, but I can see the merit.

I see great merit in receiving a positive update on the progress restorers are making with the charred remains of the tea-clipper Cutty Sark so that is just what we'll have.

And then there is Kat Slater, late of EastEnders and about to scare the pants off you in the West End.


Faye, who is doing a passing impersonation of a very beautiful buttercup today, said I would "like her". How can she know? Am I that transparent? Up to now I have pretty well avoided either of the Great Soaps - although my mother loved them all, and my daughter has been known to wile away hours of a weekend catching up with what I gather are called omnibus editions. Brideshead Revisited hooked me and is being re-made which I think a high risk strategy. If they get it wrong I may give The Street or even The Square a go. Kat, you face a challenge with me. I cannot speak for Katie who, as I write, is on the back of a motorbike returning from her daughter's school concert. I know. Dedication and love that knows no equal - bar me, on my own, and bashing this out just for you.

I await her return in growing confidence that we will both see you at 6.



Alastair "not knowingly a soap watcher" Stewart and Katie "Girl on a Motorcycle" Derham.




London Tonight Tonight Monday 19th May

London Tonight Tonight Monday 19th May

Good afternoon.

Tonight, we will not be featuring Roger Waters, late of Pink Floyd and now one of the towering figures of modern music in his own right. That, despite the fact that I saw him perform Dark Side of The Moon at the O2 last night and it was utterly sensational. As was the dedicated effort of the security man who found my mobile phone and returned it to me this morning. No, we will be a Floyd-, even neo-Floyd-free-zone. But we will mention Led Zeppelin, in passing.

It seems if you want to get the sap surging up those xylem and down those phloem, you need a bit of Stairway to Heaven and a Whole Lotta Love. All will become clear as Damien gets out his gloves and dibber and reveals all from the Chelsea Flower Show.

Also there, HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.. which I think displays a pretty high-risk strategy given that one-to-one guided tours of the Crown Jewels and a one-to one-tour of the roof of Hampton Court Palace have just got on sale on E-bay. I am assured it has something to do with the Heritage Fund, but I'd check the reply address and if it's Isle of Dogs or if the name is an anagram of K-R-A-Y, I'd be regally worried. Phil is our man at Court.

Holding Court with Lucy is Usher, a rock star I have heard of but others seemed less familiar with. Faye observed that he seemed to lack a sense of humour and never took off his sunglasses. I think it is because he is a serious musician with sensitive retinas. Faye seemed to think an affliction in the nether regions might but a more credible explanation. She can be rude for one so elegant and beautiful.

At the heavy duty end of the programme, the top that is, we have emotional, polar opposites: a couple who escaped the horrors of the Chinese earthquake share their experiences and a Vicar talks of his heartbreak over the death of his adopted daughter in a mysterious and deeply troubling fall from a window in a half-way-house for difficult children. No upside to that, I fear, but an important story that needs telling and Lewis will do it with sensitivity and application.

Applications to buy property in London, and the prices thereof, seem to be on the rise again. Kingston is doing especially well, says Faye... who lives there. Hammersmith and Fulham, not so. No one admitted to living there. Odd, property: we all aspire to it and when we have it, it becomes such a sensitive issue. I once lived in Islington and never met Tony Blair when he lived there. I moved and, lo, saw more of him than was probably healthy. Funny old world.

Final thought: I knew a woman who was convinced listening to Pink Floyd throughout her pregnancies had made her children especially chilled. I have shared this thought as a fine idea for a programme item, but still no Dark Side tonight. I think Faye has put a Wall around her running order. I have two messages for Mr Waters: thanks for a great gig, and .... Wish You Were Here!

See you at 6

Alastair & Katie.


London Tonight Tonight Friday 16th May

London Tonight Tonight Friday 16th May

Good afternoon.

It may be something in the water or even the tea, but there is definitely a feisty atmosphere around this afternoon which I hope will be reflected in the programme.

Boris is a breath of truth-telling, word-keeping, good-doing, fun-providing, capital-invigorating fresh air!

The Blond Bombshell remains a big-talking, band-wagon-jumping, promise-making, delivery-lacking tub of over-educated, posh hot air!

Or something lounging, elegantly in a comfy chair between these two extremes - both of which have fans in the newsroom. Worth remembering that we exist not to take sides but to shine torches of truth on what we find, leaving you, and only you, to decide.

Thus we explore the policing of buses and the provision of extra bobbies and baby-bobbies to make your dash on the 137 a safe and booze-free experience. Has Boris done anything new or has he created an omnibus of nirvana? Glen is your clippy. "Ping-ping": all change, or stay in your seats?

Getting right out of their very well upholstered seats are the good people of Eversheds law firm as they do their bit to make London a Better Place. An American friend once asked me, "What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the Potomac?" (It's the river which runs through their capitol, Washington DC)

"Dunno" I said.

"A start", he said... cruel but worth spending just a moment reflecting upon. Anyway, this lot are good and we don't want them turning into bottom grubbers. Robyn celebrates their good deeds with some kids who'll benefit from them.

Who benefits from Dwain Chambers coming "clean", every pun intended, is less clear. The cynic in me says "Him". Others, on his side of the argument, say kids, because they will now see him as a role model who rediscovered the truth in the 100m dash on the Road to Damascus. Not sure, but I trust Marcus more than most to get to the bottom of it. Too many bottoms in this blog. Sorry.

Jon Gilbert is in Cannes which is nice for him. Nice is near Cannes, which is nice for Cannes because that's where the airport is. He's talking film, as is Helen because James is ill. I think James is in Cannes, which you reach by flying to Nice which, if true, is not nice. I'll find out and let you know.

What started out as a nice idea ended in hollow tragedy. A dad, who'd gone to London to buy his kid a pressie, left it on the train and then when he went back to get it ... no, you'll have to watch: words don't do it justice.

Finally, there is no justice in the fact that Salma has once again purloined the right to present What Not To Miss. I had to go and interview Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of BA and, like a suitcase at T5, my chance was gone, never to be seen again. She deserves to be sent to Siberia.... in a lush fur coat and comely sable hat... I am warming to her again. It's my age.

Faye is in charge so some sense will cut through this juxtaposition of madness and sanity. But she has torn her jeans at the knee. I am told this is fashion. I think it was an unfortunate fall. I'll call my friend at Vogue to find out.

See you at 6,

Alastair and Salma



London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 14th May

London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 14th May

Good afternoon.

Ever been stopped and searched? At airports, it's not that unusual. Going to concerts, even, we've got used to it. And, as you know, if you don't get the barcode swiped properly in lots of shops, all hell breaks out with bells, sirens and serious embarrassment all round the wicket. But if you are a young black man it is more likely to happen to you on the high street than if you are a young white man. Or woman.

When Commissioner of the Met, Paul Condon, more than a decade ago, famously said "most crime in London is committed by young black men" the proverbial hit the fan ,but it was true. It just wasn't very sensitive nor helpful because it addressed the number of cases, and NOT the causes. For two days on London Tonight we've been exploring what is happening in post-Ken London to address law and order. Boris wants more stop and search. One side screams "Yes!" whilst the other screams "No!"

Tonight we explore those polar opposites and invite you to give your views.


In the view of French anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon " all property is theft". I don't agree with that but have a certain sympathy with the landlords of Hounslow who are not accusing their tenants of theft, but are saying a troubling number of them are turning maisonettes and bijou flats into dope factories. There may be a large number of coppers in that splendid borough wandering around this afternoon in a slightly smiley haze, humming Pink Floyd ditties, because the bobby in charge said the warm whiff of cannabis wafted over them as they raided said properties today. It is an amazing tale of fiddled electricity meters, massive overhead lamps and sky-lights where sky-lights didn't ought to be. For younger viewers: roaches are a problem but not as older viewers are thinking! And although property law says that possession is nine-tenths of the law, we are not talking about that sort of possession.

Brain Damage from The Dark Side of The Moon at 6. You'll Wish You Were Here....


Tim Coulson was possessed of remarkable bravery and presence of mind when he discovered he had survived the Edgware Road Tube bomb. Instead of beating a hasty yet understandable retreat, he leant a hand and helped rescue many people. He gets a gong for that today and we are pleased and proud to honour his honour.

It is one of those odd figures of speech but there is no honour in "honour killings". Tonight we have two powerful and moving personal tales of how a misguided belief can wreak havoc on innocent lives.

Jack the Ripper mysteriously did just that to a number of not-so-innocent street walkers more than a hundred years ago. But the sins of the wayward girls in no way excused his vicious and brutal crimes. More written about, filmed, debated and even imitated, than any other, the crime remains unsolved. The clues have long been thought to exist in secret Scotland Yard files. Do they? Find out at 6.


Chelsea hope to scale the heights in Moscow next week - we've a preview... And Robin scales the heights of some seriously useful green mounds on the A40. Yes, that's what I though too when the delicious Faye, currently slumped back in her chair and saying her head is about to explode like a Volcano, told me that was where he was going.  


I remain confused but intrigued, which is just how I hope I leave you in full expectation of your company at 6, for a full and frank explanation of all the above, and more.


Alastair and Katie.




Good Afternoon.

An air of unreality pervades our programme tonight, in a broadly positive way.

We continue to report on the brutal murder last evening which saw a young man stabbed to death on Oxford Street.

The unreality is that it was not in a dingey stairwell, as night fell, but on London's busiest shopping street and in broad daylight.

Next, we report on a meeting held this very morning by Boris with his Crime Busters. Following our talk with Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis on youth crime and his challenge to "watch this space", we did. Reality suggests politicians make promises and talk. The unreality is that , following that meeting, lo and behold, the Met' mapped out policy proposals to up the ante on battling youth crime. They say they were going to anyway but it is as if the advertising manager at Ronseal had taken over the policy unit at City Hall.

Faye, our elegant and erudite leader, said it was a "chicken and egg" situation. But whether Oxford Street was the chicken and City Hall the egg was not clear to her. Nor to any of us.

I trust in the farming and biological skills of Harris and Marcus to hatch a couple of brilliant bits of reportage for you.

Unreality of a constitutional nature is up next. Ian Smith was the white minority leader of Rhodesia, told by the UK to give blacks the vote. He refused and declared independence. He didn't declare UDI as many say because the D in UDI stands for DECLARATION. That would be tautology. Anyway, it eventually led to Zimbabwe, Mugabe and the current horrors. Less cataclismic was Passport to Pimlico based a true story that the next in line to the Dutch royal succession must be born on Dutch soil. When the wartime Queen of the Netherlands was about the give birth to the heir presumptive, a room in Ottawa, where the family was in exile from the German occupation, officially became Dutch territory. The actual film is set in Pimlico, where a delayed bomb explosion reveals a hidden vault containing treasure and an ancient document proving that the land was granted to the Duke of Burgundy in perpetuity and so was French!

Spool forward to Norton Folgate in Shoreditch and meet the splendid people of that borough who say they have similar ancient rights of independence, are not French and don't want a near billion pound development on their doorstep. It is the stuff the UN was set up to resolve but Liz has an initial stab.

Finally, the unreality of a highly trained and fiercely brave parachutist landing, by accident, on the roof of Aston Villa's stadium and then turning into another sort of hero - a charity fund-raiser. You'll want to meet him and Phil does the introductions.

Fatpig is a term of abuse but also a film, I am told. I think I being had but apparantly not. Lucy has a glint of the mischievous in her eye but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Which I won't offer to Robin who says it will be nice again tomorrow. How unreal is that?

Nothing unreal about London's papers.... apart from pages 4, 7, 9 and 13 - 23.

Catch it all at six and have a final, very real chance to win 50k for your favourite local charity.

Reality checks at 6.

Alastair and katie.



London Tonight Tonight Monday 12th May

London Tonight Tonight Monday 12th May

Good afternoon.

The human spirit seldom fails to amaze. My day started with a casual encounter with one of my favourite people on London Tonight - no names, no pressure. As of habit, but with sincerity, I asked if he and his family had had a "good weekend". They hadn't. The daughter of one of their closest friends had been killed in a cycling accident in Yorkshire: the dead girl had been one of his son's first girlfriends. But he and his family were resolved to rise above their sense of gloom and loss, and do all within their powers to support and nurture the family who had lost their beloved daughter. Humanity in the face of tragedy.

I had already seen and read much of what Margaret Mizen had expressed about the killing of her evidently lovely son Jimmy. Where did she find the strength to forgive, to purge bitterness and to find sympathy for the parents of the youngster who killed her youngster? Tonight, as the hunt continues for that killer we ask the new Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis what he thinks can be done to stop the death toll among London's children soaring pointlessly and poignantly from 13 to 30 and beyond? We'd like your thoughts, too, but I fear cloning the likes of Margaret Mizen and my friend won't do the trick.

The trick to running a successful Olympics is to find venues the athletes love and the host city welcomes.

The 2012 organisers are nowhere near the medal table yet - I'm not sure they'd even qualify on current form! Take Equestrianism: along with sailing and cycling, it is one of our most promising disciplines. Romilly and I were both at the Windsor Horse Show this weekend (separately I hasten to add just incase her's or mine gets the wrong idea) and we both love and support horsey-sport. The Windsor Arena is in the shadow of the eponymous Castle and on the banks of the Thames. One medal hopeful, what is more, is related to the "landlord" too and, no doubt, "Grandma" Queen would be there cheering on young Zara Phillips, daughter of HRH Princess "Olympic medal winner" Anne. So, a no-brainer? No. The 2012 Committee will hold the gee-gee events in Greenwich which the sport says is too small and the locals don't want.
Ben dons hard-hat and jodhpurs in an effort to make sense of it.
Making sense of Boris talking English has always been a challenge, not because he is stupid, but for precisely the opposite reason: why use estuary when a classical allusion can trip off your erudite tongue? But "OYSTERISATION"? Yuck. Most of us are told the world is our oyster but Boris wants your Oyster to be your key to the world. Mad after less than a fortnight in office? We will try to explain.
Less easy to explain is how Lucy is on the red carpet in Leicester Square and talking to Minnie Driver about being a musician as much as an actress. But, given the reason she is on the red carpet is the premiere of a film that is quintessentially about New York and sex in that famous city, rather than London, it may not seem as strange to you as it does to me. Faye, in a wonderfully grow-up summer frock today, seems to think you'll get the hang of it so maybe it is me who has the fried brain. (Re-reading this, I think the evidence against me is mounting.)
Great news, by the way, if you are in search of a property - it is a "buyers' market" and that's official... if you can get a mortgage. Take a stiff drink if you are selling. Louisa's here to give you all the tips you need.
Chrissie, more dressage than three day event, is in Greenwich with an assessment of how long it will be before we are all in cotton - be that frocks or suits.
And the papers will do their damnedest to keep up with us.
See you at 6.
Alastair & Romilly



Good afternoon.
The BFG, The Giant Peach and Matilda are among my children's favourite books. (Apart from the oldest who favours Chaucer and Beowolf).The three titles have two things in common: they are brilliant to read aloud to children and they are written by the late great Roald Dahl. His daughter Sophie also went out with Mick Jagger so the old rogue just got it right, time and time again. He also penned a series of brilliant short-stories entitled Tales of the Unexpected, made, you might, recall, into a successful TV series. Were he still alive he might have worked on a plot which involved an Oxford classicist, not averse to appearing, in wildly witting style, on TV panel shows, but who is seriously averse to combing his hair. His hero would then become an MP, get elected Mayor of London against a man who had been London for as long as most might remember and then, and this is the really "unexpected" bit, have a remarkably successful and gaffe-free first week in office.
The plot would then thicken when the man who had been London turns up at the first meeting of the new Assembly to keep an eye on our mop-haired hero.
And all of this is observed by the mystery man who has to sit apart from everyone else.
Harris becomes our political and literary critic to make this marvellous synopsis spring to life.
Incidentally, what do you give a man who has everything when he drops in from NY to wish you well in doing for London what he does for the Big Apple? Something from Asprey's? The Tate? Fortnum & Mason's? You will be amazed to learn it was none of the above but would guarantee Michael Bloomberg could navigate his way around our great city with informed confidence.
Unless he wanted to go to Harrow which is still a bit difficult following the mysterious explosion which killed one man and hospitalised others. There is now talk of bomb experts sniffing around and some interesting suggestions that oddly coloured liquids may have been poured through the letter box of the exploding end of terrace house. A big challenge for the collective wit of the boys in blue.
As was bringing safely to a conclusion the siege in Markham Sqaure off the Kings Road. The pieces that have fallen into place are tragic, involving strained relationships, alcohol-abuse and innocent by-standers fearing for their lives. But it is now being reported that barrister Michael Saunders "took" five bullets in the Police effort to end the night-mare. More questions than answers, me thinks.
More answers than questions, I hope, from our fabulous show-biz guest, Ms Greta Scacchi -which is neither an Italian pasta nor a curious Roman numeral though, if it were, it would be 301 + (sah). It is pronounced Ska-key which we will endeavor to remember. She's heading for the West End but is also involved in a movie which has chilling echoes of 7/7 and the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.
She follows James who will tell you why "What happens in Vegas" stays in Vegas - a sort of homily to the dangers of gambling and adultery. Not really but that's what most Americans assume. And Speed Race which, like Ronseal, does what it says on the tin. My youngest will smile and my wife's eyes will glaze over. Hear what Jimbo makes of them at 6.
Finally, like the brilliantly well behaved new-boy that he is, Lewis VJ, put his hand up and asked if he could be "excused". Permission granted by the Big Boss, he headed for Gravesend to attend to natures needs only to find that the venue for this perfectly natural bodily function had turned into a work of art and had been moved to central London. Knees held firmly together and with gritted teeth, LVJ will explain all. And wash his hands.
I was anxious to present What Not To Miss, not so much for old times sake as for the chance to scale the Olympian heights once more. Alas, I am allergic to Punch and Judy shows so I can't. Thank heavens for Salma's flexibility.
I, and one of life's true gentlewomen, crave your attendance at 6.
Unless LVJ is still craving an attendant, he'll be there too along with the rest of the team, warm with excitement and enthusiasm to send you on your well informed way to a restful weekend.
Alastair & Salma (kind soul, that she is)


London Tonight Tonight Thursday 8th May

London Tonight Tonight Thursday 8th May

Good afternoon.

Two powerful stories top our traditional news agenda: first, the continuing mystery surrounding the tragic death of Mark Saunders: was he shot by the Police or did he shoot himself? And if he was shot by the Police, was that the tragic outcome he himself had intended? Glen continues his trawl of the King's Road community searching for answers.

Then a gas blast in Harrow has left one man dead and many people homeless. The tragedy is not lessened by the fact that many more escaped, but it does bring some relief to the sadness of the dead man's friends and family. It is a story rich in "if only..." and "if I'd been..." stories, including the role Sir Alan Sugar played in one man's lucky escape. The images are extraordinary and show, graphically, just how close this came to being an even greater horror.

The horror of impending blindness may have been lifted for hundreds of elderly people thanks to the genius of the medics at Kings College Hospital. The details may make you wince, a bit, but believe me it is an uplifting and, no pun intended, enlightening piece of journalism. Have I ever lied to you?

Shirley McClain said you can't believe anything a man says if he is drinking, chatting you up or standing for political office. Well, Shirley, in London you may just be wrong. Boris, who said he'd ban booze on the buses also said he'd take a forensic look at how YOUR money is spent in City Hall. Boozed up Oyster carriers dealt with yesterday and, today, that forensic fiscal foray is under way. Hurrah. Harris is our Mr Macawber with the ledgers and he also has news of some more interesting defenestrations from the South Bank Head-lamp.

In the mid-90s, Tony Blair said he'd be "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime". OK, Shirley, here you may have a point. But eleven years on and his heirs and successors have finally taken the action that the victims think might be a runner. Purging any part of Essex of crime might seem a tall order, but on one housing estate with a particularly troubling track record in boosting the "bad boy stats", the application of ASBOs, coupled with nothing short of a zero-tolerance enforcement of them, seems to have done the trick. The Home Secretary, who is frightened of visiting some of London's kebab houses, obviously has the "munchies" as she wants it rolled out across the land, including the capital. Ben is on patrol, down river on the north bank.

Who he chances upon is in the lap of the Gods, but it seems among the least likely is Osama Bin Laden, officer commanding Al Qaeda. That, in an odd way, is good news for our showbiz guest tonight who has just released a movie entitled "Where in The World is Osama Bin Laden?" Were Ben to say "Basildon!" it might reduce the advance sales for the film ,so Mr Spurlock has much to celebrate and discuss and will, we are sure, amuse. Think Michael Moore with a thing about burgers and you're on the right track.

On her way to the roof, as I write, is Chrissie - clad, I hope in a sensible long-sleeved T-shirt and drenched in factor 30. No, I am not odd - it was her advice yesterday when she predicted strong sunshine, so we will see if she is a woman of her word - or words.

Katie has left some of her salad, I notice: it is that hot.

Faye has given the satin-seamed evening dress trousers another outing but has a cool, in both senses of the word, top on. They are both, as I have always said, hot.

I might, just might, dispense with the tie... it's nearly Friday.

See you at 6 - I'd recommend light cotton, a cool drink and flip-flops, but it is really up to you.

Alastair & Katie



London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 7th May

London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 7th May

Good afternoon.

Mark Saunders was a bright and popular barrister. He was married to Elizabeth and they lived in an expensive flat in London's smart and fashionable Kings Road area.

Today he is dead following a dramatic siege, prompted by him taking pot-shots from the flat which drew an armed Police unit from the Met.

It ended with Mark dead from gunshot wounds but, as yet, we don't know whether he shot himself or if the Police shot him. The Independent Police Complaints Commission are investigating. It's just the start of a tragic mystery.

What went wrong with this successful and promising life? Why did his wife run, crying, from the flat? Why, as one of his final acts, did he throw a cardboard box from the window having scrawled on it, in black ink, "I love my wife dearly xxx" ? We are all trying to find out as much as possible and Glen will pull it together for you at 6.

There's a lot more news besides that sad tale.

The closure of umpteen post offices despite the fact that the locals don't want them closed.

The shock of a politician doing what he promised to do as Boris bans booze on the buses, less than a week into the job.

And a competition to chose a piece of sculpture we can all feel as proud of as the good people of the North East do about their Angel of the North.

Mr. Waterman was proud to answer his daughter's request for a "pirate" themed party and topped off his plans by running the Jolly Roger up a make-shift flag pole at their home in Surrey. We all do balloons and even string letters spelling out HAPPY BIRTHDAY but a flag? Fab. Cue, then, the tedious officials at the Council who managed to quote legislation which says it's OK if it's a Union Jack or a St. George's flag, but a Jolly Roger is against the law. "Take it down or we'll fine you!" they said. In true pirate tradition Mr Waterman told them to "walk the plank" and some of his neighbours donned black eye patches and "Yo Ho Ho-ed" in support.

Then it started to get a bit nasty. We'll talk to Black Jack Waterman and his doughty daughter, live at 6.


She may be a fan of Take That, for all I know: my daughter is. Anyway, Take That aren't fans of the musical which opens tonight in a "Mamma Mia/We Will Rock You" sort of celebration of their music. I think Gary's accountants and probably Chancellor Alistair Darling will quite like it, but I am just a touch mercenary about these things. Lucy loiters with intent at the theatre.

So will it be from tragedy to triumph or tragedy.... to tragedy?

You'll just have to be there at 6 to find out and to fully understand what I am getting at.

Alastair & Katie.


London Tonight Tonight Test

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