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Friday June 27th

Friday June 27th

Good afternoon.

Tariq Ghaffur is a big man - tall, well built and charismatic. He has risen through the ranks of the Met, an organisation accused, all those years ago, of being guilty of "institutionalised racism" in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. And yet, despite his race, he rose to be an Assistant Commissioner - just one from the top.

Suddenly he believes his career has ground to a halt ; his contract may not be renewed and he feels he has been side-lined over responsibility for the security for the 2012 Games about which he has already briefed a number of us with great integrity and authority.

So why? Has he gone mad? Is he telling lies? Is he neurotic or suffering from an Olympic size chip on his shoulder? I don't know but he says he has a dossier of evidence to prove his point and will , in those immortal words of the Duke of Wellington, "publish and be damned".

Glen has a gallon of printers ink at his disposal and will tell all he can.

Many of you told us all that you could about how touched you were by the story of Harvey Parry, the little guy who lost his legs as a result of meningitis but could only get the right ones privately. That would have meant he couldn't get other help from the NHS. I know: silly rule and the Government is reviewing it. But Harvey's mum and dad, quite rightly, didn't want to wait. The best were on offer in the Good Ole U.S. of A , a long way away and a lot of dollars to get there and buy the legs. So a big thank you to Richard Branson's gang at Virgin Atlantic who have offered to fly the Parry family there and Ronke will chart their progress for you.  Help wanted. Help delivered.

James reviews "Wanted" , and "Prince Caspian" which looks set to keep a multitude of little darlings glued to the silver screen over the fast approaching summer holidays.

By the way, Bill Gates is stepping down to run his $80, 000,000,000,000 foundation. Ken asked me what sort of thing it does. "Third world poverty and disease", I said. "Don't suppose a new striker for West Ham is a runner?" he enquired. I like Ken, hugely, but I think sometimes he is more of Narnia than planet Earth.

I left planet earth and was briefly in orbit this morning when I went along to interview Lewis Hamilton. We ended up playing with fast electric cars, discussing Nelson Mandela and peripheral vision. That is what you do with Lewis. But I watched him spend special time with special people this morning and it brought a tear to my eyes. I'll say no more but you'll enjoy it, at one level, and may just be moved to another by this delightful and beautiful young man.

A delightful and beautiful old man celebrates his 90th birthday in London this weekend and we continue our coverage of Nelson Mandela's Hyde Park Party with an exclusive natter with the Sugarbabes and other goodies besides.

I am told that at the end of the programme there is a small item which sketches out some things you might wish to do on Saturday and Sunday. It used to be called What Not To Miss.

Salma, by dint of devious invention and brutal back-stabbing graft, has now had it elevated to "A Special". Oh yes," A Special". It is all about our series on helping you save - I'd suggest to The Big Boss he could "save" a lot of programme time by putting it, and her, in their place. But I won't because, in truth, it is good, and, hand upon heart, I love her. At my age, envy is an unattractive quality but not as bad as dribbling.

See you at 6

Alastair and That Nice Girl Salma


and Salma is doing What Not To Miss