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Friday October 10th

Friday October 10th

Good afternoon.

Well, unlike John Terry and the stock market , we've made it safely to the end of the week.

If you're minded to raise a glass or more to celebrate that fact or embark upon a bucolic attempt to drown your sorrows if it's been a "downer" of a week, chose your battle-ground carefully. In the City, and my guess is that may prove a popular source of and venue for sorrow-drowners, the Police with the odd helmets have been issued with Yellow Cards: bad behaviour and, like the Masters of the Beautiful Game, wasted former Masters of the Universe will have the card shown to them. But it gets worse: unlike the Professional Foulers who have to behave for what remains of the 90 minutes, badly boozed up boys and girls will have to leave the area for 48 hours. Failure to comply or re-offending within that time and you get the Red Card - a painfully big fine. Will it work ? Will Slickers put the fine on Exe's? Lewis puts on black shorts and shirt and blows his whistle, just for you.

For some folk, life is much worse than for a broker who has merely lost a million or two: for example, the man, his wife's life wrecked by Alzheimer's, who felt desperately let down by social services and felt both of their lives were being ruined by disease and disinterest. He embarked upon a drastic course of action but, to his regret, lived to see the catastrophe of killing his wife but failing to take his own. He was arrested and prosecuted. Did the Courts act intelligently? What is an intelligent verdict? And, if guilty, what is the sensible sentence? Compassion or contempt? We've a powerful report on a powerful dilemma.

We also have a shocking take on this tale - an Australian who wants to be the Avon lady of self-destruction: "Ding-dong: Avon calling. Can I tell you how to kill yourself?"

It is not a light matter but there is something of the bizarre about it. Some will see it as a fundamental, moral dilemma - others, a matter of mechanistic convenience to end the chronic discomfort of a failing frame. Well, Dr Philip Nitschke himself joins us to put his side of the story and we'll ask for your views.

Bo Burnham would find all of the above funny, I am sure. He finds things that many consider untouchable, unutterable and unrepeatable the very meat and drink of his humour. He hates political correctness and to that I say "hurrah".

But this is no Eddie Izzard meets Frankenstein, not a Billy Connelly colliding with Caligula - he is a sweet, home-town teen from the US of A. He made his name on the ultimately liberal internet but is about to put a seriously naughty toe in the possibly less forgiving waters of the London Comedy Festival. I think he'll be a wow but I think lots of the audience will say "Wow" in a sort of shocked way more than "wow!" in a sort of "bowled over with mirth" sort of way. You listen and decide. He is very funny and very interesting.

As is James King. The Big Boss, who is In Charge today, wants to like "City of Ember" but isn't sure. He sees James as his very own cinema version of the DVLA - an issuer of licenses to enjoy. We'll see what James says. I don't want it to be known that I had already heard of "The Bunny House", nor that I knew what it was about, even less that I fully intend to go and see it whatever James says. Bet that's got you keen to watch and listen to The Master that is James King, at 6!

The weather with Robin, ( the Bo Burnham of the isobars), and the front pages of London's papers, which must have run out of money-puns and city-twists by now, are "not to miss" items as is a stroll through the diary of events that help make London what it is and keeps Salma out of trouble for a few precious moments, mid-afternoon.

We've also got a bin-man calling it a day after 41 years of service; but my bet is he won't turn up or he'll say we've put some words in the wrong lead-ins or tried to cram too much into some of the packages. Then he'll spill the e-mails. Nick has been to see him and help celebrate his retirement. A classic case of "Bin there, done it!" surely?

See you at 6



Alastair and Salma.