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London Tonight Tonight Friday 7th November 2008

London Tonight Tonight Friday 7th November 2008
Good afternoon.

This is the end of quite a week - yesterday, as I hope was not evident on the programme, my heart was in Ohio, my feet in Pennsylvania and my liver in Kentucky. But my mind was with London. I was just a bit bush-whacked by having spent Tuesday night-Wednesday morning presenting ITV's coverage of the US Election.

"Bush-whacked"- how unintentionally funny is that? No, I agree: not terribly. But the film about George W. Bush, called just "W" to save printers ink, is; and tonight James gives his verdict. He also mulls over "Easy Virtue", something GW was never accused of, though his predecessor Bill Clinton had an active interest in the theme.

Obama succeeded George W in part because young people wanted him to and, in part, because of 'yoof' culture and the internet. Boy George, the sexually eclectic leader of 80s pop sensations Culture Club has cut a disc to celebrate OB's win - "Yes We Can". I am sure the 44th President of the United States of America will welcome Boy George's contribution to the celebrations. I might ask him. He is dropping by later and we'll share his thought with you at 6.

Obama wants troops out of Iraq, asap; but, worryingly, more troops into Afghanistan, equally asap. Odd that the world glazes over this contradiction as it celebrates uncritically this New Start, New Dawn and New President. The First World War was supposed to have been the War to End All Wars - except 39-45, Korea, Vietnam, countless civil wars across Africa and the war-like scourge of terrorism on a global scale. Next Tuesday is the 90th anniversary of the end of the one that was supposed to end them all. I thought Americans didn't do irony! We will mark this event by visiting the lovely folk in Richmond who make the Poppies so many of us wear with pride, tinged with just a little exasperation. Phil remembers with them.

There was much debate yesterday about the relative merits of Leonardo (did you see him talking to Lucy last night ???) Di Caprio and Colin Farrell. I was heavily in the Farrell camp until the gang realised I was talking about Colin Firth. They forgave me and tonight Mr Farrell is on the show and you can make you own minds up. Lucy flutters those lovely long eye-lashes in his direction and he responds by wearing a hat. Tasteless and unthinking thespian that he is. Leo was much nicer. And I quote Ms Cotter...

On our news agenda, a little old lady who died because she caught a foot in a railway pedestrian crossing. Network Rail now have to check all such crossings across the country, by edict of a Coroner. You can hear the old souls wake, rudely interrupted by the noise of barn doors slamming shut to the echo of horses that, long ago, cantered away... Sharon hears sadness and resignation from the family.
And another stab victim "fights for his life". Insofar as Yanks don't do irony, I try not to do cynicism but "this must stop" and "put an end to it" are as empty, echoing chambers in this crazy, mixed up town of ours. Marcus hangs his head.

Faye led an extraordinary debate about "Pushing Presents", I confessed to spending extravagantly on my wife for three of our children's births, but, like Scrooge for our daughter, whose fault it was not to be born in the depths of Geoffrey Howe's recession. Faye is wearing a pink and grey striped top - a reject from the "pink" navy, peut-etre? She also has what I think are called fashionably "distressed jeans" on - I think they are just torn but at least they let those blood vessels do their thing.
Hope so because I fear Robin will tell us it is to be a chilly one and we'll need all the natural central heating we can pump round our little bods.

Papers might just make it and your e-mails on remembrance will, I suspect, lift all our spirits which may, just, have been numbed by some of the news.
What Not To Miss should include Camilla Batmangheligh and Gwyneth Paltrow's Jumble in the Jungle but it won't. Be rebels! Ignore Faye's choices and join me in Brick Lane to support Kids Company!!!

I may be sacked for that so see my version of Custer's Last Stand at 6.
I think the Indians are over that hill so I'll sign off in expectation and with my revolver loaded.
No surrender.

Alastair and Faye.