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London Tonight Tonight Thursday 20th November 2008

Afternoon all,

Well there's no ignoring it - Christmas really is coming... 5 weeks today in fact, and we're being warned that almost half of us Londoners will take on more debt than we can afford this year. *SIGH*

Maybe it's time to recycle those unwanted presents from last year (as long as you don't give them back to the person who gave them to you) or start telling people you have thought about their Christmas presents... and after all, it is the thought that counts. Loads of sales are starting at the shops so that's a bit of silver lining... although you may want to hang fire like Ben who has just said; "I'm not doing my Christmas shopping yet, I'm going to wait until the retailers are really desperate!"

Feel free to follow any of our tips but it's probably best to take advice from the experts, like the good folk of Bethnal Green. In fact a team of financial advisors has spent time with residents there and, in just an hour with each of they've saved them over £700 each. That's Christmas sorted then!

The credit crunch - renamed the 'Christmas Crunch' for the next five weeks no doubt - has also impacted on the poor greyhounds from the now closed Walthamstow Stadium. Many still haven't found a new home, with one local kennels currently trying to re-home 90 racing dogs. They say people feel they can't afford to take on a pet. Marcus tells them they can!

If you're looking for a new pad, Boris has been on the case today with a pledge to create 50,000 affordable homes in London. But, if you are vertically-challenged with big feet this won't be for you as the Mayor also said; "we should stop building homes for hobbits." Really. I'm not making this up. There was a good point in all this however, as apparently the average size of a newly built home in this country is 76 square metres, whereas our friends in Oz can run around in 206 square metres. Enough to swing several cats in, perhaps even a greyhound! So I'm guessing these new-builds will be a decent size - Simon Harris will have the details for us.

Alexander O'Neal is popping into the studio tonight for a chat ahead of his appearance tomorrow at the Indigo2. Faye told me earlier (that's programme editor Faye rather than me talking to myself) that some expectant mothers listen to the American soul singer whilst in labour. I bet they listen to him at the beginning of the process too! Incidentally, Alexander himself has eight children. Not sure where I'm going with this so best to stop there I think...! Faye has also been doing some spectacular renditions of some of Mr O'Neal's songs for us all! Better than the real thing - Maybe...

On that note, I shall leave you but hopefully see you at 6!

Faye B and Ben