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Thursday 27th November

Good afternoon.

Can a moment of lonely tragedy change the way we lead our lives and the way we look at others? Can a dancing, smiling child - his life, brutally ended with a shard of glass - have an impact, long after his promising life was abruptly and painfully ended?

Well, if Southwark Cathedral, this afternoon, was anything to go by, the answer is "maybe". In a few days time, Damilola Taylor would have been 18 but, of course, he won't be. Precisely 8 years ago today, his life ended. This afternoon Gordon Brown, who was Chancellor when Damilola died, and David Cameron, who was a young, rising star in the Conservative Party then, sat, side by side, and joined others in celebrating Damilola's life and demanding it stood for change. Putting aside my rose-tinted spectacles for a moment, London's death toll among young people is still a dreadful indictment: 28 this year, already: more, last year. But, who knows, things might change. After the service, there'll be an announcement that might help make that change come to pass. Join us at 6 to share in the magic moments of that memorial service and to hear what might yet make a difference.

What will certainly make a difference is Bozza's decision to act on what the majority of you said you wanted him to act upon in respect of the Western Front of the battle that is the Congestion Zone. But will the change only be positive to your cash-flow and might it be negative when it comes to the quality of the air you breathe and the ease with which you journey westwards? Liz has paid her eight quid and gone investigating.

Bet Jacques Rogge didn't pay the Congestion Charge as he toured London, checking on progress towards the opening of the 2012 Games. He was clear in his edict - no copying, no conferring! It made our Games sound like an international edition of University Challenge. We will, as Frank Sinatra would have it, do it our way and, brilliant though Beijing was, I suspect ours will be slightly more relaxed with beaming bobbies replacing frightening People's Enforcers on every street corner. I may have just rediscovered those rose-tinted specs' but I live in hope. Anyway, what he saw and what he thinks with Nick, a bit of a triple jumper of journalism in truth - and given "going underground" is yet to be declared an Olympic sport, that's probably for the best.

We squirt more money in a good direction tonight, courtesy of the Lottery Fund and ITV's People Millions. We all love this bit of the show and hope you do, too. We were a bit worried when the wind got up this afternoon: the vision of Glen being blown away as he discovered the aerodynamic qualities of our Great Big Cheque brought real concern in some quarters and a very childish smile to my face. See if he manages to land in time to bring joy to the deserving throng - remember, you chose them.

And we squirt water all over the studio as George Sampson comes in to tell us about his latest venture: a charity song for Christmas, proceeds to help our lovely heroes at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Squirt water all over the studio? It was George who did a passing impersonation of Gene Kelly, "Singing in the Rain" on Britain's Got Talent and even spun on his head!

Robin will spin on his head if we ask him nicely as he attempts to explain away the bleak mid-winter coming a little early.
The papers will drip with images of Mumbai which the Evening News will be going big on, too.

Your e-mails about the Congestion Zone may be a feast of celebration or a cauldron of cautionary tales of environmental catastrophe. Who knows? You do, because you'll be writing them we hope.

So, faith in George's ability to entertain, Hope at Southwark Cathedral and Charity with the People's Millions - I am getting into the real spirit of Christmas already so I may forgive Robin for the weather.

Alex and I hope you'll share your time with us at 6.

Alastair & Alex