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This is the official website of London Tonight, on ITV1 in London and the South East every weeknight at 6pm.


Friday Dec 5th

Good afternoon.

I love Fridays - the bran-tub of a show we do at week's end always yields guaranteed goodies for every excited hand thrust into the depths of the saw-dust and tonight's surprises are especially good.

A young picture editor just called me over and asked me to identify The Shadows! A joyous clip of black and white picture, showing Hank Marvin, Jet Harris, Tony Meehan and Bruce Welch, was played to me and I was able to confirm it was, indeed, them. Strumming and drumming and doing that loverly little two-step side-step that became one of their trademarks, the Shadows were there in the back-ground as a young, lip-curler called Cliff Richard was giving it plenty at the front. Tonight he tells Lucy how he plans to conquer Christmas for the fiftieth year running.

I adore the Dutch Masters - Van Dyke, Van Gogh, Van Driver and Van Diesel... it's Friday, I'm allowed a silly joke, or two ! OK, a play on words too far.
Anyway, second only to Van Gogh's "Starry Night" , Vermeer's "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" is my favourite example of the genre. (Van Vermeer parked his "van" and someone pinched it !) ( *enough "van" jokes, Ed)

A rather beautiful film was made of the story of this masterpiece a little while ago, starring one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen and her resemblance to Vermeer's house-maid in a cream scarf is scary. That woman is Scarlett Johanson and the fact that she is talking to Lucy rather than joining me in the studio is currently in the hands of my solicitors and the most expensive barristers money can buy. Subject only to an Order in Council, I fear you will enjoy her in conversation with the Lovely Lucy rather than me.

I, however, will be content to talk movies with James King who I see is now quoted by the Distributors of Quantum of Solace because he said it was possible the best Bond ever. I stand by Goldfinger but will focus on "Madagascar 2" and " Transporter 3" when he joins us in the studio to help you plan your weekend revels.

If you are in town you may be well advised to stick to avoid a certain type of pedicab. Suffice to say it involves industrial strength batteries, slightly more relaxed pedallers than is right, and a C21st rickshaw crashing through a Soho window. I am intrigued and think you will be, too.

There's lots of football, on and off the field - a ghastly story of a clash between some Crystal Palace fans and some Charlton Athletic supporters, the former being the Red Card collectors, the latter the innocent and nastily hurt victims. The Beak will do a little more than send them off, methinks, but all will be revealed by the non-judgmental Gooner, Marcus,at 6.

Meantime, on the field of dreams, Arsenal still wonder, in their bilingual anglo-french way, "what's gone wrong?" They meet Wigan, more famous in my house for rugby league so Arsene may be even more confused,. Chelsea, in their pan-European, anglo-franco-russo-german way, will contemplate putting the Red Scousers back in their place at Bolton's expense. Fulham hope to stop floundering, mid-table, and join the aristocrats of the top table at ManCity's cost. Excited? Well, I tried.

Finally, and arguable the most exciting part of the show - we revisit Trafalgar Square, still boasting a Norwegian spruce of startling proportions after last nights loveliness, but now shorn of Scandinavian dignitaries and the glitteratti of London's local Government. The choirs, too, have been put back in their chapels and the bands have marched back to barracks. That leaves the stage clear for our star - one of the lions has found his voice! Somewhere between C.S.Lewis' 'Aslam' and Kipling's 'Mufasa', this beast will guide tourists and others to the better bits of London. It is almost philosophical in its reach and conception... that, or a big stone lion keeping the visitors happy. Either way, it does it for me and I hope for you. Watch and listen and be the judges but remember, even stone lions might bite.

Also back from the Square, Robin, with some cold but hopefully dry weather.

Some papers in search of a lead and Boy George being , as Mary Magdalene said of Brian in "Life of Brian ", a "very naughty Boy". It isn't very nice but it is news and it may mean that Boy George isn't "free" to even sweep the streets let alone saunter alone them for a while. Nick will "come and go" with the tale of this emotional chameleon who, just a few days ago, was talking to us about having turned a corner. I am sad but he was naughty and the law must take it's course.

Oh well, I'll cheer myself up with thoughts of Scarlet, Vermeer and a big growling lion.

Salma joins me in seeking your company for an eclectic half hour!