Welcome to London Tonight Tonight.

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


London Tonight Tonight Friday 12th December 2008

Good afternoon.
I won't pretend it isn't an unusual Friday - we've less light hearted frippery for you as a good deal of weighty stuff is playing upon our minds, as it will upon yours.
The idea of a group of men and women, "honest and true", passing judgment on either a fellow citizen or a set of events, is at the heart of our democracy.
I don't know what the jury system in Brazil is like but ours very nearly served the shattered family of a Brazilian citizen well today. I say "very nearly" because the family believed the Police had "unlawfully" killed one of their number. But the Coroner said that was the one verdict the jury couldn't deliver because he didn't believe the Police had committed a "serious crime". Recovering from a sharp intake of breath, the jurors went on about their business and returned an "open" verdict and a series of observations, that will have caused an intake of breath at the Met. The young man was Jean Charles De Menezes and we have the full detail from a dramatic moment where British justice attempted to do well by an innocent young man making a new life in this country, only to fall victim to a cruel death. Marcus is the man with the sad tale of the shooting at Stockwell Tube Station and wrestles with the dilemma of a family seeking solace in justice, incapable of forgiveness, but pondering a new start without their beloved Jean.
To add to your understanding of this tale we have also asked some pretty fundamental questions about the Met's Shoot To Kill policy. The entire Police explanation was based upon the assumption that Jean was in fact Hussein Osman, a suspected bomber on the run at a time only two weeks after the 7/7 killings on London's transport system. But should they have ever been faced with such a ghastly "life or death" dilemma? And if they weren't, how much more dangerous might London be? Tough call but Glen is more than up to it.

The Beatles wrote "It was twenty years ago today..." as the opening line to the opening track of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band. They also wrote "I read the news today" as the opening line of another memorable track on that classic of pop. Well, twenty years ago today I read the news of the Clapham train crash - a wood crunching, life-taking, body-breaking debacle that remained a blot on the reputation of the railway for years. In my view, and that of many, it remains there because some of the key recommendations still haven't been implemented. When the great Andrew Gilligan explains to you one of the reasons for that tardiness you may take to the roads or even a rickshaw in future. It will make your blood both run cold and then boil up in anger.

Anger is not a good emotion and whoever killed a convicted paedophile in his caravan home clearly did it in a state of extreme anger, given the horrid injuries inflicted upon the man. We hear ominous mutterings about "vigilantism" and "mob rule". Sangeeta treads with objective caution through Wandsworth.

Then, "Vivat Regina" as the boys of Westminster College are urged to exclaim at the Coronation of a new Queen. ("Vivat Rex, presumably, if and when Charles or Wills get the job but, given the rude health of the incumbent, I'd go shootin' and fishin' a little longer if I were them). "Vivat Mirren" we say as we welcome one of our finest living actresses to talk about her new movie which is targeted at the kids' market but which will do well, on merit, in any market. Dame H is in talks with the Lady Lucy - I won't take my eyes of either of them, unless the Oz nudges me in affectionate jealousy. I dream.

James King is here ("Vivat Jacobus" - that is right, honest) - to pass judgment on a remake and a re-release - They are called something like "The Day Christmas Stood Still" and "White Earth" I think but I am told them are both brilliant so I'd tune in if I were you to discover what they are really called and how good they really are.
The Oz will mull over What Not To Miss this weekend and it won't only feature strong lager, rugby and Kylie.
Robin is taking bets on very cold but very pretty precipitation this winter solstice.
And Faye, back in charge to let Ken prepare for another nail-biting weekend of what it means to support West Ham, is in tight black trousers, a truly stunning grey wrap top and beige pointy boots. But she is going to a dinner party tonight as The Fattest Lady In The World. I think she will fail but look hilariously beautiful or beautifully hilarious in the effort. That is why I love her.

The Oz and I await your presence before you bounce off for a wonderful weekend. Let us provide you with your passports to paradise, but only after we've shared the serious stuff with you.

Alastair and Alex.