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London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 2nd December 2008

Good afternoon.

The Big Boss, who held our planning meeting in his office this afternoon, spent much of the meeting auditioning for a part in "Mama Mia", "Cabaret" or in the backing singer line-up for Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon".
He was commenting on the Olympic Gold medal winning boxer, James De Gale's decision to go professional. The song BB sang, though, was NOT "Thank you for the Music", nor "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" nor "Eclipse". What it was, will become clear when you hear the bell ring for the start of Nick's report. It also features the latest on boxer Billy Joe Saunders who Faye described in extraordinary terms which I cannot commit to print. That such utterances could emanate from this elfin delight in butter-milk silk surprises me until I reflect that she is wearing the same black boots as yesterday and a slightly threatening black cardigan: it is a day for the Dark Side, clearly, and I am now on a Star Wars rather than a Pink Floyd theme.

"Be careful with that axe, Eugene" is a less well known ditty by Pink Floyd but sums up what we have been forced to say to many of you since the publication of the inquiry into Haringey's Children's Services Department - ( few of you, I know, are named Eugene but you get my drift.)
That fury persists, fuelled by the confirmation that, in English law, Ms Shoesmith (et al) are fully entitled to draw their salaries until such time as it is decided ..... well, that they aren't.
What her understanding - and that of her co-workers - was on Baby P's entitlements under English law is less clear and, of course, he can't appeal, complain or employ expensive employment lawyers. He's dead. We think it will take all the skills and persistence of Ronke to get within axe-swinging distance of the rights and wrongs of this torturous tale, but she will and then she will share at 6.

"The Trial" is a fine, disc-two, side-two offering from the double album that is the Floyd masterpiece "The Wall". In the case of Jean Charles de Menezes it is not a 'trial' but an inquest; though, for all concerned, it has, in a very real sense, been a trial not least for Jean's family and the coppers under investigation. An intriguing twist today that Marcus will delicately explain. It will be quite brief but quite important.

"The Final Cut" was the final Floyd album featuring Roger Waters on bass - less well known than "Dark Side", "Wish you were here" and "The Wall", but a fine piece nevertheless. Whether or not the budget-trimming endured today by Sport UK proves to be the 'final cut' is a moot point - but I'd not hold my breath if I was in the "wiff-waff" team, the basketball squad or if I were an aspiring English "bob-sleigher"!
What's more, like carol singers, our brave heroes of Beijing will also have to go round the houses asking for more support. And we talk of coming fourth again? In what? The begging stakes? Or the four by four "lend us a fiver" relay? My mood sinks.

And then, whoosh, it soars again! X Factor's final four did a gig for charity last night in London and Lucy was there - the fab 5 in anyone's book. Hang on... Lucy says it wasn't for charity unless the four have declared themselves a new charity. Gloom again... But hurrah for Lucy's journalistic integrity - literally, not just a pretty face but I've always known that.

Then there's the weather - a Leonard Cohen moment overtakes me! We used to say, at University, that his was music to commit suicide to, whilst Floyd's was music to .... well, to do a range of entirely different things to, most of which were illegal but all of which were enjoyable. Misspent youth? Not a bit of it ; worth every penny!
As is the Evening Standard which will be the only paper with breaking-ish news - the other two went to bed earlier than my ten year old son. Front pages if we can and then off home to a mug of hot chocolate, soft wool socks and I'll be "Comfortably Numb", Floyd's best ever track.

See you at 6.

Alastair & Alex