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Tuesday 15th July

Tuesday 15th July

Good afternoon.

We've a theme of heroism tonight to raise the spirits, prompt reflection and celebrate the best.

First up, a young man who tried to be a hero only to be leveled by a shop-lifter. Not, I fear, the end of the story - it gets considerably worse. Yet heroism must have been in the genes because his mum is a remarkable person too, who will deserve and, I daresay, win your respect. Jon has been talking to her about her son.

Boris is a lexicographical legend and he was musing on 'words' and their meanings at the Home Affairs Select Committee today . Boris always strikes me as a man who consumes Roget's Thesaurus for breakfast. Today he was chewing on the entries listed under "hero" and was exploring phrases like "Fallen Soldier". His focus was not the trenches of early C20th Flanders but the streets of our great capitol. No gags from Bozza today but impressive reflection and serious food for thought. Glen will guide you through this canon of mayoral linguistics.

Lewis Gordon Pugh used to be a maritime lawyer but decided that didn't involve enough "heroism" or adventure. In my view, if you legally represented the people who had underwritten even part of the risk on the Amoco Cadiz or owned the Piper Alpha oil-rig, that would have been more than enough adventure for anyone but there you go. Lewis decided he'd chill-out in different waters. Very cold and very different waters. You've seen him swim in the Arctic, ladies and gentlemen: now, before your very eyes.... no, you'll have to tune in and watch Phil's report on this man's next heroic exploit. But do wrap up warm.

Given the Wright brothers, who had certainly wrapped up warm, had already done it in the USA, it must have been a real hero who took the first powered aircraft into the skies above England. He did it from an airfield that went on to become the home of the Air Accident Investigation Branch - talk about shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. Damian goes to Farnborough and braves the plane-spotters for a fascinating retrospective of one of the most famous airfields in the land.

Finally, for your entertainment, edification,  and ecstatic enlightenment, Miss Lucy Cotter will, for one night only, brave the challenges and perhaps critical chastisement of the East End masses as she performs in Vaudeville just for you. I hope for cheers but you'll be the judges as she raises the curtains on Mr Wilton celebrated emporium of thespian excess.

Oh, we've also got a man from the Natural History Museum who can't identify a beetle. What do we pay them for? How heroic is that? There had to be one glitch in my theme. But Liz comes to the rescue as she braves the creepy crawly to offer her suggestions. It is not a dung beetle, Liz, so you can dispense with the rubber gloves.

We'll try and squeeze it all in from 6 to 6.30.

See you then, mes braves !

Alastair and Katie