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Tuesday 22nd July

Tuesday 22nd July

Good afternoon.

I've a theory on the arrest of Radovan Karadicz: I suspect that Serbian Public Transport was an early adopter of the Oyster technology  that those Dutch academics we told you about yesterday cracked. They then sold the codes to some "spooks" who used it to track him as he took a bus in the suburbs of Belgrade. I may be wrong but if I get a whiff of proof, we've a new lead.

Failing that, an equally unlikely and yet compelling yarn which has a closer relationship with reality though it may not seem like that at first.

The "scene", a suite at the swish Dorchester Hotel. The "players", a young lad from the welsh valleys, doing rather well in Hollywood, his mum and sister. The "plot" - something goes wrong and he ends up in a punch-up with mum and sis only to see them report him to a cop shop as he strutted his stuff before the world's press. You won't know the women but you'll know him. Lucy, who interviewed him recently, is curious to know why he didn't mention this colourful behavioural aberation and will share at 6.

Also from the world of "You Couldn't Make it Up" - I thankyou Richard Littlejohn - comes an amazing bit of timing. On the anniversary of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and just a few weeks after Tariq Ghaffur claimed he'd hit an ethnic glass-ceiling on his way up the Met's promotional ladder, comes a film release. It deals with a shoot-to-kill incident on the tube in London and the involvement of a senior ethnic cop who gets into hot water over it all. "Timing is everything" is a Biblical cliche - check if you don't believe me!(Exodus 2:11) - which the producers may have read in their youth and brought to some purpose now. Who knows, but Lewis Vaughan Jones who, to the best of my knowledge has not been staying at the Dorchester of late, reviews the film and asks the tough questions.

In part two, as we like to call it, we have a little light relief: Dick "Your money or your life"Turpin was a charismatic rouge who rode across Epping pinching purses. Epping had, til Dick's time, been of an area full of fine, up-standing and law-abiding citizens. Such was Dick's influence, however, the place has never been the same since. I joke! Honest. Please put that gun and those knuckle-dusters away.... Anyway, it is a beautiful area and the Forest, formerly represented by Steve "a cuddle or your life" Norris but now by a charming Tory lady called Eleanor Laing, is well worth a stroll across with your little ones even if you risk the familiar challenge of "An ice-cream or your life!". Liz takes no nonsense on her second delightful stroll as recommended by our two ladies of Islington.

Steve Norris used to sell BMWs - rather well, as it happens. That's how he could afford to take time off to become a Tory MP. Epping Forrest was a natural constituency for him. OK, there are Mondeos and Fiestas but let's be honest, it is the natural home of the Merc' and Beemer AMG Conversion, the Mitsubishi toe-crusher and the Range-Rover Sport. (Not so many Vogues, I am told but that may be nastiness creeping in again.) Anyway, they are all passé - "green" is the thing at this years motor-show, even a cute little number that will still make the boy-racers feel at home so long as they remember to change the tape every now and then.

I leave you with another temptation should some or all of the above not trapped you like a "stinger" - Michael Jackson has completed his caucasianisation and has been found sweeping the streets in Chiswick. Is this more Belgrade fantasy or Epping reality? You'll have to be there to know.

We will be and hope you make the right choice.

Alastair and Nina.



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