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Monday 15th September

Monday 15th September
Good afternoon.
The likelihood is that many of you hadn't heard of Lehman Brothers before things got decidedly nasty in global financial circles and, even then, it may have remained a bit of a mystery. But if you are trying to get a mortgage, raise a loan, are expecting a private pension on retirement, work for a restaurant, clothier, cab company, wine merchant or any one of the thousands of companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange, chances are you are about to feel the ill wind of Lehman' bankruptcy. For nearly five thousand people, many of them possibly among you, the impact is ultimately brutal: they have been sacked, lost their jobs, are out on their ears - and may not even get this weeks wedge. Big company? $600, 000,000,000 in assets, employing well over 20,000 people, world wide, of whom nearly 5000 worked here in London at their European HQ. Yes, very big.
What does it feel like to go from being a Master of the Universe, invincible Ferrari owning, Fat Duck eating, Ralph Lauren wearing, Chateau Petrus sipping financial super-star to being handed your P45 by an accountant you've never even met? Wives, husbands, mums, dads and children - all caught up in the maelstrom. We will have their story tonight as we report on what happens when capitalism's highest earning "wage-slaves" get dumped.
Oliver Kingonzila was on his way to becoming famous as a footballer ; Barnet FC were keen and he'd already captained the English Colleges side. Instead, he'll go down in history as the 26th young man to be stabbed in London in 2008. We hear from his distraught family.
Meredith Kercher could have been on the way to becoming an academic super-star or anything, infact: she was a very bright Surrey girl on an exchange study trip in Italy when something ghastly went wrong. She ended up dead and several other young people are in the frame for her bizarre death. One of them is Amanda Knox - dubbed in the popular press as "Foxy Knoxy" though I doubt anyone else calls her that. Her parents have been talking to ITV for tonight's Tonight. We'll hear a little of what is on their minds at this difficult time for Meredith's family and, whatever their daughter did or did not do, this difficult time for them.
In part two we will raise your spirits, I think: you probably need it after that little lot!
First we have the first of our films featuring the finalists in our Teacher of The Year competition. Not many leather elbow pads, chalk-dust nor mortar-boards these days but compassion, inspiration and affection by the bucket full. It is a tough call to chose, as you'll see, but a pleasing and elevating experience we hope you'll agree. Pay attention at the back and put those apples away - no bribery permitted.
Next a showbiz double bill to make Jonathon Ross and Graham Norton green with envy: Josh Harnett tells us why he wanted to take on the Tom Cruise role in the movie Rain Man in its brilliant transfer, as a play, to the London stage. His status as "something of a hottie" appears to have provoked many of the team to come in on "days-off".
Also causing a bit of barging and queue jumping for the better seats is Mr. Will Young who drops by, too. He has a new single and a new album out but I agree with those who say he is also a nice chap and well worth a few minutes of your attention, any day, refreshed discography or not.
The London Papers which, in the near future may be being handed out or sold by a few former investment bankers; plus, the weather which won't risk touching upon clouds having silver linings nor storm clouds gathering - enough, already!
Katie and I hope you can join us and, if you work for Lehman's or know someone who does, we are genuinely sorry.
Alastair & Katie