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London Tonight Tonight Thursday 18th September 2008

London Tonight Tonight Thursday 18th September 2008

Evening all,

I had to get a cab back home last night from the office party (it was fine as office parties go, probably more fun for those without a giant bump to heft around..) and it did cross my mind, as I was sitting in the back, to wonder if this thing catches fire how quickly will I be able to leap out. Well, according to one of the cabbies we've been interviewing today, you'd have to be pretty sharp about it. He reckoned it took just 45 seconds for his ENTIRE cab to be engulfed in flames. A dozen London taxis have now gone up like fireworks. Yesterday we told you how the manufacturers are recalling the entire batch of 500 for safety checks. After yet another spontaneously combusted last night, they have now pulled them all off the road with immediate effect.

Rather worryingly it seems no-one has been able to work out what's wrong with them. We''ll be asking, if that's the case - how can they be sure that it's not going to happen again and what if next time the cab is full of passengers.... and children.... and bags.... 45 seconds is really not a long time to make an escape, is it?


The other thing last night's cabbie was telling me was that business was as busy as ever. He was taking that as a sign that the banking crisis wasn't as bad as everyone was making out. Although I liked getting a free economics analysis with my ride, I fear he could be wrong. It's certainly looking bleak for HBOS employees. Tonight they are hearing that post the merger with Lloyds TSB the majority of job cuts are likely to be here in the South East and some are estimating that 40, 000 jobs are at risk. That's not all, even banking giants Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are looking wobbly. Their share prices have been plunging and it's rumoured they are looking for partners, which could be bad news for some of their 10,000 plus workers. Not to mention the ripple effect for all the London companies who do business with the city banks - restaurants, shops, and yes black cabs. We'll bring you the latest from the square mile.

You might well need something to laugh about after that - so we've also been talking to Pamela Anderson. Not that I am saying the ex-Baywatch babe with interesting taste in men, is a figure of fun - far from it. In fact, Lucy reports that she is actually very funny with hilarious tales to tell. Find out what she does with her old bikinis, and why Hugh Heffner needs a good slap.

And our editor's favourite story of the day - four year old Ellie May who had her first day at school this week. A bit daunting for any little one but Ellie May breezed it - pretty amazing considering she has neither arms nor legs after a horrible battle with meningitis. She's a brilliant girl and she'll be telling us herself just how it all went.

Don't miss a minute of it. See you at six,

Romilly and Ben