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Friday January 30th

Good Afternoon everyone....

Anyone who doesn't have children of their own may well grow tired of people saying "well, if you haven't got children of your own - you wouldn't understand blah blah blah". I know I used to. It's undeniable that the parent-child bond is a very special one - 'unique' even - but the rather dismissive way the phrase is bandied about... well, I always found (and find it) rather grating. You certainly don't have to be a parent to find our main story tonight one of the saddest you'll ever hear.

A young father was on his way to hospital last night with his young daughter. Imagine their excitement as they were going to see Mummy who's just given birth to a boy. A daughter for Daddy. A little brother for the girl. They were waiting at a bus stop in Croydon when the father got into an argument with a stranger - who then killed him. He stabbed him - ending one life and scarring three more beyond comprehension. We'll bring you the full story.

Now, when you think of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution you probably think of the crews bravely heading out into the waves crashing into Britain's all encompassing coastline. Think again. The RNLI also does extraordinary work slap bang in the middle of the capital. Their workplace - the Thames. And they say their caseload has been rising at a worrying rate of late. In fact, the number of callouts went up by 30% last year. Why? Well, our reporter, Nick Wallis has been working hard to find out. As you'll see, he's really 'thrown himself into' the story...

Next up: cue stirring music... as we prepare to pay tribute to one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain. Not the fearless pilots who kept our country safe and free from the Luftwaffe. But one of the planes they were flying. And I bet you your first drink of the weekend you're now thinking 'Spitfire'. In fact, if you're a Man of Kent - or, indeed, a Kentish Man - your first drink of the weekend may be a pint of Spitfire - brewed by Shepherd's Neame: the oldest brewer in the country, don't you know. Anyway, the planes that did the lion's share of fighting in the Battle of Britain were, in fact, the Hurricanes. There aren't many of them left, which isn't that surprising considering the number of bullets fired in their direction. However, one of them has been brought home from Canada, had £1.75 million spent on it and now it's flying out of Essex again - as you'll see this evening.

And then we come to our studio guest. He certainly has a formidable reputation. As a stage actor. As a film actor. As a director. As a writer. So we'll have plenty to talk to him about - not least, the stage version of the multi-Oscar winning movie 'On the Waterfront' that's just opened at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. Ladies and Gentleman, Steven Berkoff will be in the house.

As will James King - to talk about two of the week's movie releases.

And Robin McCallum - to talk about the snow heading our way.

So much to fit in.

Tune in at SIX to find out how we do it.

Ben & Alex




We start tonight with sad news from the set of the new Harry Potter movie - a stuntman's been badly hurt filming the latest installment. We're checking on his progress after he suffered terrible back injuries and Nick Wallis is talking to a stuntman about the dangers of the job - and asking how it can go so horribly wrong.

Next, do you remember that scene in Austin Powers where he's trying to turn a car around in a corridor? Well, that's what sprung to mind when I heard about these useless robbers in Flackwell Heath. They tried to steal a cashpoint using a JCB (seems to be all the rage!) but they ended up dropping it on a post office and ramming into cars and shops on the high street. Apparently they were driving it back and forth trying to get away but had to abandon their flawless plan - making off with nothing but red faces I imagine and heading back to the drawing board. Add their attempts to the two crims in New Zealand who tried to run away handcuffed - but ended up running into a lamppost and knocking eachother out! V chuckleworthy. That's on the evening news tonight so well worth a look too. Not a good day for wannabe thieves and runaway robbers. Rachel Millichip's been out to check on the JCB damage for us.

Another day, another load of job cuts. This time it's the London Underground giving staff their P45s - they've somehow worked out they can chuck 1,000 office staff - god knows what they all do but it looks like they won't be doing it for much longer thanks to the credit crunchiness. The bosses say it won't affect the way the tube works - but surely if they needed all these people in the first place they must have been doing something to help the tubes run...?! We'll hopefully be more the wiser tonight.

More bad news from our transport workers in the capital - cabbie's say it's kipper time - or something like that anyway. I've never heard the saying but I'm told black cab drivers call January Kipper Season as business is so flat.. Just how flat is a kipper? was my question - Ken informs me it would fit under the bosses office door...Ben says you could add a pizza to that too - then he started giggling about some girl with teeth that stuck out so much she could suck the filling out of an apple pie. Sounded a bit saucy to me..not sure where he was going with it but anyway... Back to the cabs - they're struggling for business not with their dental situations.. So - basically we can't all afford to swan around in cabs all the time - credit crunchy or no credit crunchy - so has this Jan been particularly kippery..? Sangeeta Kandola has got the knowledge.

Phil Bayles is being sent into the belly of a whale - don't worry - it's not some Jonah style punishment for our man - it's a dead whale. The London Aquarium's getting what sounds like an amazing fishy face lift. They've put a whale's skeleton inside the new glass walkway - Phil's getting a first look so you will too.

You could also help sort out your local park - Ben's excited about this and has already been online trying to vote for his to get a load of cash cos he wants to clean up dog poo - not personally - he wants someone else to do it so his son stops walking into it and ruining what I imagine are his pristine carpets. Ken pointed out the dog owners should be doing this themselves and mentioned something about seeing a whale sized poo - or was it a horse - on his travels.. If you want less poo tune in for that too.

We meet some more Oscar nominees tonight - it's not Brad and Angelina unfortunately - it's Adam and Alan ..no, I hadn't heard of them either but they could be about to make it very big indeed - although I doubt they'll be adopting a Benneton advert style brood in the process.. They're a couple of animators who are up against the likes of magic movie makers Pixar for a short cartoony type gong. It may be a long shot but just look at what Slumdog Millionaire's done this year so there may be much more British success on the awards horizon. Lucy introduces us to them tonight.

Oh - and there was a shriek of delight (quite manly, not girlie at all) from Ben when Ken told us we're getting snow next week - he's obviously been talking to Chrissie who will confirm or deny later. Faye doesn't care - she's off to sun herself on holiday and has bought the cutest little jumpsuit for her unborn little one - it has ears and paws and everything! Not that he/she is here yet - but when that happens the little poppet will be warm and snuggly in the bear outfit.

See you at 6.

Alex & Ben.
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London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 28th January 2009


We start Tonight tonight with a look at the new Met Commissioner - he's a familiar figure having already been doing the top job since Sir Ian Blair left. He was also his deputy before it all went so wrong between Sir Ian and Boris.

Sir Paul Stephenson's got an awful lot on his plate now he's landed the gig - and he's pledged to do it his way and not fall into the traps his predecessor did. That means getting on with the Mayor - and getting on with cutting crime, getting London ready for the Games, and guiding the force through a recession. Simon Harris has met the man and will tell us whether politics really is out of the equation now. We'll also be asking for your questions for the Met's new top dog - he's going to come in and speak to us in the near future so we'll be able to ask him whatever you want to ask him then.

Speaking of the recession - and more job losses...Union leaders have described as 'disappointing' the government's plans to underwrite loans for the car industry. Lord Mandleson's £2.3 billion isn't a bailout as such but it is a helping hand - Piers Hopkirk's been speaking to workers at Ford's Dagenham plant to get their reactions.

Next up we're checking out plans to create trauma centres at 4 hospitals in London. Seems like a good idea - surely we need more specialist centres - but none of them are planned for North London. That means not one of them will be close enough to Heathrow if - God forbid - it were needed. Glen Goodman examines the arguments for and against.

Remember the baby who was born 2 days after her mother, the ice-skating champ Jayne Soliman, died? Well, Mary Nightingale's been speaking to the little one's Dad about the decision which must have been a terribly hard one to make, as the tiny girl begins life without her Mum.

Then we're looking at a breakthrough cancer drug - which was discovered by a vet 10 years ago. Patients say it's worked - with one guy who'd been given a year to live completely recovering. It could even be available over the counter if it gets approval. Al's response to the vet's discovery was something about throwing a stick and seeing if his patients bring it back...cue random giggles from me...

We have to excuse Al - he's not quite recovered from the Pussycat Dolls and their fitness display with Lewis Vaughan Jones last night - not sure the White Lies will have the same effect on him - but they may take Lucy Cotter's fancy... She's been to meet the band who are tipped to be huge this year. Check them out for yourself at 6.

See you then

Alex & Alastair.


London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 27th January 2009

Good afternoon.

By way of guiding you through the economic downturn back to the sunny uplands of commercial contentment and solvency, we have brought you our Top Tips - I, myself, have changed credit cards and reviewed Standing orders - and we unveiled "Recession Road". Not quite Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" - no "selling postcards of the hanging" nor "painting the passports brown" -but just round the corner, second left and third on the right - it is not unlike it.

We were thrilled, therefore, when one of you, our band of loyal viewers, penned a ditty to that title, putting words and melody to our concept. OK, it isn't Ray Charles, but he is OUR Ray and we are thrilled to share his soaring efforts at 6.

Some little time ago, in better times, we carried a report on a very collectable range of honey from one of London's finest grocery stores. A clip on YouTube attempted to suggest that video of KD and my good-self, sampling the product of the bees' best efforts, had more to do with narcotics than nectar which, I must say, we took a bit amiss though not too seriously. I returned to the grocer to buy my wife her Christmas truffles and queued, with my eleven year old son, for an age - such was the demand for the fine confections. Oscar put several chocolate Santas, a fistful of chocky dollars, and a white cocoa pig in my basket before I had even selected the dusted plain truffles I wanted for Herself. It was a good day for him, a good day for the shop, and my bank manager forgave me. It was that time of year.
You can imagine, then, my sadness and shock to learn that Fortnum & Mason's are shedding jobs. I do hope my chocolate vendor and our honey supplier aren't among them. But for anyone to lose their job is ghastly, incapable of being "sweetened" by any amount of honey or chocolate. As Fagin says in "Oliver!", we are 'reviewing the situation' and will give you our take on London's prospects as seen from the trading floors of F&M - if the toffs have stopped shopping for toffees, we really are in the sweet and sour of a recession.

You may opt for alcohol to numb the pain. Pub? Off licence? However you do it, if you do it, remember - YOU MUST BE OVER 18. And however old you look, remember, you might still be called upon to provide ID. Whatever your age? Well, I know a lot of 15 year olds (they go to school with my 15 year old son) who look 18 and more; and I know a few 23 and 26 year olds (friends of my older children) who look like choir boys and girls, not yet old enough to vote nor buy the Devil's water. But a 65 year old woman? Never! Yes, actually, and on our patch. D.O.B to the fore, Marcus examines the assertion that whilst "age shall not weary them", irritating shopkeepers might.

I can't remember when Cubs become Scouts nor when Brownies become Guides but I think, nowadays, they've all been lumped together like a sheep-shank knot that's gone horribly wrong. I was a Scout and my arm was weighed down with badges. Faye, (lose black trousers yet still quite clingy top) was thrown out of the Brownies but claims, incredibly, not to recall the reason. Bet she was a Pixie. She still is. Anyway, a couple of modern-day heirs to Baden-Powell and the Brownsea Island experiment shattered all illusions when they gave evidence to the House of Commons on knife crime today. Good for them and good for you to give ear. Glen, in shorts and a toggle, is your guide. Scout, that is, but you get my point.

You may also want to give ear to Lewis Vaughan Jones' guests. Many of you will certainly want to feast your eyes upon them, too. Others will dismiss them as talentless upstarts from the other side of The Pond but that may be because they are beautiful, successful singers, one of whom is dating the best racing driver in the world. Think "Felix", think "Barbie", forget "Garfield", forget "Cabbage Patch" - got it? You really won't want to miss them.... honest.

Some guys are planning to play cricket on Everest, for charity. Silly-mid-on and silly-mid-off are fielding positions in cricket. Say no more. Harsh. It is for charity so it is A GOOD THING. Details, hiding in the long grass, will be sent your way with a deft edge stroke from Piers Hopkirk. (Suffolk and England: av: 52. Best 7 for 32 against Worcs)

Finally, the Police are looking for things they may have "missed" 30 years ago in a tragic killing of a beautiful young mum. I am not optimistic but I admire their determination, after all these years, to make sure they have done their best ... to do their duty.... etc. It is a famous "Cold Case" and Phil is with them as they leave no stone unturned.

Weather, papers, your thoughts on knives and scouts... an eclectic mix to raise your spirits, tickle your fancy and make you think.

You'll need a chocolate after that lot. Not KD, however: she's at the dentist but promised to be back - or, at least, I think that is what she was mumbling through the anaesthetic - she may be ordering mouthwash and aspirin!

See you at 6, when we'll both find out.

Alastair & Katie


London Tonight Tonight Monday 26th January 2009


I am aware of the growing fan-base the Oz has built since up since she started with us on London Tonight; but, despite the pressure I have been put under, I cannot divulge her home address. However, if you look for a column of acrid smoke above London tonight you might be able to track her down. It is Australia Day and she is hosting a "Barbie". Not a gathering for oddly jointed blonde play things but a fest of "stubbies" (small, or 'stubbie' cans of beer Faye tells me) and burgers. On her bizarre menu, they come with a fried egg and a slice of beetroot. That's what I thought, too. I cannot think why we haven't cast them aside and excluded them from not only the Commonwealth but the entire community of nations. Where is our pride?
Which is a question Harris poses tonight, too. In Glasgow, you can hardly read an advert for Bells Scotch or Haggis for a thick layer of "Commonwealth 2014 Games" host-city stickers. From the moment you arrive on the outskirts,(or is that out kilts?), they grow thicker. And what hits you as you motor towards London? "You are now entering the Low Emission Zone" and, a little closer, a big red "C" for the Congestion Zone.
Not a whisper.
There are more adverts littering the capital for the dubious services of Miss Fifi L'Amour than for this international feast of global sporting talents. Are we embarrassed? Are we keeping our powder dry? Harris asks, and we will ask you to answer. Normal details at the bottom of your screens from 6 o'clock onwards.

Talking of questions, Sir Paul Stephenson and Sir Hugh Orde have been asked by Bozza and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, among other things, how they want to run the Met. Why, may also have featured in this examination. I ponder "why" given the fact that we now have some indication of why Sir Ian Blair and Bozza parted company. An acrimonious exchange of letters, a caustic crossing of correspondence - gosh, somewhere between "To whom it may concern" and the passionate pennings of a poison pen smith - it is pretty unpleasant stuff. Ronke has been holding steamed envelopes up to a strong light and reveals all.

No need to steam the steamy correspondence of Ron and Reg Kray - it is under the hammer, as were the heads of several of their enemies. And fingers. And knees. Ouch. Phil keeps his distance from the bidders in cheap sunglasses and sharp suits to let you know what's on offer.

What price success in the West End in these tough economic times? Well the price of Abba, meeting the subject of The Day The Music Died, in Barack Obama's and Al Capone's power base, it seems. Nick will explain and it will make sense. Oliver is also very good - not followed by "Reed" but followed by "!". Saw it the other night and loved it.
What made it was not Rowan Atkinson, brilliant though he is, and biased though I am. No, it was the children - such energy, enthusiasm, talent and engagement with the audience. Well, we are on the lookout for "same" - extra-talented young people (10-16) in a London Tonight talent search. Details at 6. And if we come across someone who can make a fried-egg-beetroot-burger look and taste appetising, Marco Pierre White better look to his laurels.

Lucy discovered that Franz Ferdinand had a natter with Tom Cruise after both had been on Jonathan Ross last week. She went to see them to find out what they talked about and discovered they also have a third album out, after a relative silence of some four years. I am told this is good news by the Big Boss. I am not stupid and now leap with joy at this news though I will confess to having muddled them, initially, with The Kaiser Chiefs.

Faye, looking like a black hose pipe with something stuck in the middle, still manages to look stunning.... until my gaze arrives at her feet. Clad in black Uggs, they prompt two thoughts in me; she accepts a bet too easily, and the manufacturers have a good eye for an accurate brand name.

The Oz, deep in marinading at the moment, and I, look forward to making sense of the above at 6.

Be there or we'll send you to Glasgow via the Oz's BBQ.

Alastair & Alex


London Tonight Tonight Friday 23rd January 2009


First tonight - "a bearskin with a sore head loses his cool with joker tourist" - (I stole that headline from the Standard so can't claim to have come up with it myself... But anyway... Made me giggle) The Queen's Guardsman was not giggling when a tourist started mocking his distinctive march. Now, this must happen everyday, but clearly the guard in question had had enough, delivering a swift clip round the ear to stop the cheeky copycat. Al's on the guard's side and says they just don't get enough respect. I think many of you will agree, but the guard isn't allowed to leave his post unless the Royals are in danger, so he's still in trouble. It's all been caught on camera so you can see for yourself tonight - with Nick Wallis - who I'm sure won't break rank on this one.

Then we've got the hacker who you'll remember found out he had Asperger's Syndrome after being interviewed on our programme. Well, he's won his first legal fight against extradition to the States where he could be jailed for up to 70 years. Ronke Phillips has been in court and will fill us in on all the latest developments.

We're also going back in time - 100 years - to commemorate the "Tottenham Outrage". The families of the victims of this shootout are marking the day, and Marcus Powell's been with them. He'll fill the less informed amongst us (that's me) in on just what happened that fateful day.

Then we've got the footy (which I'm supposedly more informed about) with Millwall hoping to recreate their 2004 move into the FA Cup final. They're in 4th round action against Hull tomorrow (who've just signed Jimmy Bullard from Fulham no less).

Harry's Spurs also face Sir Alex's Man U. With both managers saying they'll field a bunch of reserves on the pitch. Sir Alex is even threatening to exploit an FA rule to stop the tie going to a replay. We'll preview all the action which I'm sure Al will be fascinated by (ok, maybe slightly disinterested in...)

Filmwise, James is here to talk about Tom Cruise's new flick Valkyrie and Frost/Nixon - now Al will definitely be interested in these two movies. No talking animals here - unless you're being rude about one of the actors - which I'm not. Even though Al says he's about 10 years behind on the latest movies, I've been encouraging him to go to see Slumdog Millionaire (not about a dog I assure you). I think I've got more of a chance of persuading him to see Frost/Nixon but not sure about Valkyrie. Tom Cruise isn't doing it for me nowadays, but I love Eddie Izzard and Bill Nighy who are both in it too, so James may be able to talk us into it. He may also say it's rubbish... Soon see.

Last but not least, Lucy's been out to Greece to meet the next Leona Lewis. Now, I'm surprised she didn't 'accidentally' miss her plane back - weather must be better there than here. But, she's a professional and obviously wanted us to hear all about Ionna Protopappa - she's the one we told you about last night who was on holiday and decided to audition for the Greek version of X Factor and has now made it to the semi final.

See just how good she is at 6.

Alex and Alastair.


Thursday 22nd January

Good afternoon.

I enjoy table games. Scrabble is one which tests lexicography and geometry. Trivial Pursuit is another - when we play at Christmas, distant relatives have been known to pay good money to have my frighteningly bright eldest son on their team. But my favourite is Monopoly - chance, greed and negotiating skills come to the fore but luck can give even the youngest success. We are firm in our view that if you miss someone landing on your property, that's tough. No second chances in the Rackmanesque Stewart household. So when a group of squatters moved into a couple of prime sites on Park Lane, we'd have been round there in a flash, demanding the rent. But, under an extraordinary quirk of British housing law, the squatters are within their rights to be there. Possession being nine tenths of the law is a cliché of merit in this scenario, too. The Duke of Westminster, who owns the freehold to both the "Blue" addresses in Monopoly (though one is an 'area' to be precise) is as nothing in his incandescence, I'd imagine, to the neighbours who like everything neat and tidy. They even tend to keep their fleets of costly cars in dust-covers in the underground car parks of that prime bit of London real estate. Marcus , to the strains of a popular Australian soap and a fine track by the Rolling Stones, explores if "all property is theft" or if squatting is a simple implementation of the Leninist edict "to each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities".

There's a square on the Monopoly board, too, called "Free Parking" - we put all the fines there and, first to land, scoops up the lot. When a band of travellers alighted upon a bit of "Free Parking" near Basildon some years ago, the burghers of that fine New Town, whose political fortunes used to determine the outcome of general elections, gave them a bit of leeway. But, as the encampment spread, they were not best pleased. It all came to a head in the courts and 60 families are now "travelling" again despite being "travellers" who had wanted to end their journeying in the fair fields of that bit if Essex. It isn't as confusing as it seems but it is a fiery as you are thinking. Harris latches a beautifully painted wagon to his flat-truck and investigates.

There was little of the "Community Chest" spirit abroad in Harrow when Molly, an 81 year old pensioner, was mugged for the content of her hand-bag. A sign of the times she had fallen upon are evidenced by the contents - a plastic bag , and that was about it. Her mugging cost her her life but the reaction of some Harrow residents has cost them their reputations. Even Margaret Thatcher said we should follow the Good Book and "not walk by on the other side" but there were scant few good Samaritans in Harrow that day. Ben, Bible in hand, asks why and sees thousands of leaflets being distributed in an effort to jog perhaps guilty memories.

The "Chance Card" came up trumps for a young girl on holiday in Greece but I am not going to say anymore than that, save to insist you stay with us to the very end of the show when Lucy will, from Greece, explain how fortune smiles on the brave.... and the talented.

I also have a European version of Monopoly in which we and the Danes are at the cheap end of the property market - brown for them, light blue for us - whilst the German occupy the dark blue of Park Lane and Mayfair. Humph! Anyway, the Pound's convincing impersonation the sky-diver's choice of currency is slowly moving us up the board as the rest of the world's first choice of holiday destination. How we are gritting our teeth, welcoming the French and taking Europe to the cleaners - all safe in the hands of the entirely unxenophobic Glen.

Finally, the owners of some dogs should get the "Go Directly To Jail. Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect £200" card for the attacks they are not stopping their canines from carrying out on swans. The Duke of Norfolk and the Queen are thought to be furious.

As is Robin who was due to attend a family lunch' but has graciously agreed to come and present his forecast following a slight slip-up in the roster department. We are thrilled and grateful until he actually starts talking rain, wind and coldness.

The Oz is watching me on Countdown and thinks I look nice. I am honoured and not a little thrilled. I used to watch her on Setanta Sport: didn't understand the content but became a huge fan. Maybe we could do a deal over Bond Street and Leicester Square? But I never let my Railway Stations go....

See you at 6. Bring your dice, racing car and boot.

Alastair and Alex


London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 21st January 2009


The one place you should feel safe as a woman in London is in the back of a black cab, right? I know whenever I go out I always get reminded to make sure I black cab it home - but hearing about the allegations from 14 women in the capital, it's definitely put me on a warning.

A cabbie's going on trial today accused of drugging his passengers and sexually assaulting them - the women say he claimed to have won the lottery and then gave them champagne laced with drugs to celebrate. He denies it. Tamsin Roberts reports on what's happened so far...

Also tonight we're talking London 2012 - and unfortunately I don't think you'll be shocked to hear it's all about funding for our Games. The big bods have been meeting today and we're told they need more cash. We'll be filling you in on all the details - which have yet to trickle down to us. But, it does seem they need more money and it does seem the pot they've put aside is scarily close to being empty already - just 3 and a half years left... Oh dear. Boris will be on hand to tell us how he's feeling about the Games and just how he's going to keep looking after our interests - and our cash. Quite a conundrum!

Next, Lucy Long's story's already in danger of bringing me to tears - the little poppet has been battling leukemia since she was 2 - but her two sisters have been determined not to let her go it alone. Lucy's now 8 and after chemo, recovery and a relapse her big sis - who's just 12 - stepped in to donate the bone marrow that now sees her back at school. Because of the chemo, Lucy probably won't be able to have kids of her own - so her other big sis - who's 11 - says she'll donate eggs later in life so she can.

I know you'll agree they really are just the most inspiring family - I'm feeling this one especially tonight as I've just been to visit my family for my Granddad's funeral - I got to see my two little cousins who are 8 and 10 and the product of donated eggs after we found my Aunty couldn't have children either. Their gorgeous faces got us through yesterday and they wouldn't be around if it weren't for family all getting together and making sacrifices for each other.

Also tonight - Tom Cruise's new movie - but no Tom Cruise... Apparently we may well catch sight of him talking to the crowd in Leicester Square tonight but he won't be talking to our Lucy. Don't worry...she hasn't offended him and Katie hasn't banned him from talking to gorgeous female reporters - he's just scared she might water pistol him! Well, not quite true, but after the time the squirt - sorry Tom - got squirted he doesn't do red carpet interviews anymore. He didn't even talk to Lucy in a safe (ish) hotel room about Valkyrie... But never fear - Eddie Izzard and Bill Nighy did! Al's more than happy with this outcome - as am I - so we'll see what they have to say about the flick, and we'll play "Where's Wally" with Tom later.

We've also got more tips to beat the credit crunchiness and a lovely walk round Myddleton Gardens in the sunshine to help you feel like Spring is in the air.

See you at 6.

Alex and Al.


London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 20th January 2009

Good evening.

At the brilliant RAF Museum at Hendon there used to be a Vickers Valiant "V" bomber, painted brilliant white. I took my dad there once because, many years ago, he commanded the Valiants of 207 Squadron. They were painted in that striking fashion to deflect the flash that would have come from the nuclear bombs they used to carry should they have ever had to deploy them. It is a chilling thought. He used to celebrate the fact that they were never used and that the Cold War was won at room temperature and not at a level that would have incinerated humanity.
Tragically, to make sure they worked in providing that mutually assured destruction upon which the stand-off of the Cold War was based, the bombs had to be tested. It happened in the '50s on and off Bikini Island in the South Pacific. Well, more than half a century on, some of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who were there for those fateful tests are suing the Crown. Many of the survivors developed cancer, many have since died. Liz hears their remarkable stories.

Barack Obama wasn't born then but grew up through the Cold War that followed, and entered Congress with the collapse of the Soviet Union already history. Today he inherits the Cold War's nasty hot successors: wars against terror and the Taliban in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today is his day as he becomes the 44th President of the US. What he does over the next 4 and, perhaps, 8 years will impact upon us all. But here in London we welcome tens of thousands Americans - students, bankers, performers and the rest of them. So we expect an international interest in the Big Party in Washington this afternoon. We'll give you ITV's first taste of it all at 6.

Incidentally, Obama has pledged to spend time and money in colossal quantities to get the world's economy partying again. That matters to us, and how. Meantime, we have our own tips on how you can get through the recession. I have confidence Obama's plan will make a difference but meantime London Tonight would like to do it's bit to help you.
In return we, and the Police, need your help to find a schoolboy who has gone missing from Reading. He left for school, never made it and has not been heard of since. Ronke has the details you need to do your bit.

Faye, all in black, is planning, I think, to go to some rock event. She looks rock chick-esque bar the splendid bump. Perhaps it is the BRITS - nominations revealed this evening. If it is, her excitement will be clipped because she will have already heard the nominations on this programme which she, herself, is producing! Nick gets a peak inside the magic envelopes and shares.

Glen goes through a similar exercise for The South Bank Show awards - less rock and roll, more "how we shall miss Sir John Mortimer" - but valid, nevertheless. Lord Bragg's hair always makes it worth it for me, anyway.

Finally, the National Trust want £4 m to protect a two-up, two-down semi- in Wandsworth. An African poet, Moorish friezes and a unique art form are the only hints I have been given so I, like you I hope, will hang upon Lewis' every word.

Lucy makes her debut on the show tonight about which I am thrilled. This is the woman who takes Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Robert De Niro in her stride. Can you imagine the honour and excitement I feel. Think Obama and his swearing in and you are getting close.

See you at 6.

Alastair and Lucy


Friday 16th January

Good afternoon.

The Oz has just shown me a clip of a movie which is somewhere between a Buzby Berkeley spectacular and Crufts. To say it draws upon Aztec history and one of the most celebrated scenes in "Pretty Woman" may help. She thinks it is hilarious and tears were rolling down her lovely cheeks. The Big Boss is not a fan but feels you should, nevertheless, see it as part of your weekend planning and that, to a degree, is what we are here for on Fridays. All will be revealed at 6.

"9 1/2 weeks" was a steamy movie some years ago starring a steamy actor called Mickey Rourke and a blonde bombshell called Kim Bassinger. She bought a town, named it after herself and drifted into obscurity. He hit the bottle, did a fair bit of drifting himself but is now back with two pin-falls, two submissions and a knock-out called "The Wrestler". BB thinks you will want to see that one. The Oz is still spending time with the other option. You decide.

Spending time at Her Majesty's convenience for , potentially, a little over a year and a half is the street-sweeping, make-up wearing pop icon that is Boy George. He's a great DJ and launched a clothes line - not something to dry garments upon but a range of tasteful shirts etc. Alas, his taste in photography, friends and general bad-behaviour have landed him in clink. That which can be told will be told by Lewis - too young to remember Culture Club and too wise to delve any deeper than he needs to.

We will accept no limits on our delving into why some scuz would have mugged a little old lady, leaving her to die. The scuz's haul included her hand-bag which contained a plastic bag and little else. That is the only part of the tale that pleases me - the rest is an evil, hollow tragedy. Ronke is on the trail of the unforgivable low-life responsible.

The process of deciding whether Amanda Knox is an unforgivable, murdering low-life or an innocent abroad has begun in Italy. She and her former boyfriend are accused of the murder of Surrey student Meredith Kercher and we will be joined by NBC's reporter in Perugia with the latest.

The latest Meryl Streep can be for her appointment this evening with Lucy Cotter is 5.45pm. If she makes it you'll hear all about "Doubt", her latest offering and how it feels to be involved with the biggest selling DVD of all time, "Mama Mia". If she doesn't, it'll be tight satin stuff for the Oz and a beard, topped off with a vacant grin, for me as we do our celebrated rendition of "The winner takes it all". "Doubt" we will leave for another time. Here's hoping and praying Meryl makes it. I wouldn't mind seeing the Oz in that satin outfit but I am sensitive to your ear-drums and sense of taste.

I am going to see "Oliver!" on Monday and the reasons I am giving up a precious evening will be made clear as the Oz takes you across the outback that is "What Not To Miss". She will also explain how not to miss the boat and how to express your anger, without words, should you do so. It's a sort of Jacques Cousteau meets Marcel Marceau moment, I think.

Robin is here and is planning to do his forecast in the manner of a game of charades - "It's a TV programme: 3 words. Third word, two syllables; first, sounds like a precious metal; second, an expression of confusion".

The papers will have pictures of the Hero of The Hudson who demonstrated that, should Heathrow's third runway ultimately be blocked, the stretch of the Thames between Putney and the Harrods depository would do just as well... with a bit of skilled banking and one tight left turn.

I think that's it and, if it's not, it probably should be.

I have paid the Congestion Charge Penalty my wife earned last week so my spirits are in need of lifting. Let's hope, after all, that Meryl is delayed. Here I go again. My my!

Oh, almost forgot. Gordon Brown went to the 2012 site to mark the mid-point between Jacques Rogge's "Lun-dorn" announcement in Singapore and Boris' "Rigght, here we go:wiff-waff, first. Beginners please!" moment in 2012. I think it deeply significant that Gordon lost at ping-pong and Bozza didn't show. I am keen to know if Harris agrees as I think you might be, too.

There. Now that is it.

See you at 6.

Alastair and Alex


London Tonight Tonight Thursday 15th January 2009

Good Afternoon one and all.

So, we now know. The Government thinks Heathrow should get its third runway, that Britain's economy would suffer without it, and that this argument should take precedence above all others.

Not everyone agrees, of course, but at least all those in the 'nay' lobby now know what they're facing. Not that voting lobbies will come into it - as the Prime Minister said yesterday it's up to the planning authorities.

So even if local Labour MPs oppose the idea, they'll never get to show their true colours in a House of Commons division. The Conservative Party, meanwhile, say they'll kick the expansion plans into the long grass if they get into power.... which could give loyal Labour supporters in Sipson something to chew on come the next General Election.

Let's face it, there's lots for all of us to chew on when it comes to Heathrow. The environmental argument clearly has some weight... but when the country's economy is slipping down a very steep hill, the business argument can't be ignored either.

We'll set out as many of the arguments as we can in the programme this evening, before asking you where you stand as the 'yay' and 'nay' sides prepare for war.

Speaking of wars, the Cold War warmed through years ago and Russia is hosting this year's Eurovision Song Contest. So why has the idea of a former KGB agent taking ownership of something as 'London' as the Evening Standard got people so het up? Not that it'll make a difference. Alexander Lebedev says he wants it. He has, after all, got billions to spend on anything he likes. Lucky Alex.

Next: a little girl called Poppy shouldn't really have come into the world when she did. All things being equal, she'd have stayed in the safety of her mother's womb for another 16 weeks. But, not all things are equal and she arrived very prematurely. Born in Norwich she was recently moved to Great Ormond Street, the hospital internationally renowned for its treatment of sick children. This time, however, something went horribly wrong with her medication, doctors say her chances of surviving are now 'poor'. Spare a thought for Poppy's family. Spare a thought too, for whoever is ultimately responsible.

On a much happier note. Lots of notes actually... 'Oliver' has finally opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the reviews are as wonderful as the songs. Rowan Atkinson wows as 'Fagin' so I'm told. Jodie Prenger (she of 'I'd Do Anything' fame) is 'brilliant' as Nancy. (I'm particularly pleased about this because not only have I got tickets to see the show, the Scotchbrook family voted for Jodie more than once.) Anyway, don't take my word for it. Take Lucy's. She saw it last night and she'll tell all tonight.

So, once again, a full and varied news agenda in, and around, the capital...

We round it all up for you at SIX.

Ben & Alex.


London Tonight Tonight 14th January 2009

Good afternoon.

I am haunted by the juxtaposition of our piece last night on the 1911 census and our lead story tonight. Daisy's great-grandfather was, you might recall, a "paper-hanger". She mused that he was some sort of painter-decorator, a less vibrant thing as the combination of the recession and Lawrence Lewellyn-Bowen have driven us to doing our own thing. And David Beckham's ancestor was a "scavenger". Tonight's shocking news is that many more of us may be forced to do our own thing in the paper-hanging area, and even more may be reduced to following in the footsteps of DB's late relative.
London, with it's previous reliance for jobs on banking and retailing, has been hit by the recession like the Ruhr Valley was after the Lancasters of 617 Squadron, "The Dam Busters", had paid their "Barnes Wallis Bouncing Bomb" visit. We are awash with the unemployed and the economic equivalent of those bombers is now heading for the other dams of our frail business and commercial world. Phil plays Guy Gibson and swoops over the wreckage. Never have so few owed such apologies to so many. Ministers and bankers take note.

Perhaps, if the emergency services had placed orders for digital radios that worked underground a little sooner, some, at least in the electronics industry, might have been looking at a brighter future. Perhaps it is not too late. Nick (call signal Nick Nick) tunes into the emergency frequency to eavesdrop for explanations as to why it has taken the twenty years since the Kings Cross fire for our brave saviours to be given the means of talking to one another whilst down in the troubled depths.

Southend are heading for the troubled depths of the First Division or floundering in the realms of mid-table mediocrity as Faye, (lovely tight, grey top and seriously tight blue jeans) put it, whilst Chelsea are still being buffeted at the top of the Championship between Liverpool and Man U. Tonight this evidently unequal match contests a place in the next round of the FA Cup. One Southend fan was going to give us his thoughts at his desk but his boss said no, so he is now meeting Marcus in the pub. And I am supposed to believe that explanation? Raise your glasses to that and then listen to the wonderful Andy Townsend, pitch side and live, on the hopes the Shrimpers have of giving the blues to The other Blues.

One side will "feel good" but tonight we invite you all to "feel good". ITV and Ian Wright (Arsenal) have teamed up to get you to do good stuff that will make you feel better for free. "Walking on Hampstead Heath" suggested Faye. Interesting thought, that, for one renowned for her caution and morality. Apparently someone's also built a moat in Dagenham. Perhaps it is to keep the forces of failing capitalism away from what remains of the ailing Essex manufacturing base, but who am I to say. Liz, on the other hand, knows what she is talking about so give ear.

Lucy snogged Will Smith on air a while back and went for a re-match this afternoon. A very romantic boat trip was planned but you won't want to miss out on seeing why choppy water and a need for pepto bismol, played gooseberry to her amorous imaginings.

The sea-state may not feature in Chrissie's forecast but the fog will. Listen carefully because you might not be able to see her.
The papers will moan about small businesses and Peter Mandelson, and we will say goodnight. And farewell. To a once vibrant economy, the dashed romantic hopes of an Entertainment Correspondent, and the hopes of non-Championship football! Or not.

Enough. The Oz is back from getting coffee so I must pretend again to work.

See you at six.

Alastair and Alex


London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 13th January 2009

Good afternoon.

David Beckham, whether for Manchester United, LA Galaxy or AC Milan, is more of a goal-maker than goal-taker. He passes, sweeps, builds and constructs the circumstances for others to take the goal. Rooney and Ronaldo, for example, are "takers". They loiter, waiting for the likes of David to give them service and then strike. They are goal-mouth scavengers. Odd, then, that David isn't, because we now know that one of his East End ancestors was a scavenger. The man gave this as his "trade" in the 1911 census. We chose Daisy as our elegant guinea pig to rifle through the original documents which went online today to discover what her long-since passed relatives did. The results are intriguing and quite emotional, especally when Daisy shares them with her mum. At six, she shares them with you.

Baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem because of a census, some 2009 years and three weeks ago. Baby J will never appear on a census because he was killed by his mum. "Social workers, again," I hear some of you muse. No. Health visitors this time. A shocking twist to the scourge of child neglect and the views of Esther Ranzten of That's Life and Childline fame at 6.

Plus, and I am now under some pressure from Faye (no time even for a wardrobe note) the ghost bus that goes from A to B but without passengers; the Government giving South West Trains a red light over their plans to shut some booking offices; how under-cover market gardening may come to the rescue of the people of Sipson and give BAA a bloody nose over a bigger Heathrow; and hitting you with the rhythm stick that is Ian Dury's bio-musical.
I'd have liked longer but SHE'S off!

But, hey, the Oz is back so all is not bad. In fact it's fair dinkum.

See you at 6

Alastair and Alex.


London Tonight Tonight Monday 12th January 2009

Good afternoon.

Unlike Tom Hanks in "Cast Away", I have not lost my basketball but, like Tom, I have been away a while. I have not grown a beard nor, I hope, have I begun to act strangely but you and others will be the judges of that. It is good to be back and to wish you all a belated yet still heartfelt Happy New Year.
Unless you live close to Heathrow in which case I wish you happy "five days of keeping your fingers tightly crossed". This week sees, according to Harris, the decision on the expansion, or otherwise, of Heathrow Airport. Harris has both a private pilots' license and brilliant political contacts, so I and the Big Boss are content to answer his "Come Fly With Me" invitation on this lead with a loud "Roger, Rog' ".
Harris has flown to Frankfurt, not in anger, but in the interests of seeing how they're expanding their airport. They've built a high-speed train and still manage to produce fine hot-dog sausages among many other things. So we kitted Glen out in a flying suit and goggles, called "Chocks Away", explained we weren't talking sweeties, and now await - with some trepidation - his report on the future of LHR from LHR.

Not Happy New Year but Happy Birthday to the DLR station at Woolwich Arsenal! Why Boris was late for the ribbon-cutting tells you all you need to know about the rest of the overground railway system in this fine metropolis.
The fate of 14 year old Zoe Smith tells you all you need to know about what is wrong with the funding formula for our 2012 Olympic hopefuls. If she was a cyclist, a runner or even possibly, a wiff-waff player, she might have been smiling all the way to precious metal. But she is a weight-lifter and so even her training gym down in Kent is threatened with closure and, with it, her best hopes of doing her best by the rest of us. Lewis tries to figure out the logic of it, as well as why the bar doesn't bend in the middle and crush the lifter when you strap 50kg at either end. Dust those hands, Lewis, and tighten that big belt.

The difference between an arithmetic and a geometric progression explains why it is getting easier to move up the property ladder for first time homeowners. Kirstie will explain it in terms that those of you who are not mathematicians will understand. Or that is what Faye, increasingly beautiful with the onset of motherhood, assured the rest of the team having told me to shut up. (White blouse and black trousers , by the way, and not a "Bloomin' Marvellous" label in sight. Yet.)

"Chandni Chowk to China" is Warner Brothers' new baby - Bollywood out of Chinatown, to borrow terminology from the horse-racing industry. Lucy takes to one of the pavement-mounting, window-entering rickshaws to tell all. Now, I am lost, too. Back to my Hanks-like retreat? No, there's more to be done. Katie has just returned, stating that Regent Street and she do not see eye to eye. She is my idea and ideal of a Bond Street girl so maybe she just took the wrong turning at the Burlington Arcade.
Onward and upward... Oh, no: that's it.

Weather, papers and one final thing - a bit of a promise from a mega star of the movie industry who you met recently and who allowed loose talk to book him a return ticket to our studio for a bit of big time celebration and gloating. It'll make sense at the end of tonight's show and even more in a month or so.

Herself and I will not get in the way of your understanding nor enjoyment at 6. Unless she feels it is time to treat me as a basketball and let me drift off into the Pacific Ocean. Here's hoping not.

Alastair and Katie


Friday 9th Jan 2009

Good Afternoon to you...

Alex is sitting next to me - telling me how funny a new film, 'Bride Wars' looks. Dear, oh dear. Even the title says 'stay at home and watch a documentary'. It's one of the movies we'll be reviewing for your weekend's cinema outing on the programme. Not for me, I think. However, our other film - 'Slumdog Millionaire' is a different story. I never get to see movies before anyone else but I did get to see this last weekend before interviewing the director, Danny Boyle, on Monday. The film, let me tell you, is terrific. And the director, let me tell, is one top chap. What a lovely bloke he was. Hope that came across in our interview.

Actually, it's been a great week for movie guests. On Tuesday, we had a chat with Michael Sheen - aka David Frost - about 'Frost / Nixon' - another top film and another top chap. Actually, I think he may have been a little taken aback by the ferocity of my praise for the film. He was terribly nice about it though.

And, as if we weren't lucky enough to have met those two, we had a screen legend, Sarah Miles, pitching up on Wednesday. And she liked my tie. Wonderful taste, that woman.

Seriously, we get some great big starry old stars on 'London Tonight' and it's a privilege to meet them, it really is. Most of them, that is. No, I'm not going to mention names. But one or two should take a reality check...

Now, tonight's reality check on life in and around the capital begins with a story that is hard to believe. A man with Downs Syndrome is admitted to hospital after a stroke. But no one feeds him. The doctors think the nurses are feeding him through a tube. The nurses haven't been told to. The sad ending to this appalling lack of care - a month after Martin Ryan's admission to the hospital - was Martin Ryan dying of starvation. Because of a breakdown in communication, a man lost his life. And Mencap, the charity that valiantly fights the corner for people with learning difficulties, says that while the consequences aren't always so dreadful, this lack of care for people like Martin is not uncommon.

Then, there's the Surrey teenager, Dan Brennan, who jumped on a quadbike on a Greek holiday, not realising it was way more powerful than he expected, and crashed almost immediately. While he's no longer in a coma, while he's got over many of his injuries, Dan hasn't made a full recovery and now his family has been told they can't sue the quadbike company for compensation, because they've got no money to sue for.

Two stories that make you realise just how lucky you are to have your health.

There are some slightly jollier stories too...

We hear from the Chelmsford snooker player who wants to fly aeroplanes for a living (what you might call a 'top-flight sportsman')... We hear from a Bee Gee about raising LOTS of money for charity in Battersea this evening (less a case of 'How deep is your love?'... more a case of 'How Deep are your Pockets?')... and we hear about two of the stupidest burglars ever to walk God's Earth (front of the queue when it came to greed - back of the queue for brains).

And as it's Friday, we'll run you through what not to miss in our part of the world this weekend.

And that list starts with London Tonight... tonight... at SIX.

Ben & Alex.


London Tonight Tonight Thursday 8th January 2009


As if it wasn't hard enough coming back to work after such a lovely Christmas break - it seems our transport network's been working against us - making the journey a complete nightmare for loads of you. First it was the West Coast Mainline, then Euston had that problem, now it's the M25. If you were stuck in a jam on it this morning you know what I'm on about - we'll be checking if traffic's flowing tonight after a lorry smash closed close to 17 miles of the road.

If it's not the roads and the railways, the recession's also taking the shine off this brand spanking New Year. With more and more stores and businesses going bust and closing their doors, thousands of jobs are hanging in the balance. The Prime Minister's trying to reassure us - as is Mayor Boris - that they're doing all they can to help keep the country afloat. We're planning to grill Bozza on just how he's going to do that - and asking him how it feels after getting nabbed by his own system, the congestion charge! Glen Goodman's also out on Recession Road. it's in Kilburn - and that's where we'll be gauging the effect of the "credit crunchiness" on all our lives.

You will have seen over the past few nights our investigation into the rise in illegal dog fighting in the capital - you're response to this has been completely overwhelming - so, tonight Mark Jordan's telling some of your stories of these animals - both horrific and sad.

We're also taking a look at our secret rivers. Faye informs us there's a river called The Fleet running practically right underneath our feet here!! I fancy popping out for an investigation - but luckily Liz Wickham's been out and about so I won't be getting my feet wet... These sweet little rivers are going to be exposed so we can all enjoy them, find out why.

Maybe not quite so sweet is Mickey Rourke - well I've not met him so perhaps Lucy Cotter's the one to ask about that - but I've seen clips of his new movie and his character is definitely not sweet! He plays a wrestler and his performance is being hailed as a stunning comeback. The actor's been in the Hollywood Wilderness (which is different to the Hollywood Hills!) for years but now there's even an Oscar buzz around this movie - even though the man himself says that kind of thing doesn't interest him anymore... Find out what else he's got to say...

We look forward to your company at 6.

Alex & Ben.


London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 7th January 2009

Hello, Good Afternoon and Welcome to... London Tonight... tonight.

I don't know if you saw yesterday's programme where we interviewed the actor Michael Sheen about his role as David Frost in the new film 'Frost/Nixon'. Well, in the movie (I'm telling you now - it's a belter) Frost says that he never used to say 'Hello, Good Evening and Welcome...'. Apparently, he maintains it was attributed to him by impressionists of the day (much like Michael Caine apparently never said 'And not a lot of people know that' and, indeed, the Childcatcher never said 'I smell children'.) Anyway, Frostie, or Sir Frostie, as he now calls himself does now say 'Hello, Good Evening and Welcome...' I suppose if it worked for Mike Yarwood...

Now, this evening's programme will see another star of stage and screen in the studio. Oscar nominated, BAFTA winning, Sarah Miles will be in the house talking about her return to the West End stage. In her time, she has worked with some of THE biggest names in the business. Should be interesting then.

I'll let you decided whether you think that more or less interesting than our report on Daniel Craig's latest movie. It's set in the Second World War about a group of Jews hiding from the Nazis. It's already getting great reviews - and it's a true story. We know that because we'll hear from one of those who was there. He survived, now lives in London, and will tell us his extraordinary story.

The programme begins with a problem that is as dangerous as it is topical. The cold snap (make that, the very cold snap) has seen a lot of our ponds, lakes, and canals freezing over and some people have been venturing out on to the ice. To see what it's like. Taking their pets sometimes. Even their children. Well, there are those who've been pointing out - 'that way trouble lies'. And possibly even worse. We'll look at that this evening.

We'll also look at the problems on the trains going in and out of Euston. Or rather the trains that should be going in and out of Euston. It's not been a great week for the Euston-using commuters' return to work. We'll hear from one or two of them.

We'll also hear from the parents of Finlay Woods who died when a car mounted the curb and crushed him in his pushchair. He was just 15 months old. The driver was drunk and apparently on the way to hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Not much to be said about that really, the facts tell the story.

If you've been watching the programme this week, you'll have seen the first two parts of Mark Jordan's extraordinary series on dog-fighting in the capital. Tonight we hear about what happens to the dogs handed over to animal rescue centres. Trained for fighting, they have to be 'reconditioned' - but even then, finding these animals a home can be terribly difficult.

Gosh - a bit of a sombre note to end this on - but there's smooth as well as rough in tonight's programme.

It begins at SIX.

Ben & Alex


London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 6th January 2009

Afternoon, and Happy New Year and a chilly welcome back to work if it's your first day back, as it is mine...

First on the agenda tonight is our second look at dogs being bred for fighting. It's a terribly sad story, especially for us dog lovers. I can't imagine why anyone would want to see dogs trying to tear each other limb from limb, but they do, and they make a small fortune out of breeding these poor puppies and training them to be brutal fighting machines. What's more, the number of these types of operations being uncovered by the Met is rising all the time.

As well as seeing some truly shocking footage of these poor pups we'll be joined in the studio by a furry friend who'll show us all there is life after such an horrific experience.

Next, Sharon Shoesmith - the ex-head of children's services at Haringey Council - who was running things when Baby P died, is back. She was sacked, but is now appealing against her dismissal and claiming damages. We've been finding out what people in Haringey think about this... And of course will want to know your opinion too..

Also tonight - Phil Bayles is going to fill us in on the end of a boozy era in Mortlake - and Lewis Vaughan Jones is out and about with Mayor Boris who's trying to make our train stations safer.

I'm sure they'll have both wrapped up warm - as we all have today in these teeth-chatteringly freezing temperatures!! It won't have escaped your attention - but hopefully we'll make you feel a bit cosier tonight - not just with our company but with some tips on how to survive the chilly conditions all the way from the Antarctic!

We'll also be warming up the studio (hopefully!) to welcome one of the stars of The Queen and the now the star of Frost/Nixon - Michael Sheen. Ben's seen this movie (lucky thing) and says it's fantastic - you may have caught it on stage in the West End too. We'll be talking to Michael about his starring role in it, and the Oscar buzz around the movie version of Sir David Frost's infamous interview with Richard Nixon.

Do join us - and help keep us warm at 6.

Alex and Ben.