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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