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London Tonight Tonight Tuesday 17th February 2009

Good afternoon.

I remain despondent due to the spectacular lack of spectacles which led me to stumble on a couple of occasions last night for which I apologise. "Get a lite", I thought the Oz messaged me, in a loving and friendly fashion. "A lite?", I thought. Does she want a match, but can't spell? "...a LIFE" I now realise is what she wrote. This doesn't look good. Anyway, here we go.

Harris, I know well, so I have no doubt that it was he who just debated with Faye ("Oh dear, what can I do? Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue") as to whether he should do an in vision "bong" or a voice over "bong". These things - our headline pitches - matter. They are, to us, as the Diet of Worms was to Christians of the Middle Ages. His sales pitch for your attention will involve a wall and the question of whether a man, who has spent the bulk of his adult life behind four of them will, shortly, depart via a gate rather than over one... His subject also spent some time in Rio when he should still have been spending time at Her Majesty's Convenience. I speak, of course, of the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.
Actually the train wasn't that great - it was a Class 45 Diesel Electric but the scale of the theft and the audacious nature of the heist earned it the moniker "great". Ronnie is dying but, as Bob Dylan wrote, "he that is not busy being born, is being dying" so it doesn't make him unique. No, Ronnie is within an "arm of the law's" length of meeting his maker, and his son Michael will tell you, from our studio, why he thinks enough is enough. We'll then ask if you agree.

You may or may not agree with a judge who faced one of those King Solomon moments. A father, who had been accused but never convicted, of harming a child fathered another, only for Social Services to "confiscate" the child and put it up for adoption. The man and his partner appealed and the judge stood by Social Services. Now they feel it is a case of "Damned if they did, and damned if they didn't" but, as I said, the judge stood by them. Give ear to the aggrieved couple and make your own minds up. It is a real conundrum but Ronke will guide you through it.

Glen, I am told, will do a "short" piece to camera about Jade Goody. If I had said that, The Big Boss would have accused me of being heightest but it was Faye so, nah nah na nah nah, that's OK. Jade, like Ronnie, is close to death but never robbed a train. She did appear in The Great TV Horror that is Big Brother but other than that her record is clean. Nevertheless, her sweet innocent life draws to a close. She wants to marry her lover in London first, and has chosen the hotel where all this will happen. Glen will rise to his full stature to deliver a touching and sensitive tribute to this poor woman's plight and plans.

The plight of Windsor fire station is also in our plans for coverage tonight. I stood there on the night it caught fire - the evening the Duke of York proved he was more than a golfing playboy, and the night the Queen, wearing wellies and a head-scarf, wept quietly as centuries of what to us was history and to her was her family's prized possessions were threatened by fire. Now they want to cut back on the station. If I was the person in charge, I'd tread very carefully. Few know, but capital punishment is still on the statute books for arson of HM Docks and interfering with the line of succession. Should there be another blaze and should Prince Edward's toy boat or rubber duck go up in smoke, I think a case could be made. And if the Royal master bedroom caught even a whiff of smoke, it would be on with the black cap and off to that place of execution where a person would be hanged by the neck until... well you know where this is leading.
Also Sir Elton John lives nearby and I don't even want to go there... tantrums and tiaras would be as nothing to what would unfold should any of Elton's various collections become ashen. Liz, who likes a man in uniform, will try and pay attention to the arguments. We stand ready to hose her down.

Ben is going to play Paper, Scissors, Stone with a Robot. Or possibly Crown and Anchor with someone called Robert. My eyes are glazing over in so many ways.
I will end by urging you to join Lucy as she gets the full Jerry Springer treatment as the former Mayor of Cincinnati explains how he is going to be a troubadour barrister in a musical that celebrates the Windy City. I think he has lipstick on his cheek but, again, the eyes, dear reader, the eyes - Lucy denies all but is all of a glow.

The Oz has just brought me tea. If I see a pair of slippers and a brochure about retirement homes, our burgeoning friendship will crash like the ceiling of the Great Hall at Windsor... and there will be no firemen, as you now know.

See you at 6... well at least I'll be squinting in your direction, as the Oz holds my white stick just out of shot.

Alastair and Alex.