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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon and welcome.

Richard the Third, who was "not made for sportive tricks", was so deformed, according to Shakespeare, that dogs barked at him in the street. I have just been barked at by a cabbie for smoking in the street. I should, perhaps, not smoke and I can't in the office, by law. But, for now, I can in the street and felt the barking was uncalled for.

For six years, since the report in to the death of Victoria Climbie, Lord Laming has been "barking" at Ministers to get their acts together over child care. They didn't and along came Baby P. And, tragically, Baby P died. So the Ministers asked him to do another report... Well today, like a teenage agitprop proselytizer the noble Lord simply told them to "Just Do It" as he published his report into the Baby P case. Interestingly, this impartial grey-beard recognised that many social workers are good eggs, under-paid, and over-worked members of what is a "Cinderella" profession. Emma looks at what else this fine gent had to say, what Ministers have to say (which doesn't appear to include 'sorry') and what frontline social workers feel now. We hope to talk to Esther Rantzen who knows a thing or two about these matters. I think it is just a case of "your place or mine" at the moment. Tune in to find if we get her and, having given ear to her and to Emma's fine report, tell us what you think.

Those who crossed Al Capone were not left with the means to "think" again - they were battered about the head with baseball bats. Chicago, in the prohibition 20s, was like that. But swans in Southall in the C21st? Yes, that's what I thought too. A spate of appalling attacks on these magnificent creatures has saddened us, but infuriated the guys and gals of the RSPCA. Piers joins them for Tales From the Riverbank that would make Hammer House of Horrors finest offering look like a Disney adventure.

The tragedy that is Jade Goody and her cancer is at times like a Disney romance with new, heart moving pictures of her wedding to Jack Tweed. In the elegant hands of Lucy, blessed with beauty and judgment, I think you will feel well served. They are moving pictures.

I loved last night's report from Rachel on Selfridges and she has part 2 tonight for you and, I like to think, for me.
It is a day in the life of the high altar of retail - a shrine shoplifters call "HelpyourSelfridges". Apparently Harry Gordon Selfridge, who established the shop 100 years ago, blew the bulk of the profits at the card tables and died in poverty in Putney. How odd is that? I'll bet Ralph Lauren and Coco Chanel never went further than a fiery hand or two of whist! The irony of that is to be found somewhere on the clothes rails between size 8 and size 16!
Talking of which, Faye, who I have not mentioned lately, is on fine form as the days tick away to The Great Day. A sweet little matelot tee-shirt nestles under a fierce black top, atop fierce black trousers and fierce Kiera Knightly Pirates of the Caribbean boots. She gets me to meet my deadlines, I can tell you.

Phil has spent the afternoon with two delicious ladies of a certain age. This is a matter for Phil and Mrs. Phil and the delightful Phil-ettes. All I can say is that the video evidence of this encounter in Chelsea will shock and amaze you in a way that will make you smile with affection, shed a tear of pride, and shudder with excitement as another sexist barrier is broken down in the name of elegant femininity. Even Mrs. Phil will forgive.

Gorgeous Dan, who the Oz mentioned yesterday (I think there's something going on there) asks to be mentioned: "Dan". There you go. I love him too, in truth, but in a different way. A very different way.
The Oz is on the phone, smiling. She has either just done a quick "two falls, two submissions or a knock-out" on some unapologetic politician... or she's telling Dan he's "in" the blog. I'll find out shortly.

Chrissie is with us - we would be incomplete and bereft without her... But it was cold when I was smoking and being shouted at a little while ago, so I hope her forecast smiles upon us...

The papers will be big on Baby P but find out, with us, what else tickles their fancies.
And that, I think, is about it.

So maybe Esther, possibly Ministerial apologies (though not likely), perhaps some scumbags who've been abusing the loveliest avian creature God ever crafted - all in all, it will be good, I think.
Be there at 6 or feel left out.

Alastair and Alex