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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.

I am watching Natasha Richardson's coffin being moved from her home in New York for burial. What a sad loss. I have interviewed her mother Vanessa and her uncle Corin and admire them, deeply. I feel so sorry for them, her gifted husband Liam and their two teenage sons.

Alex can't be with us tonight because she is also attending a family funeral so I am thinking, affectionately, of her too.

Let me now lift your spirits by telling you that in her place I am lucky to be sitting with Lucy Cotter - a beautiful and gifted young woman who is more used to working with the George Clooneys of this world so how lucky am I?

Less lucky is she - she went to interview Pete Doherty. Pete's mum has been on the show and Pete, himself, has made several appearances - most, fair to say, as he walked into or out of court. But Lucy has landed a proper sit-down with the troubled young troubadour. She had to wait for him to turn up and then had to wait for lucid answers to some of her questions. But, because it is was in her hands, we have a remarkable bit of television which I think you will find very interesting.

We also have the parents who found it "very interesting" to receive a call from someone saying they had just seen their 3 year old toddler in a McDonalds. Not because they were anti fast foods but because they could have sworn he was on a school trip with his nursery. Well he was until he got left behind. It is not as funny as Home Alone because it is not funny at all and Home Alone is, to be fair, funny in parts. Ours is a horror of a tale and what the nursery "offered" to the parents to make-up for things left us with jaws dropped. I think you may react in the same way.

I have found the whole Julie Myerson/Jake Myerson saga jaw dropping. We all have run-ins with our kids but to go public about them in a newspaper column and then a book requires a certain amount of explanation. Emma is our mother-confessor. In Julie's defence, I would concede that to have a son involved with skunk, a particularly virulent so-called recreational drug which the experts say is much more a wrecker than a recreation, may get Julie off the hook - to a degree. Lucy and I will listen with open minds and ask for your comments.

I do not know what an Ait is but I do know that a Raven, or an "unkindness" of Ravens (look it up if you don't believe me!), had or have one in the Thames. What is more it has been occupied by squatters making life difficult for would-be newly weds. I have not been experimenting with skunk - Phil will wade out and explain all.

Glen has got his big cheque book out again and will be waving it in a tempting fashion tonight. It is The People's Millions time again and we are keen to give cash away to deserving causes. The cheque is as big as Glen but the amount of money is even bigger so it is worth going for. He'll peer over the top and explain.

James towers over me, physically, but meets, in Lucy, something of a match when it comes to movies. So I may sit to one side and enjoy a clash of the celluloid titans as they talk "Duplicity" and "Age of Stupid". If there's a rodent involved, I'll comment: If not, "mum" may be the word.

If she survives Pete D, Lucy will also tell you what not to miss this weekend and we will both share tonight's front pages with you.

Robin, one of life's "nesters" , has shimmied down Earls Court Way in search of his ideal dwelling only to find a whole show dedicated to his needs. He'll show you around and then tell you the weekend weather which looks seriously promising.

If it turns out nasty, I do not recommend "skunk and Doherty" but rather a good walk , perhaps to see if Raven's Ait has been liberated or if Glen has had his cheque blown out of his hands. I fear for his safety. All should take coats.

See you at 6.

(...which is probably what the toddler's parents said before it all went Johnny Rotten....)

Alastair & Lucy