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This is the official website of London Tonight, on ITV1 in London and the South East every weeknight at 6pm.


London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.
I have to confess it is an odd day.
Most people who use Stansted airport do so for it's "cheap and cheerful" flights operated principally by Ryanair. I was once booked on one and asked, on check-in, if I might have an aisle seat. "If you can get one" came the accurate but not entirely helpful response.
It will be funny, therefore, to see the Boeing 747 which is Air Force One arrive this evening with President Obama on board. He can sit where he wants and doesn't have to queue for duty free, even though he still smokes. He arrives a bit after we finish, but Ben will capture the anticipation. Michael O'Leary, who runs Ryanair, will try and charge the President for anything and everything, but will be whisked away by the men with crew-cuts who talk to their cuff-links and who are constantly listening to the CIA HQ in Langley Virginia on their ear-pieces.

Katie is sitting listening to Oxygen by Jean Michel Jarre who is not on the programme tonight but who can only manage to come and see us today before his concert in two weeks' time. Tres busy cher Michel! So we are talking to him today. You will have to be patient and try to remember the memorable rift in the middle of Oxygen before you see and hear him in a fortnight...

Patience will also be required tomorrow in what is called Gold Command. It is the nerve centre of the Met's operations when "a big one" is in the offing. It was here that the surveillance of Jean Charles De Menezes went so tragically wrong, so let's hope there's been a shift change since then because tomorrow and Thursday they will be looking after London and our 19 "global-leader" guests [G20=Gordon Brown + 19 others!]
Obama has his own small regiment and I would advise the Boys in Blue to smile sweetly, compliment them on their hair-dressing and ask them to "move along please". They neither need nor welcome help. Piers is among those under the command of Gold Command, and KD and I talk to he who will be Gold Commander, live on the programme. We'll avoid asking him about fiscal stimuli, but will try and get one in on what chances there are of getting to the Isle of Dogs on Thursday. We'll risk asking him if he and his Thin Blue Line are likely to over-react and, assuming he doesn't over-react himself and clamp us in irons, we'll bid him farewell and ask for your thoughts.

Despite hints from Downing Street and the Treasury, we will not be diverting The People's Millions to bail out the Dunfermline Building Society or any of the other financial institutions driven into the ground by greed, incompetence, toxic assets and a fundamental lack of paying attention. No, good friends, we will give them to you. Or at least to those among you who come up with the best-argued case for a worthy recipient. Browns and Darlings need not put on wigs and false moustaches! I mean what I write...

Minnie, who doesn't work on London Tonight but works with KD and me on Lunchtime News, has just shimmied by saying "he's cool, quite fit" which neither means he's an Inuit nor a weightlifter. Faye, (pastel check, jeans and ballet pumps - and a year older but not a day less beautiful) says "Yeah, you remember him... what was it KD? That song... you know, bit like James Blunt but not..."
All this supposedly helpful background info blurred in my mind and I gave up. Lucy, who knows what she is talking about, is talking to James Morrison who is performing at the Royal Albert Hall; given what I do know about that venue, I am happy to assume he is both good and famous. You be the judges.

We also have something that isn't really important but is fun nonetheless - a couple from Greenford went to Cambridgeshire but missed Greenford. So they recreated it, Greenford that is, there and then. Well there but not then - it took years. Scale is at the heart of the tale and you won't want to miss it. Believe me.

We always believe Chrissie with her weather but I am thinking of getting the scarf out again, given what I've heard.
The papers don't lie, they just spin a bit, but we'll have them for you.
And our latest talented young Londoner who is called Kevin and is a free-runner. Nope.... I am in James Morrison territory again but I am told the opening sequence of James Bond's "Casino Royale" will help....

See you at 6.

Alastair and Katie.