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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.

Did he fall or was he pushed? Both, in Ian Tomlinson's case. He was the newspaper vendor who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I remain ignorant of his views on globalisation, capitalism, or environmental degradation. But, as he strolled home a couple of weeks ago, he found himself in the area defined by a mass of angry people who opposed all of the above - and more - and a group of Police officers whose boss had told this programme they would "meet force with force". For Ian the "force" involved putting his hands in his pockets, and his feet, one in front of the other, as he walked past them. For one of the Police officers, the "force" was a shove and a swipe with a baton, putting Ian on the deck. The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an investigation and one of the first things they did was to order a second post-mortem. We lead our programme on the staggering findings which suggest he didn't die of a heart attack but of an abdominal haemorrhage. Lewis Vaughan Jones is one the case as I write, the story having just broken.

Whatever the outcome of that investigation, one thing is clear: the cops involved, the Territorial Support Group, are the "hard-end" of policing in London. Police Community Support Officers aren't. But when it comes to international espionage, trans-global plots and foreign "spooks" casing the joint in advance of goodness-knows what, they are the boys. Or not. The scene is Walthamstow Bus Station, the strategic significance of which has, up to now, illuded me. Intercontinental Ballistic Bendy Buses? NASA-NATO type hacking via the Oyster Card soft-ware? Standing Room Only signs that turn into Stealth fighters with the addition of mystery fluids? Something very Dr. Strangelove is obviously going on up there because when an Austrian tourist, who likes photographing buses and modern architecture, thought he had found nirvana with the Depot building and its omnibus contents started snapping, they descended upon him like MI6's finest. It ended badly for "Klaus" - I can't give his proper name as it is against all trade-craft - but we have sprung him for his safe-house in Vienna and smuggled him to our secret studio in the heart of the Hapsburg Empire to tell his side of the extraordinary story. The PSCO's , I suspect, have been posted to Cuba.

From the very real world of espionage and international tension, a memory nudge a quarter of a century on. WPC Yvonne Fletcher was patrolling near the Libyan Embassy back in 1984 - ironic year, that - during a demo. From inside the Embassy, people who held IDs that said they were drivers and cultural attaches, or that sort of thing, opened fire and Yvonne fell to the ground and died. 10 days later , Libya's finest were spirited away. The memories of that day are raw and Marcus has been reliving them with Yvonne's family. The Libyans are also probably now in Cuba.

I remember the night the Admiral Duncan Pub was nail bombed as if it were yesterday. Victims came from the scene to our studio and told their stories like seasoned reporters. It was the final brutal act in a campaign which had started sometime before in Brixton. The perpetrator, an unsavoury homophobic racist; his chosen weapon, the nail-bomb. Another sad anniversary we mark tonight.

Time, now to reach for the skies - it is Friday, after all! We weave our way into uplifting madness via the continuing bid to play cricket on the snowy slopes of Everest, the hilarious genius that is Armando Iannucci, the cinematic perceptive perfection of James King and Robin, the Salvador Dali of weather forecasting, who will do a weather forecast that is to isobars what Dali's melting 'phone was to telecommunications and surrealism.

I don't think I am going to say anymore about the last two but Iannucci is the man who invented Alan Partridge, Chris Morris's "The Day Today" and reel upon reel of BBC Radio's finest and funniest comedy. His first feature film , based on his brilliant TV parody of Downing Street spin, is blessed by even more unbelievable yet true craziness seeping under the doorway of No10. He is very clever, very lucky and very live, with us , at 6.

Miss that lot and you will be like those cricketers on Everest - mad as hatters!

The Oz, who yesterday enjoyed a small bottle of fizzy water, now has a litre of H2O on her desk. She went to Armando's movie last night: too much salty pop-corn? I wonder...

She and I hope for your company at 6.

Alastair and Alex.