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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.
I am forlorn. Neither Arsenal nor Chelsea are in Rome and, therefore, neither am I.
What is more, because the game is going ahead anyway, to keep Manchester United and Barca fans quiet I suppose, our programme becomes something of a televisual shrinking violet. We have 12 minutes and 10 seconds to inform, educate and entertain you, as Lord Reith of the BBC would have put it - though I suspect he was either a Rangers or Celtic supporter, given he hailed from Glasgow, though I remain blissfully ignorant of his faith and therefore his loyalties in this matter.
Adding insult to injury, I am on my own. Katie is presenting the Evening News, earlier than normal, and the Oz will be emerging from marsupial hibernation to present London's late news. All alone am I, so please be there with me and for me.
If not for me then for Ronke who has worked very hard on the second part of her Afghan triptych - tonight it is a case of "suffer the little children" and how their mums and dads have to raise a King's ransom to get them here.
Spare a thought for Harris, too - he is working on the oddest of stories that involves a freezer, a cadaver and what looks like the weirdest display of family ties I have ever come across. It is not a nice nor happy story but I suppose it has a certain macabre fascination. Thank goodness for Harris and his subtlety and taste.
Devoid of subtlety was the BNP's attempts to lever their leader into the Buckingham Palace Garden Party on the coat-tails of their GLA representative. "I think not!" said Bozza. "Take him and you don't go", he told Richard Barnbrook, GLA, BNP - not sure about other honours or qualifications that require letters after his name. Anyway, someone blinked in this row, this very afternoon, in the glare of publicity and sunlight. Find out who, and cheer or weep, depending on your take.
I suspect universal cheers at the Attorney General's decision to seek a review of the sentencing in the Baby Peter case. Suffice to say I don't think the guilty ones will be spending time with their friends any sooner than had initially been suggested by the Courts.
We've Joan Rivers, who is very funny, very show-bizz and very American. I can't remember why but I don't care - she is very funny, very naughty and ... well I think I've made my position clear: I hope you agree. Daisy makes the introductions.
I suggested the weather was so awful that we might try and keep quiet about it, only to be told there is good news from the barometer so Mona squeezes in. Papers at a push but, alas, e-mails fall off the edge. I'll miss that as I enjoy your observations very much.
I think that's it and that , within it, you find enough to spend the briefest of moments in my company before the football. To all Arsenal and Chelsea fans - "you WERE robbed!" To ManU fans, "go for it!". And to Barca fans, "shouldn't you be at work?"
See you at 6... but not for long!
Alastair and an empty yet cherished space.