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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.

Etymology is the science of words and their meanings. I love it. Latin and greek roots give us not a thick head of hair but such lovely sequiturs as "belligerent" from the latin 'bellum' for war, and "cinema" from the greek 'kine', meaning movement.

It also allows you to have fun with place names - my mum came from FARNHAM, in Surrey - originally the hamlet of the ferns, whilst my dad grew up in Aldershot, a 'holt' of alder trees. "Get a life", I hear you mutter. "I have and it is rich and varied", I retaliate but take your point and, so, to the point. Why is Pall Mall so called? You see I use the singular so I am not challenging you to define a popular brand of American cigarettes but rather that fascinating London thorough-fare that runs from Trafalgar Square to St. James' and is full of roly-poly gentlemen most evenings. And I have used both Pall and Mall so I am not misspelling dog food nor describing the drive-way to Buck House. Anyway, enough of this. If you've cracked it, we will ice your cake. If you haven't, you will be intrigued, I think. Phil is your guide

Dior would be intrigued to know where a quarter of a million smackeroos worth of their lovely jewelry is. Last seen on a photo-shoot in Islington which featured a cast of thousands - hanger-ons, make-up artistes, wardrobe mistresses and... Ms Lindsay Lohan. No fingers, I must stress , are being pointed at anyone.... but if they were, they might have a few more ruby rings on them than they had yesterday. Lucy, who only wears gold , (and it's all hers), is on the case.

Jon Gilbert was last seen leaving the newsroom in a white coat, broad-rimmed hat and veil. In his left hand, a curious puffer-device and in his right, a small, wooden spoon. "Kew" he said, when challenged. "I thought I was first in line", I responded, still bemused as to where he was going and why. A loss of biblical proportions and an agronomic response George III, the founder of Kew, would be proud of, awaits you.

Awaiting the Oz and I is Ms Sophie Ellis Bextor, who gets fed up when people observe her mum was a Blue Peter presenter. As if she didn't know! Anyway, she is also a fabulous singer and a happily partnered mum of two. But tonight she shares with us, and you, the fruits of an extra-marital collaboration. It is exclusively musical and all above board. It features, and here my memory fades from the Big Boss's meeting, one Russell Small or Smell and an esoteric sounding mob who aren't the Knights of St John, nor the Templars but have dividers and rubber aprons in their paraphernalia. Mr Smell/Small may be "of" the misnamed band, come to think of it. Either way, I adore Sophie, am keen to meet Mr. Small/Smell and am assured by the Big Boss, (it is so good he is back) that the melodic result of their collaboration could be THE sound of the summer. I remember one summer, years ago, when it was Jeff Beck's "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and Brian Auger and The Trinity's "Wheels on Fire". Happy days.

Less happy days in Oxford Street and Top Shop to be more specific. 200,000 people a week visit this emporium so news that one of the cash-register lads has been confirmed with swine flu will not play well. Full, but properly balanced, details from Ben.

Finally, I mix my themes - 'words', 'missing', 'collaboration' and 'illness' to draw you to our top story.

A couple, deeply in love, commit to a civil partnership. One falls victim to an inoperative tumour. These are mere 'words', I know. But one half of that loving relationship is now 'missing' following a caring 'collaboration'. Because the 'illness' could not be cured and was causing progressive and intolerable pain, they travelled to Switzerland and held hands as it was all brough to a loving end. Ronke hears from the survivor who risked prosecution for the man he loved. "You are not alone" are perhaps the most powerful words you can hear as your life ebbs away. In law, aspects of what happened are illegal. Ronke will tell you the whole story and then you tell us what you think.

See you at six, in thoughtful mode.

Alastair and Alex