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London Tonight Tonight Wednesday 11th February 2009

Good afternoon.

Tonight's programme is a menage, a pot pouri, an ensemble - a "first", a "guess what happened next" and, tragically, a "here we go again". There's also a classic "told you so" from the French, so that can wait.

First, the tear-jerking "here we go again". For Baby P, read Rhys; for Haringey read Newham; but for 'mother', read the same tragic catalogue of abuse, casual polygamy and, frankly, inadequacy. There was, again, a vagrant partner - in fact, in the case of Rhys's mum, there were several. He was two months old, had a sibling in care, and was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. The stuff about missed appointments and missed signs of abuse are common factors, again. I am not for a moment being judgmental of anyone but I, and most of us here, are growing grey with our despair. Ronke has a go at making sense of it but, good journalist though she is, I think she is condemned to a factually accurate account of "what", but an echoing void when it comes to the "why". We'll see.

The "first" is Mike on a Javelin. My father flew Javelins. They were an early delta-winged night-fighter built by the Gloster Airplane Company. I can't think that Mike is in one of them and it wouldn't be a "first". No, for him, the sleek blue lines of the trains that will spirit the adventurous consumers of global sport to and from the 2012 Park and London's northern Termini in less time than it takes to say "What, then of the legacy, Boris?". I doubt there will be a buffet or functioning toilets as passengers will not be on the train long enough to imbibe let alone ablute. That settles one part of the legacy - such trains, post-2012, will fit perfectly with the rest of South West Trains' rolling stock. Cue the fat-controller.
Talking of which, the slender, elegant, lovely and still seriously pregnant Faye is returned from her New Year holiday - it is only fair: she'll do well to get to the end of the road once the baby is here. Anyway, I welcome her back with all my heart, fond and respectful though I am of, and toward, the Big Boss. But I can't see him in a slender black tube dress, topping off splendid shiny black leather boots, crowned with a nonchalant grey cardigan... but I may have misread him.

The "guess what happened next" especially appeals to Faye's sense of irony, her taste for the good things in life and her affection for the Orient. Remember John Prescott and the crab in the jam jar he called Peter? It was a Mitten Crab and came, originally from China - well, not that one, but the breed. It seems they have caught the eyes of London's piscatorial glitteratti who have, with the crack of a pair of shellfish bone-breakers, declared them edible. The Richard Bransons and Alan Sugars of London are playing romantic music to them as I write, and preparing a nursery for thousands of the little mites... or Mittenettes, perhaps? Ben goes all Rick Stein for us, for you and for his supper.

The classic "told you so" is Le Grande Fromage de Paris who led their failed bid for 2012, explaining to Harris 'pourquoi' they never wanted "Les Grand Joues de Deux Mille Douze" in the first place and, "zoot", given "Le Recession", "maintenant", who would? Harris promises not to mention cheese, eating, surrender, nor monkeys in his script and nor will I. Again.

Finally, they were big in the 90s, Soul? Clubbing? Clubby Soul? Faye, Gorgeous Dan and even the ever elegant Robin, were conducting a debate about a group I knew not, in a language which could just as well have been Urdu or Sanskrit for all it meant to me. I enjoyed the observation that they weren't Spanish but my enquiry if they were scratched, fell on more modern ears. They are GROOVE ARMADA and Lucy has been getting down and doing what entertainment types do.

Robin is in fear for his life and is threatening to make up a good forecast even if the outlook is bad. Nick has a terrific row which is a kind of massive scale version of you or me leaving the tap running, but it features God's rain, Thames Water, a sluice gate, the Environment Agency, insurance companies and a lot of expensive cars that aren't now worth much.
We'll have the papers which, once read, will come in handy for mopping up.

The Oz is poised, understands modern music, is worried about the crabs, but is sound on the French. I think it augurs well.

Find out for yourselves at 6.

Alastair and Alex.