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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon, and isn't it?
I have just been outside to enjoy the lovely afternoon sun and can report that last week's trench is now fully filled in, leaving some fresh tarmac scars, a lot of dust and very neatly repainted yellow lines reminding motorists they may not park there. Apart from motorcyclists who have their own little "Motor-cycles Only" bay, undisturbed by the trench but now flanked with fresh yellow lines that stop, abruptly, at the bay's edges. Sitting there, legally, is an old scooter with a little "Jam Buster" sticker beneath the number plate. In a reverse of Orwell's "Animal Farm" dictum of Two Legs Bad Four Legs Good, we live in a city where, for a long time, it has been Two Wheels Good Four Wheels Bad. Like a corner square in Monopoly, "Free-parking" was the order of the day for the bikes but, in Westminster, no more. And the Mods, Rockers and, for all I know, the Secretary of State for Communities who rides a Harley, aren't happy bunnies. Or bikers. Glen dons his leathers and skid-lid to explain all among the protesting greasers.
Whether or not all the protestors are the genuine article may prove tough to tell. The Met have their own squadrons of elegant masters of the beautiful BMW and the huge Honda. They chase speeders, act as out-riders to resident and visiting dignitaries and generally roar around town looking cool. But if the G20 protests are anything to go by, some of them may have left their law-enforcement leathers at home and donned jeans, Hell's Angels T- shirts and who knows what to blend in with the protestors. That is the allegation coming from some of the G20 lot and they have got a hearing, and not a little sympathy, from Tom Brake MP. When it was suggested at the meeting that this might make them "Agents Provocateur" a slightly risque conversation ensued involving stockings, suspender belts, footballers, my share-portfolio and whether or not the lovely Lizzie, our news editor, and the equally lovely Lucy, with whom I am lucky enough to be presenting tonight, would be able to concentrate. Friends, I fear the lack of concentration for predictably puerile reasons would have been elsewhere. Marcus rises above this youthful exuberance and delves into the allegations of mutton dressed up as lamb in the policing of public order in our great city.
There was a distinct lack or public order in Tower Bridge this afternoon when all hell broke out because a lift fell ten feet in a scene one can imagine doing justice to a Hollywood block-buster or, I fear to report, bone-buster. Ten people were on board and six had nearby hospitals added to their tourist itineraries. Seriously frightening stuff. Harris, who has been known to whistle "Miss Otis Regrets" (Google Otis and lift) will be saying "Ground floor: casualty and A & E" as he reports on the plight of these poor souls.
Bones were broken but life, thank goodness, wasn't lost. Such fortune did not befall the heroes on the Greatest Race ever raced in cinema - the chariot charge in Ben Hur. Flogging your opponent, mid-race, would nowadays certainly mean a hearing before the Jockey Club for "Inappropriate Use of the Whip". But forcing jagged wheel trims into your opponents spokes, only for said opponent to fall beneath what remained of the chariot as it scorched its way across the blood-stained sand, is fatally short of cricket. Yuk. So, having enjoyed Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones in recent months at O2, I am intrigued to learn how a re-enactment of said carnage under the protection of the former Dome will look, sound and even smell. Julie will tell us and you may need a strong stomach for this one.
I think Phil probably needed that attribute too went he went underground for you, to see the completed London orbital water-system. It may be modern but large volumes of water, underground, have always worried me.... unlike rats, amoeba and other aquatic life-forms. I know: sieves, treatment plants, boiling and the rest of it but I remain cautious. W.C. Fields made a powerful argument against drinking water with which I do not agree nor will I sully these pages by repeating (Google if you dare!) but I retain my more modest reservations. So, Phil - rubber gloves, wellies and lots of soap - is your guide.
The People's Millions doesn't have long to run so tune in to learn details of how to join the queue of the deserving - £50 k the ceiling but lots of it to go to London's best good causes.
Lucy, celebrated for the loveliest giggle on British TV, is giggling into the phone as I write. No, she has now leapt to her feet and is rushing to talk to one of our producers. I am secretly giggling with pleasure at the prospect of working with her again. But you never know who else might drop by, such is her professional circle of friends and contacts. Perhaps Michelle Pfeiffer to apologise for getting my first name wrong last week? A weekend of bleak introspection followed, I can assure you, after she referred to me as "Alan".
I will write a large cheque to persuade Chrissie to persuade "The Gods" to keep this weather fine. But she is talking of Horse Guards Parade, Trooping the Colour and abseiling. I am confused but I am assured it will be brilliant and not distract from an accurate forecast.
The papers - wonder what you'll make of the new look Standard? - and that's about it but as I proof read these ramblings I can think of little that out-does it, between 6 and 6.30.
Lucy, leather-clad-bikers, under-cover agents, Agent Provocateur, miles of pipes to ponder, and millions of pounds to give away - enough for everyone I'd have thought. If not, on yer bike - but we'll be here!
Alastair and Lucy.