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London Tonight Tonight

Good Afternoon to you all. Welcome to the start of the week...

First things first. Did you enjoy the weekend? Were you out playing in the sunshine? Did you stay in and watch the tennis? Ms Hyndman was busy moving house. As was our programme editor. At least their sofas didn't get wet.

Now, the day's news... and the top of the programme tonight is dominated by the appalling fire at a block of flats in Camberwell. 6 people died. That's 6 people who should be alive tonight including children as young as 3 weeks old. This is a dreadfully sad story as well as an extremely worrying one. What caused the fire? What caused it to spread in the way it did? Were those trapped given the right advice? There's conflicting advice as to what the fire brigade told them to do. We'll be looking into all of it and we're talking with the Fire Service right now, fixing up an interview with one of their top officers.

We'll also be looking at the identical tower block next door to the one hit by the fire so we can all understand the situation better and perhaps draw some conclusions.

There are, in fact, a number of quite awful stories in the programme tonight. Piers Hopkirk, for instance, has been talking to a woman called Sarah who has a very sad story to tell. Her father, Roy, died of a heart attack. Sarah says the paramedic got to his house around 6 minutes after Roy dialled 999, complaining of chest pains. However, Sarah maintains, the paramedic then spent a quarter of an hour outside the house filling in 'risk assessment' forms. Roy died on the way to hospital - and his daughter believes he could - and should - have been saved.

Tomorrow, of course, marks an anniversary of a huge waste of life. '7/7' means the 'July terror bombings' to people across the country, let alone the capital. For those directly affected by the attacks, it will always be the most painful of days - people who lost parents, children, spouses, siblings, friends. And it begs the question - what's the best way to remember them? Well, a woman who lost her mother in the bombings has helped to design memorials for the victims. It's being unveiled tomorrow - but Phil Bayles has already had a look around.

It's a very different sculpture you'll find down on the famous (or should that be infamous?) fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for the next 3 months or so. The definition of 'living art' individuals will be taking their turn to stand on top of the plinth and... well, doing what they want to. Who's going to be the first to get their kit off then? I read that one girl, who has her place booked, toyed with idea but has decided against it. One man has said he's only going to wear his pants and socks. How very British? If he sips on a cup of tea and hums the national anthem, we could have a new national icon.

Actually a national icon began his new job managing Chelsea today. Not our nation, obviously - Mr Ancelloti is an Italian icon. And Mr Powell will give us the rundown.

And I'm now going to run down and get a drink from the machine.

See you at six,

Ben & Alex

Weather blog

Good evening,
Pedantic though it may seem there's a difference between rain & showers, but in order to clarify matters further we should introduce a verb which makes that distinction too.
When I woke up this morning it was raining, except it wasn't rain it was a shower. Moments later it was dry with patches of blue sky. By the time I climbed into the car to drive to the station it was raining again, except (yes, you've guessed it) it wasn't rain etc. etc.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that as I write this I'm wearing a grubby Met Office anorak with a barometer sewn into the lining, but this is more about meaning than meteorology. Showers by their very nature are hit & miss & not long lived. Rain is more all encompassing & can hang around for a long time. This is a fairly black & white explanation for a phenomenon that has many grey areas, but I hope it is in some small way useful. Perhaps the verb we are looking for could be a fusion of shower & rain -shain for example- so that if it's shaining we can all take comfort in the knowledge that it won't last & that there's even a chance of a glimmer of brightness too.
So here goes; it'll shain tomorrow -possibly heavily- but by the second half of the week things look set to improve.
See you later,