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London Tonight Tonight


First up tonight, three of our councils have been named, shamed and ordered to improve their care homes. Southwark, Bromley and Surrey are among the lowest-ranking councils in England according to the Care Quality Commission. Elsewhere in London, the picture is much better, but one council criticised has hit back at what it calls a 'seriously flawed' report. Emma Walden will try to get to the bottom of it for us.

Also tonight: News of a worrying trend in burglaries and hope for the family of a man left with severe brain damage after an attack in Crete, as they fight for justice. And a stark warning from a fire safety expert that home improvements could be putting us at risk.

Now, when is the right time to put up the Christmas tree? Too early and it's drooping by mid-December, too late and you fail to maximise the festive feeling. I'm not in tomorrow and the afternoon is set aside for buying and decorating the tree. Do you go for real or artificial? If you do go fake, do you buy green, silver, red or even black? There are some weird and wonderful trees out there. I saw an upside down one in a shop the other day, with the pointy end at the bottom. What on earth is that all about? Supposed to be artistic, no doubt? One colleague, who shall remain nameless, has bought a white tree with no needles on it? Surely that's just a painted stick? What is wrong with good, old-fashioned tradition?

The tree at Trafalgar Square, which we showed you hoisted into position (the right way up) earlier in the week, is now fully decorated and ready to be switched on. Ben Scotchbrook has been to Norway to follow the tree's journey to the capital. This is the 63rd year that Norway has gifted a tree to London as a thank you for our support during World War II. There you go - proper Christmas tradition. I'll be doing the same tomorrow - a real tree, even if it is bereft of all needles by Christmas Eve. If it is, I might have to paint it white, turn it upside down and call it 'modern'.

See you at Six

Matt and Katie

Weather blog

Good evening,
The lights are being illuminated this evening on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree & I'll be there later on. Day by day London is looking increasingly Yuletastic.
The child in me would love the weather to do what it does in the movies at Christmas time & for there to be a light covering of washing powder white snow & stars twinkling in a winter sky.
Sadly we'll have to put up with cloud & spells of rain & perversely before too long it'll also be turning milder. Luckily December nights provide long hours of darkness which do a reasonably good job of masking disappointing & unseasonal weather, so as the lights go on tonight I'll be ignoring the cloud & the damp & imagining "earth as hard as iron, water like a stone" & the snow lying "round about, deep & crisp & even".
Sometimes it's good to be shallow.
Hope to see you later,