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Good Afternoon and a very 'Happy Christmas Eve-Eve' to one and all.

Can't believe it. All the shopping's done. All the food's in. Just got a bit of wrapping to do now which I'll knock off when I get in later tonight. (And it is later tonight - the late bulletin's on at twenty five past eleven.) And all for one day. Seriously, why do we do it? Because it's fun, that's why. Whether you're with your family, round at your mate's or having a nice quiet one with the best of the year's TV... I hope you have a wonderful time.

That's all to come. There's the small matter of this evening's news programme to negotiate first.

And it starts tonight with pilots attempting to negotiate their way down onto the runway at Heathrow, in the face of the craziest of crazes that has only got worse this year. Increasingly often, pilots have been coming into land only to have a complete idiot firing a laser pen up into the cockpit from the ground. Even the low-powered laser-pens could completely disorientate the pilot, while the more powerful models could damage their eyes permanently. We've been up with the police in their helicopter, taking a look at their clever kit which can spot up exactly where the pens are being shone from.

Now, spare a thought for all those people who had plans to be elsewhere this Christmas. By elsewhere I mean somewhere significantly different to where they are now. Well, you know, people who were going to travel somewhere before the big day (don't know why I didn't say that in the first place) and can't because of the weally wintery weather we've been having. I'm still struggling to believe this but I'm told that earlier in the day the queue at St Pancras station (think Eurostar) stretched for over 2 miles. That's a big queue. Even longer if you're in it with small children.

And then the story of Eileen and Tom Allen from Hampshire whose son Martin disappeared 30 years ago. He was just 15 at the time. They were living in Kensington when he just disappeared. There was a huge police operation at the time, following a possible sighting of Martin with a man on the tube. But after all these years, they still don't know what happened to him. And they want to know. They really want to know.

We'll cover that and we'll also have a report on the crisis centres that are set up every Christmas for the capital's homeless people. We're told 8 thousand volunteers are giving their time and expertise to help people less fortunate than themselves this year. Very laudable - and we all take our hats off to them.

China figures in one of our reports tonight - the story of a man from Kentish Town, Akmal Shaikh who was caught carrying a substantial amount heroin through a Chinese airport. His punishment? The death penalty. In six days' time. The Prime Minister has joined the chorus of people appealing for clemency from the Chinese government, in light of the fact that Mr Sheikh has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder - an extreme form of depression which leaves him suffering from delusions.

We'll also have the final part of our special series looking at Londoners serving on the front line in Afghanistan.

And to play out tonight - something Christmassy...

See you at six,

Ben & Nina

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