Welcome to London Tonight Tonight.

This is the official website of London Tonight, on ITV1 in London and the South East every weeknight at 6pm.



On the show tonight:

How will Londoners will fare on Bonfire night if the Fire Brigades Union stage their strike at the same time? Will the London Fire Brigade be able to cope with their stand-in services?

We continue our focus on how the Spending Review will affect the capital, today looking at how cuts to the Building Schools for Future will take away crucial funding from Little Ilford School in Newham.

We are also looking at how the M25 weill be widened between junctions 16 and 23. Will this reduce the bottlenecks those commuters are used to, and is everyone happy with it?

See you at six,

Charlene and Ben



Good Afternoon to you...

Before I go any further I'd like to set some people's minds at rest. It seems that my blog earlier in the week about having to buy a couple of new buckets has raised concerned for my well-being.

Let me quote a 'tweet' from a chap calling himself 'CurrentMartin'... "I like Ben Scotchbrook from London Tonight, however he's clearly lost the plot with tonight's LT blog about buckets!"

I laughed out loud.

Mr Martin (or may I call you Current?)... firstly, a genuine thank you for your kind words. However, fear not about the plot - I know exactly where it is. I've put it in one of my new buckets for safe-keeping.

Now - onto a brief summary of tonight's programme...

Two people have drowned after trying to rescue a dog from the Thames in Surrey... The cost of going over the bridge or under the tunnel at Dartford is to rise from £1.50 to £2.00 next year, before hitting £2.50 the year after... We're live at the premiere of 'The King's Speech' with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter... Is it true that a non-league club is trying tempt a former Arsenal player to join up?.. And we'll talk to the parents of a baby who was chilled by doctors to the point of death so they could carry out a live-saving operation.

I'm going to end with a few words about Acting Corporal David Barnsdale - killed in action in Afghanistan. Just 24 years old, he was from Tring in Hertfordshire. He's the 40th soldier from London and the South East to die serving in Afghanistan. That his death takes the dreadful toll to a new 'milestone' figure doesn't make his life any more precious than others - every life lost leaves a hole that friends and family will never be able fill. But 40 people - that's 40 too many, and we pay tribute to each and every one of them.

See you at six,

Ben & Lucy



Good Afternoon -

I've just had a flu vaccination and, not being a great fan of injections, I'm feeling a tad pleased with myself. I've never actually passed out at the sight of a needle (unlike a boy at school who, moments after his BCG jab, fell to the floor murmuring "Mummy, Mummy, get off me". The fact that I mention it today gives you an idea of how readily his school mates let that one go...). Anyway, the left arm's doing fine and I'm hoping that this year's flu strains will be taking a running jump.

Nina's had her jab too; she insisted on having hers before Robin, in case she came over all funny. She didn't. As for Robin... well, he comes over funny every evening.

Now - the programme.

Another day of misery on the tube. The Victoria line was stuffed today. What on earth is going on? We'll be asking TfL exactly that.

The coroner told one of the survivors of the 7/7 bombings today that she is "truly inspirational" - Martine Wright lost both her legs when Shehzad Tanweer detonated a bomb on a tube train at Aldgate. She's now walking, and today was talking about her experience at the inquests into the deaths of those who died.

24 hours to go until we find out just how much money is going to be stripped from national Government departments as well as local government budgets. We'll have a special programme looking at the Comprehensive Spending Review tomorrow, but today we're looking at the possible impact on the capital's housing budget as well as the future of a specific police patrol in Essex which has, in recent years, reduced the number of accidents dramatically.

The twist and turns of our international relations are a thing of wonder, aren't they? A massive restoration project on HMS Belfast has just been completed- and paid for - by the Russians. Having seen them as our arch enemy for more than 40 years, the Russians have now 'done up' one of our national monuments in recognition of its work supplying the Soviet Union during the Second World War. HRH Prince Philip was there today. And so were we.

Oh - and we'll also be talking to some bloke called Bruce. Forsyth? Willis? Springsteen? Well, let's just say he's in a new action movie with Dame Helen Mirren. We might be talking to her too. I said "might".

See you at six,

Ben & Nina



Monday 18th October,

Good Afternoon one and all...

I bought a bucket today. In fact, I bought two buckets - having broken two buckets at the weekend. The details are dull (as is this story so far) but the bottom line is that I ended the weekend with two fewer buckets than I started the weekend. (I would love at this point to tell you the name of the rather well known shop where I bought the two now-broken buckets so you could steer clear of the same model but I'd probably get a telling off.)

So - to restore the bucket balance at home, I wandered through the market near our offices today and bought two more buckets. (I know. This story's not getting any more interesting, is it? If I'm honest I might bail out altogether in a minute.) Here's the thing - walking back to work, I noticed people just staring at me because of the buckets. I passed one of our picture editors who asked if I'd now been asked to clean the office too. A couple of minutes later, the ITV News Head of Output asked "Why the bucket, sorry, two buckets?". As I walked into the building, the Deputy Editor of ITV News raised an eyebrow and said "windows..?" And all the while, I noticed double-taking from pedestrians, cyclists, taxi-drivers and taxi-passengers.

Quite extraordinary. They're just buckets, everyone. Lots of people have at least one. Now, if I'd been wandering about with a Faberge egg... or a month old iguana... or maybe, indeed, with one of buckets actually on my head... I could understand the interest. But just carrying buckets?

Try it yourselves - on the way to work. Perhaps it's just me. Perhaps I don't look like a 'bucket' sort of person. But what is a 'bucket' sort of person? And what do they look like?

Anyway - better get on, before I kick the bucket.

Today's programme can be summed up like this:

The Jubilee line is in a mess after a power failure this morning - trains stopped in tunnels, after people heard a big bang. Well, what would you think? Anyway, we're being told the after effects might linger well into the working week.

The Government announces details of its Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday - when we'll all hear which departments are going to lose how much money. It's likely to be a very black day for all of us. We'll be bringing you all the details of the impact of the cuts - and our comprehensive coverage begins today with the results of a survey carried out by Westminster council. It seems to suggest a lot of people just haven't clocked on to how serious the cuts will be. And there's a report on how the cuts could effect something as essential as a 'Meals on Wheels' service.

Another story we've been following very closely, of course, is the day-to-day testimony at the 7/7 inquests. Today we've had some very moving tributes to the 7 people who died on the Aldgate train.

Oh and, in case you're wondering 'The Only Way is Essex'*.

See you at six,

Ben & Nina

* It's a new series on ITV2 featuring a group of real people from Essex. Apparently, a few other people in Essex are really not big fans...


Thursday 14th October

Once again, good afternoon to you all,

Hope you are all enjoying your Thursday afternoon. Good news is the weekend is almost here. As for the bad news, well, onto tonight's show...

A month it seems dogged by the possibility - and reality - of more strikes. Today we hear from the Fire Brigades Union as they have balloted with a resounding 'Yes' to strike action in the ongoing fight against proposed changes to their shift pattern. Are these strikes going to be warmly received by the public when many are experiencing job losses? We put that question to the Union.

We've been following the July 7 Inquests every day this week - and there's more new CCTV picture that's been released today.

And something that came in last minute, but its a good one - a tale of public good over individual malice. An extraordinary tale of courageous acts from ordinary Londoners. This morning, five masked robbers approached a jewellery shop in Central London and grabbed goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.....but they didn't get away with it. Wait and see what happened.

At the other end of the news spectrum, Nina was lucky enough to chat to American soul singer John Legend about his upcoming album, and Sugababe Jade Ewen tells us why she's supporting World Sight Day.

See you at six,

Ben and Lucy



Wednesday 13th October 2010

Good Afternoon to you... It's been a while!

Isn't it dreadfully sad about Claire Rayner? She's been a feature of British life in one way or another for decades. I can remember watching her on the TV when I was but a boy and as I've got older seen her name connected with many a good cause. A Londoner born and bred, she was one who campaigned selflessly to make the work a better place - and she will be missed. We'll pay tribute to her tonight.

I'll run through the rest of our menu:

We'll report on Day Two of the 7/7 inquests. The families of those who died were at the Royal Courts of Justice to see and hear CC-TV footage of the immediate aftermath of the bombings. It must have been dreadful for them, truly dreadful.

You may remember how a young man was punched and kicked to death when he asked a passing group of thugs to return his girlfriend's hat after they took it. Well, three men have now been found guilty of murder and can look forward to a lengthy spell in prison. Over a hat.

There's also the skip that left a gaping great hole on a very upmarket road in Belgravia. What's the damage? What does it look like? Who's to blame?

We'll report on the England U21 star, Jack Wilshere, who's been hoiked out of the U21 game tonight to play for the big boys in the Euro qualifier against Montenegro. Will he swing it for us?

And then we have a the mouth-watering prospect of a report marking the 100th birthday of the London Palladium. You may know it for the international celebrities who've wowed the crowds there down the years - Dame Julie Andrews, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, etc. Or perhaps you remember Bruce Forsyth (should be Sir Bruce Forsyth) when he hosted 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium'. Or maybe you've been lucky enough to see one of the blockbuster musicals that's helped give the West End its world-wide reputation - 'Oliver'... 'The Sound of Music'... 'The King and I'. So - lots to look back on and it's Lucy Cotter's job to pick out the best bits.

Plenty to work on then - better get on.

See you at six,

Ben & Nina