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place. Two of them are around parts of the River Severn and its estuary.
Protest disrupts Thailand's general election. Hundreds of polling
stations were unable to open in parts of Bangkok and the South.
Hello and welcome to our look at the close. With me are broadcast Henry
Bonsu and Randeep Ramesh, from the Guardian. We will look at the front
pages. The Metro leads with the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman,
claiming the star lost his battle with drugs. The Independent has a
picture of the star on its front page but its top stories is research
which it says shows half of six form colleges have scrapped... The Daily
Telegraph says the chairman of the Environment Agency claims Britain
cannot afford to protect both town and country from flooding. The
Financial Times reports the fallout from the row over the sacking of the
Labour peer Lady Morgan is the head of Ofsted. Finally, another striking
image on the front page of the express. A stranded bus cotton
floodwater in Wales. The paper's top story is summed up by its headline,
which calls for benefits blitz on scroungers.
Our first story, the one that has been dominating headlines is
evening. Starting with the Metro and the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Who wants to start? I suppose it is a very familiar tale, unfortunately,
of a star with a glittering resume and some pretty to effect films, but
fighting his own demons and losing. -- pretty to horrific films. It
seems he relapsed. That has obviously triggered some spiral.
Henry, who wasn't a household name in the same way as Tom Cruise, but
to film buffs, he was. Absolutely. People have been saying he's up
there with Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, people who are household
names but are respected by the acting community and critics.
Apparently, I look to my back catalogue and there are very few
films I have watched. I was thinking, I should have seen Capote,
for example. I have not seen the hunger games. I am slightly out of
the target audience for that. He has got this Jack Nicholson, brooding,
gentle intensity on his face. Maybe that speaks of the turmoil there
was. I did not really know he had been struggling with these demons
for such a long time. You can be talented, lauded by critics and
Auden -- audiences, but it is not enough and you want to get out of
your skin. A sad story. We will move onto Daily Telegraph. An amazing
couple of pictures on the front page. Two images. Maidstone in Kent
on the left, and on the right, the Somerset Levels. Flooding, with more
on the way, it is going to be something the papers will be
dominated by. Yes. It is a clever pitch from a
former minister. They need somebody to turn around and say, it is not
us, it is them. Chris Smith posed this question, saying there was all
-- saying there is only so much money. He quite cleverly listed the
number of people killed in the towns. The pictures are very
dramatic. That is the subtext. Chris Smith, now Lord Smith, saying that
the country has to make difficult choices. Nevertheless, a brave thing
to say. It is brave because he is now a peer. Surely, you want to
protect people that are most in need. It is extremely difficult. The
government will want to see him as a fallback. Somebody said that maybe
we have to surrender some of the coastline to rising waters. Others
say their of this coastline we feel we know so well that will have to be
given up. In 50 years or hundred years, the picture of Britannia will
look different. There is a quote about retreating. It is great
language. This chap, the language, retreat. On to the Guardian. Ofsted.
This is a story that has been going on for the last 15 powers also. --
the last 15 hours or so. It would be interesting to see who the
replacement is. We're starting with the Guardian Henley. The big
question today will be, was it Michael Gove's decision to get rid
of Sally Morgan did it come from higher up, from the Prime Minister?
Michael Gove said it was his decision. He said although she was
fantastic, brilliant, she had served her term. Time for a fresh pair of
eyes. Yes. The big problem is, and others are saying, like Harriet
Harman, you have got rid of another woman. It would appear the
government is getting maybe more tribalistic about some
appointments. They said they are bringing in the best people for the
job. This Guardian article points to a hub of discontent. In the story,
it says the number of people appointed to bodies that can be
counted as Conservatives is quite high. There is the head of the
health regulator, the former Tory MP. The is a good contrast for
Labour to go on. That is very much what the Financial Times is
running. It is a sense Tory with a different angle. It suggests that
the education secretary's preference as the successor would be the Tory
donor. I think he will have to be very careful about this appointment.
Harriet Harman challenged him and said, with you appoint another man
to this position? He said, who knows? I suspect now he will be
looking for a respected noble Conservative Baroness. When you're
own partners in government are crowing about it, I think there is a
problem. Laws is not known as being particularly left wing. I think
there is a discontent there. To lose him would be difficult for go. What
did Baroness Morgan to wrong? If the free schools are not doing as well
as the state schools, or their... There is one story I do want to come
onto. On to the Daily Telegraph. The headliners, a romantic film is the
secret to a happy marriage. What do you make of this? I am wondering
what kind of couples were interviewed. Are they as diverse as
New York is? We're happy watching Ironman. With young children, I
never get to watch an entire movie. Better things for others tend to be
the saviours. Channel four, BBC. You are trying to impress. I have never
seen Guess who's coming to dinner. Didn't inspire a more romantic
relationship? No. I think I left the person I was with. Thank you both.
That's it for the papers this hour. My guests will be back at 11.30pm
for another look at the stories making the papers.
We'll have more on the death of the Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour
Hoffman. Now on BBC News, it's time for
Click. You are the keeper of people's
secrets. The government wants access. Do you give them the keys?