23/12/2011 East Midlands Today


23/12/2011

The latest news, sport and weather for the East Midlands.


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This is East Midlands Today. Our top story tonight: Jailed

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indefinitely. The couple who tortured a defenceless housemate.

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Have you been tempted into the shops today a? Or have you gone

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online? If you have finished your Christmas

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shopping, you may need to know what the weather will be like for your

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festive journey. I will have the details at the end of the programme.

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Good evening. Welcome to Friday's programme. A woman and her

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boyfriend have been jailed indefinitely for abusing a

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vulnerable man who was set on fire and made to jump into a canal. 25-

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year-old Amanda Ford was the main instigator of the abuse, getting

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her housemates in Leicester to gang up on the victim. She was said to

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have found the violence towards him entertaining. James Roberson

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reports. A face of apparent innocence mass

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in a brutal appetite for violence. Amanda Ford was one of a group of

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people with learning difficulties who lived in this street. They

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turned up on one of the housemates. He was forced to do the housework.

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For any slip up, he was violently abused. He was beaten with weapons.

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He was set on fire. His teeth were broken. He was thrown down the

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stairs. They even forced him to jump in the nearby canal. After one

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of these visits, he was set alight. Amanda Ford was the ringleader.

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Even when the victim's brother in law reported his plight to the

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police, the man was reluctant to shop is tormentors. He saw them as

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his friends, not as the perpetrators of this terrible abuse.

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These specialists say anyone who suspect abuse against someone with

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disabilities should not be tolerated and reported to the

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police. After the complaint is made to the police, that is the process

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for safeguarding kicking in. women here in the middle was given

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a one-year sentence. The man in the dark suit was given a 12 month

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community order. Today, Amanda Ford and her boyfriend were told the big

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serve a minimum of five and four years respectively. When arrested,

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Amanda Ford claimed she was the most vulnerable of the house and

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Aids. She knew what was happening. She was the ringleader.

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Still to come on the programme: Christmas is back on for a family

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whose home was destroyed by fire. In a matter of days, a whole house

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has been put together by people giving us donations. It has been

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wonderful for. Hospitals in the East Midlands have

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closed wards to new patients as staff try to contain the spread of

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the winter vomiting bug. The norovirus causes sickness and

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diarrhoea. NHS managers say around 200 patients are infected and now

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staff are becoming ill as well. Angelina Socci reports.

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The norovirus Bagh is responsible for the closure of many hospital

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wards across the East Midlands. is very infectious. The key to this

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is hand-washing and to remove yourself from gatherings. If

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patients have the symptoms of winter vomiting, they should stay

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at home. Worst affected his Derby. Nearly 130 patients are suspected

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to have the virus as well as many members of staff. In Nottingham, up

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more than 40 patients have put -- have caught the virus. Glenfield

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Hospital and Leicester are reporting 12 cases between them.

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These special inflatable Dora's can decontaminate areas quickly. --

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inflatable Dora's. If you have this virus, stay at home and drink

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plenty of fluids. Coming to hospitals and visiting hospitals

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should be avoided. Christmas is always busy for hospitals. Battling

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the winter bark will put extra strain on the resources. -- the

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winter vomiting Bach. Police are looking for a man from

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Grantham, who has been missing for ten days. 46-year-old Stuart Taylor

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disappeared in Market Harborough. Officers are now searching close to

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the Grand Union Canal. Mr Taylor's partner has made an emotional plea

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for him to return home. Simon Ward reports.

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It was meant to be their first Christmas together at a new home in

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Grantham. But when this couple went to an appointment in Market

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Harborough on 13th December, Stewart became distressed and

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disappeared. She hopes people will help if they have any information.

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Please take a short time to have a look. Even if you're not sure, if

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you think you see him, please contact the local police force.

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number of inquiries have been undertaken since that date. That

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has led us to some possible sightings in and around the Grand

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Union Canal. Stewart, darling, please. I don't

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know what is going through your head at the moment. I am sure you

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know deep down I love you very much. Please call someone, anyone, just

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to let you -- just to let's know that you are safe and well. Please

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ring me so we can talk about this. Please don't leave me here for

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Christmas on my own. Well, it's nearly all over for

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another year. The Christmas shopping rush entered one of its

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busiest phases today, with one credit card firm saying almost 33-

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million transactions could be completed. But in these tough

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economic times, are shoppers keeping their money where it is, or

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have they been tempted by big discounts? Well, Mike O'Sullivan is

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at the Highcross Centre in Leicester and can tell us more.

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Welcome. This centre is open until 9pm tonight. They expect 100,000

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people through the doors here today. In total, there will have been

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500,000 visitors to this place over the course of the week. The

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Christmas sales are in full swing. It is the season for deep

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discounting. The sale started early this Christmas. How much our people

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spending this year? Weir be more clever and looking for

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bargains. I have spent more this year because the bargains have

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tempted me. I have spent less. Definitely. The internet is

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changing our shopping habits. Sales in this shop are down by 2% over

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the year. But there was a 16% increase in online cells. Is this

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an indicator of the future direction of retailing? This

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distribution centre is half-a-mile long. It will be part of Marks and

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Spencers online business. There will be 1,000 jobs next autumn when

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it opens. The increase in online trading has played a part in the

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closure of best buys stores. They will close next month. There is so

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much competition online. You can get it much cheaper than in the

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stores. A lot of places that sell electrical goods have so much

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competition. It is too much to contend with.

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With plenty of cars packing into the Highcross Centre, perhaps it is

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too early to write off the shops? We have been delighted with the

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Christmas period. Customers have come out and shot. John Lewis is

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21% up this week. I expect that to continue. Some shops will be open

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all day on Christmas Eve. And the sales start all over again on

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Boxing Day. 90,000 people are expected you

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tomorrow on Christmas Eve. Sales are up 2% year-on- year at this

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shopping-centre. Are the statistics could? It is about average. If we

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look at the start of the year, you would be thinking 3%. Now 1% is

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reasonable. It is tough. People are getting more concerned. There are

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stories about electricity and gas rising. There is less money to

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spare. Is there a recession in retail? Not yet. It is just about

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flat. It is the same as last year, but people are being more careful.

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What our next doing right online? Online is very important. The

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website for the store next is proving that. If you don't have

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online service, it is very difficult for you. Are more and

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more retailers going to go the same way as last sense that in the new

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year? -- La Senza. More will follow, I am afraid. They are in debt and

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have to pay some of that off. too early to predict the demise of

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bricks and mortar shopping, however. How many new films went on release

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this year? And how long would it take to watch them all? Well, this

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man knows because he's sat through most of them. Later, we'll be

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asking him which were the triumphs, and which the turkeys.

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A family whose Leicester home was destroyed by fire earlier this week

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say they've been overwhelmed by the generosity of complete strangers.

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Donations of furniture, clothes and electrical goods will now make this

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a Christmas to remember. And for all the right reasons. Peter Snow

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reports. This family lost everything when

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the house was gutted by fire at the weekend. Now they have been

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rehoused by the council. People who have heard of their plight have

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been sending them replacement goods. We had literally nothing. Now we

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have furniture, clothes, at Television. A microwave. Everything.

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One lady has given us a cheque. I have never met her. She sent the

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�100. I am blown away. They have even received a Christmas tree.

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lady has even wrapped up some presents for us. I can't thank

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people enough. She says her faith in community spirit has been

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reaffirmed. In a matter of days, a whole house has been put together

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by people giving it to us. family hope to move back to their

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old house in a few months. In the meantime, they are trying to decide

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which of their five televisions to watch on Christmas Day.

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Fantastic news. And now another heart-warming story which shows

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that watching East Midlands Today can also help if you're looking for

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work in these financially difficult times. Yes, the first person

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recruited by a major new employer in Derby says she only heard about

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the jobs on offer by watching us. And she'd been searching for work

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for two years. Simon Hare reports. Wrapping up the last few presents.

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But Christmas came early for this woman. In the form of a job offer.

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Derby has been given a jobs boost after one of the UK's largest call

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centre companies. Mac this was our report which she saw last week. It

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alerted her to 700 new jobs. applied online that evening and got

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a call the next day. It all started for mayor. Part of the former egg

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call centre is being taken over by a customer service company. And she

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was the first to be offered a post. She had been job-hunting for two

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years. Being offered the job to start with was amazing. But being

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the first person, it is the best Christmas present ever. The company

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says they have had 800 applications for the 700 jobs initially being

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created. And she is one of 84 people to get job up and kick --

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job offers so far. I am proud of her. I like her having a nice job.

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It means so much to me and my daughter that we can have a relaxed

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Christmas and look forward to a brighter future for.

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And some more good news for Derby. The train-maker Bombardier has won

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a government contract to convert diesel trains to run on electricity.

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The work will be mainly research and design, but there will also be

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some manufacturing. The project involves upgrading up to 35 diesel

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trains. Earlier this year Bombardier lost a major UK

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government contract, which was given to a German company.

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A Leicestershire fund to redistribute unwanted winter fuel

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payments to charities has raised �11,000 over the past three weeks.

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Last year, Paul and Sue Newman from Glenfield set up the 125 winter

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fund with the help of people who felt they didn't need the extra

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money. People in the East Midlands are

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celebrating the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. This event took place at

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Victoria Park in Leicester this evening. The eight day festival

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celebrates the restoration of a temple in Jerusalem, 2,000 years

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ago. This time of year is a chance to

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gorge yourself on loads of films, but spare a thought for a man who

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has already had a bellyfull. At the beginning of 2011, Neil White, a

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journalist from Derby, set himself the target of watching every film

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on general release, and all in his spare time. Earlier this week, Neil

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found time to pop into the studio between films and spoke to Quentin

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Rayner. First question, had he managed it?

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Sadly not. I will get to about 620 films. That is about 40 short. I

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did not start quickly enough. I went on holiday at the start of the

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year. Now I am rushing around to watch three or four a day. But how

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one quite make it. Have you had some hairy moments? Yes. One day, I

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watched six films. It was like I had jet lag at the end of it. It

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started at 10am in the morning and finished at 11pm at my. What about

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your trip to Bradford Q mac I got there and realised the film had

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subtitles, but it didn't. I sat through all of the adverts and the

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trailer as, but the film was in Punjabi. I am not counting that one.

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You must have a favourite. Which is It got two Oscars. It is a

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fantastic family drama. I think it is the best sporting drama ever

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made. That is your favourite. Presumably you must have had to sit

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through some quite general -- some quite dreadful ones? Zombie films

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don't do it for me. Perhaps I am not romantic enough, but wrong

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Comms as well. -- romantic comedies as well. Some of these films have

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been sent to you on DVD. What does your wife think? My wife and my

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children are very supportive. I think my wife has sat through 300

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films. You have a website which is cataloguing your film watching.

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What has been your response? Fantastic. I am very surprised in

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it. One person has sent me a foodie with the film, the fighter, on it.

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I have heard from people in Afghanistan and Libya. It has been

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amazing. You are a glutton for punishment and are going to try

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this again next year? It is my Everest. I have not quite made it.

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I am halfway up the mountain. I want to reach the very top and I

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will be better organised next time. He must be sick of popcorn by now!

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Sport now and Christmas is a defining time for our football and

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rugby teams. While we tuck into the turkey and trimmings, a glut of

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festive fixtures lie ahead for Leicester, Forest, Derby, Notts and

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the Tigers, as Natalie Jackson reports.

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If you ask most the dollars what they want for Christmas, they come

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out with that old chestnut of three points. But for this festive period,

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all Forest want is to get out of the bottom three. And these other

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-- these are. We have to stay focused and not eat too many pies.

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We will be raring to go. What do you want for Christmas? Everyone to

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smile at home and in the stadium. -- goals. All they want are more

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We have been inconsistent this season so far. But we're still in

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touch. I love this time of year. Loads of it all. Lots of families

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coming to the game. We are looking forward to a. Merry Christmas to

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all of our fans. Have a nice to time. At Derby, they have two

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Christmas crackers. There is a lot of history between the clubs. It

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will be a fantastic occasion. We're desperate for three points. This

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week, the Rams have been spreading Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas and thanks for your support in 2011.

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Notts County are relying on Rudolph and sand a's sleigh to take them on

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their travels. I think we will have 1,000 supporters at Sheffield. I

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want to make them happy. We can make a lot of people happy. That

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would make me happy. It is a busy time for the Leicester Tigers.

:23:10.:23:20.
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would like peace and happiness for Nice to see football managers

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Nice to see football managers smiling for once!

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Today has not felt very Christmas Eve. What a difference a year makes.

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This time last year, I was doing the forecast ankle deep in snow.

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This year, mild temperatures. Mild temperatures for Christmas Day and

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Boxing Day. I have pressed the wrong button! This photograph was

:23:55.:24:05.
:24:05.:24:06.

taken this morning. Thank you for that. Keep sending them into us. We

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have had trained with us today. That is starting to clear away to

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the south and east. Trial behind it, so there might be some light

:24:18.:24:25.

showers over the next few others. The rain continues to clear up

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which will bring us clear skies overnight. Much cooler than last

:24:31.:24:39.

night. Temperatures will fall down to about two degrees. We wake up on

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Christmas Eve with a decent start. Gradually, we will see an increase

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in cloud through the morning. On a whole, I should stay dry.

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Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire might get some rain.

:24:54.:25:01.

It is breezy. Temperature rise, about seven degrees. But it will

:25:01.:25:09.

take time to get there. Stay in windy on the night of Christmas Eve

:25:09.:25:19.

which might help Santa with his journey. It is staying mild on

:25:19.:25:24.

Christmas Day. 10 or 11 degrees. Very similar on Boxing Day. Another

:25:24.:25:34.
:25:34.:25:34.

dry day. Staying breezy. Right across the Christmas weekend.

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Milder temperatures are with us until Tuesday. But don't worry, we

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will be with you over Christmas and new year to keep you up-to-date.

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Merry Christmas! As this is our last full programme

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before Christmas, we thought we'd leave you with a real festive treat.

:25:58.:26:01.

To play us out are three choristers from Southwell Minster. They are

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Joe Knight, Toby Hyde-Barker and Guy Parker. The conductor is Paul

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Hale. They are singing Away in a Manger. From all of us on East

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Midlands Today, Happy Christmas. # Away in a manger, no crib for a

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bed. # The little Lord Jesus laid down

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his sweet head. # The stars in the sky looked down

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where he lay. # The little Lord Jesus asleep on

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the hay. # The cattle are lowing, the baby

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awakes. # But little Lord Jesus no crying

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