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murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing. The Co-Op Bank has
This is East Midlands Today with Dominic Heale and me, Anne Davies.
If Tonight, the South Wigston schoolgirl who gave Adrian Mole to
the world. Tributes are paid to the author Sue
Townsend. You are the she was a lovely person.
Another blow to Rosemary Conley's troubled food and fitness empire.
A drawing protests. Protesters set up camp in North Nottinghamshire.
And the London Marathon. We will catch up with some of the runners
taking part, including our very own Mel Coles.
Good evening and welcome to Friday's programme. First tonight, she was as
proud of Leicester as Leicester was of her. Today a host of tributes
have been paid to Sue Townsend, the author, who's died at the age of 68.
Born and raised in the East Midlands, Sue spent most of her life
in Leicester, using it as a setting for her most famous work ` the
Adrian Mole series. Amy Harris reports.
Hapless hero Adrian Mole brought to life on television. He is the
creation of Sue Townsend, whose hugely popular series follows him
from adolescence to maturity, all set in and around her home city. She
charted social history in an ordinary town that was not London.
Over the course of 30 years. She is a national treasure. Adrian Mole
made her name but her the role was originally called something else and
at the University of Leicester's library lies the evidence. This is
one of our prize possessions. This is the only draft manuscript of The
Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole. You will notice that it is actually
Nigel Mole. This presenter met her before the release of the brick and
they have been friends since. I still get overwhelmed thinking about
it. To be just a tiny part in those incredibly well wonderfully funny
and much loved book 's is just wonderful. She achieved worldwide
success following the publication of Adrian Mole books. She was left
blind by diabetes and died after a stroke. She was able to touch people
's hearts through her story telling. She was a real person. Her honesty
came across in her books which have entertained and enchanted millions
of readers. She will go down in history as the Leicestershire
schoolgirl who gave Adrian Mole to the world.
As you heard in Amy's piece, tributes have been paid from across
the country and here's just a few of those quotes from Twitter today.
JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, said she was "so sad
to hear about Sue Townsend. She gave me so many laughs." Comedian Sarah
Millican said she was just about to start reading Sue's most recent
novel, The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year, and will "do so now with a
heavier heart". The actor David Walliams described her as a "comedy
genius" and "a lovely lady". And finally, the writer Caitlin Moran
said she was "one of the funniest women who ever lived".
The Leicestershire`based Rosemary Conley Health And Fitness Company is
terminating its contracts with all franchisees across the country. The
business is already in administration but a lack of cash
coming in has prompted the move. Simon Ward is outside the company's
headquarters at Quorn in Leicestershire. Simon, what's led to
the decision today? There are various parts of the
business empire up for sale. During the recession, less people went to
fitness classes and it has been hard to find new members. Rosemary Conley
and the administrators remain confident and hope they will find a
new buyer. But at the moment the process of terminating contracts is
going ahead. It's a famous brand that is getting
into difficulties. Already in administration, parts of the company
are up for sale. Now it has been revealed more than 120 franchisees
who run Rosemary Conley Food And Fitness clubs are having their
contracts terminated because some were not paying regular fees. The
business requires an income from management services fees payable by
the individual franchisees. A number have not been able to pay for one
reason or another. That means the company cannot continue providing
support to franchisees. Sharon Perdue is one of the franchisees in
Nottingham. She has operated for 19 years. We have been going to classes
for the last ten weeks, trying to keep the smile on our face. The last
week, Rosemary told us on Monday that we would be able to walk away
from our contract. Yesterday, we knew the date, which will be the
17th of April. That was a bit of a relief because we had been in limbo.
Then it was a little scary as well. Rosemary Conley herself is
travelling out of the UK but spoke on the phone. Discussions are
ongoing with a number of parties who are interested in taking the
franchise operation forward. If that doesn't work out, there is a real
opportunity for franchisees to be able to use my name under licence.
Administrators hope the company founder is right and someone steps
in to rescue the business. What is the timescale now?
From next Thursday, business support is being withdrawn from people who
run the clubs. From the 25th of April, the contract will be
terminated. At that point, people will have to stop using the Rosemary
Conley branding although they are hoping to licence the name in
future. There trying to find a buyer for part of the company at least so
it is likely to be a crucial month. Still to come: the row over
freemasonry that sparked a walk`out by county councillors.
And all set for a festival of cycling in Derbyshire. I'm off to
join the fun. A man has been charged with the
murder of a woman in the Normanton area of Derby. Yvette Hallsworth was
found dead on Sunday morning at the back of houses on Hartington Street.
The 36`year`old died of stab wounds. 18`year`old Mateusz Kosecki appeared
before magistrates in the city today and is due to appear again at
Nottingham Crown Court on Monday. A Nottinghamshire Police officer who
was sacked after he was wrongly convicted of rape has been
reinstated today. Trevor Gray was dismissed after being sentenced to
eight years for attacking a woman at her home. That conviction was later
quashed and he was subsequently cleared at a retrial. Yesterday, the
Police Appeals Tribunal ruled that Mr Gray could return to his job.
A teenager from Loughborough has denied preparing a terrorist attack
on his own home town. Today Michael Piggin told the Old
Bailey that he was influenced by the Columbine High School killers. But
he said he only wrote about repeating the attack as a way to
cope with bullying. Our social affairs correspondent, Jeremy Ball,
was in court and joins us from London. What happened today?
Today he was giving evidence for the first time in this trial. He went
into the witness box wearing an Arctic Monkeys t`shirt. And he
quietly took the jury through his side of the story, led by questions
from his barrister. The central plank of Michael Piggin's defence.
That he was simply a bullied teenager who fantasised about
killing as a coping mechanism. But who never intended to go through
with it. What did he say about the claim that
he planned to copy the notorious Columbine high school massacre?
Michael Piggin told the jury that he was influenced by the Columbine
killers. And he admitted that he felt sorry for them because, like
him, they'd been bullied. And he talked about a central piece of
evidence in this case. Detailed notes he wrote called Plans And
Tactics For Operation: The New Columbine. His barrister, Ali Bajwa
QC, asked, "Is this a genuine plan?" Michael Piggin replied, "Of course
not". And he was asked, "Did you approve of what they did?" The
teenager said, "Of course not, no". He also denied that he was serious
about attacking Loughborough mosque, and other targets that he'd named on
a hit`list. And what did he say about weapons
and videos that have been shown to the jury?
Well, he's denied stockpiling weapons for an attack. Instead, he
said he collected airguns and knives, because it was cool. And a
crossbow found by the police was a Christmas present from his nan. He
was also asked about this evidence. A petrol bomb test. He said that was
something he did with his friends, simply for entertainment. And
finally those videos where he made threats on behalf of the Urban
Revolutionary Army. Michael Piggin said they wanted to be seen as an
anti`extremist group, to defend people. But he suggested it was just
teenage bravado. He'll be back in the witness box next week, to face
questions from the prosecution. Anti`fracking campaigners have set
up an eco camp in Nottinghamshire. It's an attempt to block plans to
drill for shale gas at Daneshill, in the north of the county.
The campaigners claim the first application for underground fracking
in the East Midlands is now just weeks away. This report from the
Sunday Politics reporter Helen McCulloch.
In a wood in the north Nottinghamshire, a protest camp is
growing. Ic ame from Scotland and I heard they were setting up here and
I thought with the Robin Hood legends and stuff and the nature
reserve, this would be a good place to try to turn the tide. At the
moment, they are objecting to drilling to extract methane gas from
the coalbed below the ground. With this area potentially rich in shale
gas, it could soon become the next battle ground in the fight against
fracking. We have been told the first application in the East
Midlands could come as soon as the next two weeks. Protesters here are
making plans. Would you like some leaflets? Kat Boettge from the Green
Party is a regular visitor to the camp. She shares concerns voiced by
protesters here. We need strict regulations in place. It is a joke,
isn't it? An absolute joke. To produce 10% of the gas we need in
this country, we are talking about 300 wells every year for the next
ten years. That is 3000 wells drilled over ten years. You tell me
how you will regulate when you drill one mile down, turn left and drill
for another mile. How do you regulate that? But fracking
companies have the backing of the Prime Minister and are casting their
eyes over the East Midlands. The first thing is we have to explore
and establish the presence of shale and ascertain whether or not it is
economically attractive. That will entail at some point having to frack
the well in order to get the gas to flow. Our expectation is that
probably will occur sometime in 2015. Protesters are heading to the
region and the battle lines are being drawn.
And the issue will be debated on the Sunday Politics for the East
Midlands with MPs Jessica Lee and Jon Ashworth. Join Marie Ashby at
the later time of 2.30 this Sunday here on BBC One.
Plans to make it compulsory for councillors to declare if they're a
freemason has led to a walk`out by elected members at one authority.
The man behind the plan says it's to promote greater transparency. But
the Conservative group on Derbyshire County Council says the idea's been
poorly thought out. Simon Hare reports.
Conservative county councillors in Derbyshire walk out of this week's
full meeting of the authority. It follows a motion tabled by Labour's
Andy Botham who feels if she has to declare his membership of a trade
union, others should declare if they are a Freemason. The motion was
passed unanimously and supported by the third majority party. The
Conservatives have walked away and I don't know when they are coming
back. No one from the Conservative group was available for interview
but they made a statement saying that the motion had been thoroughly
worded and was unconstructive and they have not had the chance to
debate it properly. This solicitor has been a Freemason for 50 years.
He says it is nonpolitical and members cannot use it in their self
interest. We must declare an interest if any conflict arises. You
can't ask a Freemason to declare himself when he is involved in any
walk of life. Its ties to the human rights act. Freemasons are proud of
what we do and should promote it but if they are hiding behind secrecy
how can they do that? It will be taken to another council committee
before being confirmed as policy. Yesterday, we had a look inside
Derby's new partly completed velodrome. And it seems if you're a
serious cycling enthusiast or just want to get fitter this summer then
Derby and Derbyshire are the place to be.
Over 100 separate events will take place throughout the city and
county, in a festival of cycling. Some will be light` hearted ` a
celebration of old bikes, good food and fine wine. Others, more serious,
including the gruelling and ultra`competitive Tour de France.
James Roberson reports. Typical. You wait for one Olympian
and two come along at once. Annie Last, who did well at her mountain
biking event in the London Olympics knows all about the value of cycling
in the Peak District. She grew up there. Having great trails and
accessibility on my doorstep meant it was easy to get out and have
great fun and good training and bike riding. The Olympics have hugely
boosted cycling's popularity. Now dozens of events in Derbyshire at
this summer will raise its profile further and hopefully bring visitors
and money to the area. Tourism is already worth about ?1 billion per
annum here so it is big business. The range of events being staged
here over the summer are of national and international importance. It is
hugely important to the national park because this is a cycling
festival that celebrates the landscape, local food, local
communities and heritage. They will be focusing on well dressing, cheese
and the fantastic beer that comes from the Peak District and our
landscape. That's the great thing about it. But it's not just in the
Peak District. Both the opening of the new velodrome and a new bike hub
are happening in Derby this summer. We are very excited that the
velodrome is opening in Derby so that will add another facility to
claim we are a great place for cycling. The highlight must be the
Tour de France. Three times Paralympic gold medal winner Anthony
Katz from Derbyshire says in its brief visit to the Peak District,
the steepest path will be unmissable. Whether you know about
cycling or not, everyone knows the Tour de France. It is such a
spectacle and opportunity to see the best riders in the world going
through the area. Anyone who has the opportunity to have a look, you have
to take the opportunity. We are all set for a summer of cycling. I'm off
on a bicycle made for two, or maybe 3000, with a Paralympian on the
back. Coming later on the programme:
limbering up for the London Marathon.
Hundreds of East Midlanders will be taking part ` among them, our very
own Mel Coles. Find out why, later. And will it be perfect weather for
the marathon or outdoor plans this weekend? Your detailed forecast
shortly. First, Derby County could confirm
their place in the play`offs tomorrow at home to Huddersfield in
front of their home fans. For striker Johnny Russell it would be
so sweet after a tough season with three bad injuries in less than a
year. Kirsty Edwards reports. Just another day on the Derby
training ground but there's one player here who doesn't take a
minute for granted. Johnny Russell is all smiles now. Back in the team
and enjoying their great position in the league. In the past year, he
suffered three serious injuries. It has been a pretty rubbish year, to
be honest. I hadn't missed any games or training through injury and then
I had the leg breaks and a fractured cheekbone and all in the space of
about a year. The latest injury, a nasty fractured cheekbone, saw him
having to wear a protective mask for a while but not even that could
change his approach to the game. I would give 100%. I would never pull
out of a tackle or shy away from anything just because I'd been
injured before. He has been unlucky. His first game, he scored two goals
and breaks his leg. Comes back and gets another injury. He has been one
of the unluckiest players. When he is fit and playing he is a great
asset for us. He says this past year has been his most frustrating but
also the best. The dream of promotion is still very much alive.
Derby is a Premier League team so that's where we want to be. I signed
to be a part of the team that got us back up there. There is still a long
way to go but we feel we are in a good position and hopefully we can
go for it. Fingers crossed all the injuries are now well and truly
behind him. They come in threes, they say. Hopefully that's it done
with. So Derby up in third. Nottingham
Forest meanwhile are down in tenth place without a win in 11 games. But
they are still just four points off the playoff places and up against
QPR tomorrow. Caretaker manager Gary Brazil believes their luck will
change. It is frustrating because obviously when you are doing
something you want to do it well. There is definitely momentum on the
training ground and in the place. I think we need to that win to pick it
up and make it more visible to people outside the club who aren't
there day`to`day. In League One, Notts County continue
their battle to avoid the drop as they face Port Vale at Meadow Lane.
And Mansfield Town are at home to Rochdale.
Rugby, and Geoff Parling will be back in contention for the first
time in months as Tigers take on London Wasps. He has recovered from
a long term shoulder injury and joins Niall Morris on the bench.
In golf Nottinghamshire Lee Westwood is level par after the second round
in the US Masters. On to cycling, and the news that Sir
Dave Brailsford has stepped down as performance director for British
Cycling. Brailsford, from Derbyshire, led the GB team to
unprecedented success including eight gold medals in Beijing and the
London Olympics. After ten years in the role he is leaving to
concentrate on his work for Team Sky which he helped establish and led to
victory in the Tour de France with both Bradley Wiggins and Chris
Froome. What an ambassador for the area.
It's the London Marathon this weekend and hundreds of runners from
the East Midlands will be taking part, many of them raising money for
incredibly special causes. And that includes our very own
weather presenter, Mel Coles. Mel is raising money for a cause very close
to her heart. Also running for a personal reason is father of two
Andrew Dawkins. Sarah Teale has their stories.
A beautiful morning for a final training run for the big day itself.
East Midlands Today weather presenter Mel Coles will be
competing with thousands of others in the London Marathon on Sunday.
She has forecast a tough race but she will be spurred on by a very
special little girl. She is raising money for three`year`old Iris. She
suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
How much training have you done? A lot. It has taken every bit of spare
time. I've had to get out there and run and I know that her parents
would love to see her get up one more day. I think in those dark
moments where it has been painful or cold, to get out there on the start
line and be running for Iris means the world, actually. Raising money
for another incredibly personal cause is Andrew Dawkins from
Hucknall. He is running for his sons Freddie and Louie, the only
identical twins in the world with Batten disease. Now aged eight, they
are autistic and blind. Andrew is raising ?20,000 to fund critical
research. Looking for therapies which could come from different
parts of drugs treatment. That's what they're looking for, but
ultimately a cure. In the past four years, researchhas come on so much
more than we would ever imagine. We have hope now and we've got to fight
back. We're going to make a difference for our children and
other children with this disease. We are determined, aren't we? Yeah.
That is something that that Iris's parents can understand. Mel's
marathon run has already helped to raise almost ?4000 for the Muscular
Dystrophy Campaign. They are very close to breakthroughs on a lot of
research that is going on so it can make a huge difference to a lot of
people who do struggle and have quite bleak outlooks. It is hugely
important. Mel is hoping to complete the marathon in under four hours and
there is one factor which will help to put an extra spring in her step
along the route. Your husband is racing as well,
isn't he? How important is it that you beat him? Obviously, it is
critical. I have to beat him. And she will be backed every step of the
way by Iris and her family. Good luck, Mel!
Good luck to everyone who's running, including our athletes like
Paralympian Richard Whitehead and Leicester's long distance runner
Gemma Steel, who's competing in her first ever competitive marathon.
So many worthy fundraisers taking part like Ady Turton from Nottingham
who's running for Beating Bowel Cancer in memory of his mum and
grandfather. If Good luck also to Mansfield District Council
electrician Craig Stinson, Richard Norton who's running a year after
being in an accident at work and Stewart Sale who's running for Hope
Against Cancer. And shout`outs to Gareth Laking raising money for
Brake Road Safety, Colin Brown from Narborough running for the MS
Society, Amy Williams from Buxton competing for Cancer Research.
Send us your pictures too. We'd love to see them. You could put them on
our Facebook page. Time for the weather now.
It is not looking too bad for Sunday. We have some weather
pictures for you. Blue skies and cumulus clouds.
The weekend is looking largely dry with just a little bit of rain
tomorrow briefly. The cloud at the moment will melt away this evening
giving us clear skies through the night which will allow temperatures
to drop. We expect around six Celsius in towns and cities or two
or three Celsius in rural spots. In the Peak District you may get a
little frost. This weather front moves south east as we go through
the afternoon tomorrow bringing more cloud and sunlight, patchy rain for
a time. But it won't amount to much. Saturday starts bright and sunny.
First, we see high clouds developing making the sunshine hazy. Just a few
spots of rain in the afternoon but some of us will get away with a dry
day. A south`westerly breeze. Sunday looks like the sunniest day are of
the weekend. Dry on Sunday, broken cloud with sunshine. A bit more
fresh with the wind on Sunday. High pressure stays with us next week. So
good news for the school holidays. This time next week it is Good
Friday. Will you feel nervous
when this is unveiled? In 2013, the public voted for
a portrait of At times he's interesting,
at times he's very funny, My life is a very happy life
and I'm a very happy person. Will you feel nervous
when this is unveiled? I suppose being the centre
of attention but for ever.