20/12/2013 Midlands Today


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Hello, and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight: "We


just want to bring her home," the words of Nicola Payne's parents,


after two men arrested in connection with her murder are released on


bail. We have searched everywhere. Tried


every avenue. We desperately need this closure.


We'll have an exclusive interview with John and Marilyn Payne.


Also tonight: A report into the death of a child who swallowed


heroin says there were unacceptable failings in his care.


Someone should be held responsible. A 22`month`old boy lost his life


because he was not monitored correctly.


Better communication between different agencies has been


promised. All involved have offered an apology for what they said was


the loss of a much`loved child. Every Christmas, advice on safe


drinking on a night out is repeated. But our next story really brings the


message home. 25`year`old Simon Collins held down a job, but would


binge drink. Three years ago, over the festive period, he collapsed,


and died in hospital months later. His brother Dan spoke to our


reporter Ben Godfrey, in the hope that Simon's story will help save


someone else's life. Simon, you can sort your life out,


you will be all right. He said, I will be dead before I am 25.


Three days before Christmas Day in 2010, Simon Collins collapsed after


a night out binge drinking. To look at him, I thought something


did not feel right. He was cold. Lifeless. Simon's family watched him


slowly deteriorate, and it was too late to do anything.


Five months later, after visiting him every day, we even celebrated


his 25th birthday at hospital. We got him a villa cake. He is a


massive villa fan. We lost him. Simon was a chef in a restaurant. A


bar was always close by. His parents separated before his 18th birthday.


And, in the following years, his life turned towards alcohol and


gambling. His doctor said his liver was


absolutely fine and he took that as an excuse to carry on drinking.


Dan Collins now feels it's his duty to warn people about the dangers of


binge drinking. So, we introduced him to a charity supporting people


with drink and drug addictions, at their annual conference, and he


ended up being a keynote speaker. Because it was `10 outside, his bad


`` his body carry on living even though his heart stopped.


Dan made a radio documentary, and won an international award in New


York. It was a simple idea. He sat in a room and talked to his father.


April 19 2011, we lost him. There's probably not a day goes by when we


don't think about him. Having feedback from charities, this is so


powerful. People listening to it have been in tears. I am hoping that


it will help at least one person, then it is worth making.


Dan Collins, on dealing with the death of his brother, Simon. Tonight


will be one of the busiest nights of the year for the emergency services.


They've set up a temporary minor injury unit to treat revellers in


Birmingham city centre. Ben Godfrey is there now. How many people are


they expecting to treat tonight? This is broad Street on Birmingham.


This is essentially a field hospital. Individual trauma bays,


six of them, those worse for the work can actually come here to be


treated. They call it that Friday because of the level of people


coming in, perhaps 80 alone this evening. Nathan, what specific


injuries to people have? Mainly alcohol related, false, head


injuries from assaults. A range of issues coming through the door this


evening. When we hear about the Collins family, are people taking


warnings about alcohol abuse? Unfortunately not. We see increased


calls related to alcohol over the festive period. We do encourage


people to drink moderately. A is besieged. You are taking people away


from A That is correct. This will free up some of the capacity, to


treat patients here. But you only have six beds. Overall, not


everybody needs a bed. People can be fixed up quite quickly and sent on


their way. It's all here if it is needed. This


is open tonight from 8pm until 4am, the same tomorrow, and new years


eve. Hopefully they won't see many people here, although sadly they are


expected to come in their dozens. A teacher at a Birmingham school,


who recorded himself sexually assaulting children, has been jailed


for three years and eight months. Phillip Evans, a music teacher at


King Edward School in Edgbaston, fitted secret cameras in the


changing rooms. Police described Evans as a cold, calculating


paedophile. Four people have been charged, after


a man from Gloucestershire died on a night out in Manchester. 30`year`old


Nick Bonnie collapsed in September, after taking what's thought to be a


contaminated ecstasy tablet at a nightclub. The four men, all from


Gloucestershire, are charged with perverting the course of justice and


possession and supply of class A drugs.


This is our top story tonight: "We just want to bring her home," the


words of Nicola Payne's parents, after two men arrested in connection


with her murder are released on bail.


Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly.


Also in tonight's programme: The season of goodwill at Hereford


United. Fans are asked to help out with


players' wages. And, really getting into the part.


Our reporter Satnam goes behind the scenes in panto land.


Let's catch up on the sport. Coventry City fans have a new


stadium, on paper at least. Ian Winter is at the Ricoh Arena. How


much detail is there, Ian? As with most plans, the devil is in


the detail. And the one detail that's not been revealed is exactly


where the new Coventry City stadium would be built. We're told it could


seat up to 23,000 fans. And it could cost up to ?20 million. But today,


club officials told me it's the best way forward to end the long`running


rift with the Ricoh Arena. Busy`busy in the city centre today.


And, for last`minute shoppers, their first glimpse of a new gift. The


architect's plans for Coventry City's new stadium. It looks modern


and fit for purpose. But there's a problem. No one knows when, or


indeed where, they're going to build it.


I suspect it's going to be near the airport, there's a lot of


development there. They should put it in the park. Which part? The car


park! Coventry. That would be best. That would be novel. On the


outskirts, we would still go. How far would you still go? Within the


Coventry boundary. Where is it going to be? We don't know, David! Beryl,


do you know? Beryl doesn't know. But this man


does. Mark Labovitch has been a nonexecutive director of Coventry


City for the past two years. He's excited by the new plans and he's


keen to hear supporters' opinions. But the burning question remains.


Well above the stadium be built? You know we can't answer that right at


the minute. We have two sites we are negotiating on. It would be suicidal


to drop one of them and have all our eggs in one basket. We want to get


moving quickly. We want to get back to the outskirts of Coventry as soon


as possible. I want the club to own its own stadium that by Coventry,


and play here and have a great future. Eventually, it could seat up


to 23,000 fans. And it could cost up to ?20 million pounds. But it's


anyone's guess as to when it'll get started, let alone finished. Until


then, the new stadium remains an artist's impression. And the most


concrete plan is for Coventry to play at Swindon tomorrow.


Ian, that new stadium is still some way off, what about more immediate


matters? West Brom's search for a new head coach. What's the latest?


Interesting developments during the day. And it's looking very much like


a two`horse race between a Scot and a Scandinavian. The bookies'


favourite tonight is Malky Mackay. And the second favourite is Ole


Gunnar Solskjaer. All the other runners and riders appear to have


been left standing. This evening, Mackay is still the manager of


Cardiff City. But not for much longer. He's had a long`running, and


very public dispute with the club's owner. And Albion are ready to


pounce, as soon as he quits Cardiff. But, as we revealed on Monday, Ole


Gunnar Solskjaer is very much in the picture. He's keen to manage in the


Premier League, he's had great success with his Norwegian club


Molde, and he's told them that he's keen to listen to what Albion have


to say. In the meantime, Albion play Hull


City tomorrow, with Keith Downing in temporary charge. One of his former


clubs, Hereford United, are struggling to pay their players'


wages this Christmas. The Conference side are asking fans to raise


?35,000 to help them through until the New Year. Nick Clitheroe


reports. There were plenty of smiling faces


at Hereford United's training session this morning, but the


players can be forgiven if inside they're just a little bit worried.


The players are thinking they won't get paid in December which puts a


dampener on morale. I totally understand and respect the decision


by the board. If you are a business losing money, you need to do


something about it. For the chairman David Keyte, it's a major


frustration. They had hoped to sign a new 30`year lease on their ground


with the council before Christmas. That would have allowed them to


finalise a deal with a mobile phone company to put receivers on their


floodlights, and raise more than ?100,000.


We have made severe cuts in the last two years. And the gates have gone


down still further which has taken us back a step. So we have made


further cuts. At what level do we get the clear message that Hereford


does not need a professional football club? The problem is that


relegation from the Football League saw their income drop instantly from


?750,000 a year to just ?47,000. It's worried fans like Keith Dodd


who's been watching the club for almost 60 years.


I know the board had put a considerable much of money to keep


us where we are. Ex`football league clubs which have been relegated


struggling like us. We are one of many.


We need to get the club through this period, into the summer. Then there


needs to be serious talks about a sensible budget for next season.


There is some positive news. More than ?3,000 has been pledged in the


first 24 hours, and further ahead, major redevelopment plans promise a


more secure future. Tonight, it's all quiet at the


Ricoh. But clearly it's going to be a very busy Christmas for everyone


connected with Hereford United, Coventry City and West Bromwich


Albion. For many, Christmas just wouldn't be


the same without a trip to the pantomime. But while we settle into


our seats ready to be entertained, have you ever thought about what it


takes to put on the show night after night? Our arts reporter Satnam Rana


has been meeting people on and off stage, to bring us a flavour of


pantomime season across the Midlands. Just a warning, her report


does contain some ugly sisters. I set upon a quest.


To dig beneath the jest. To get beyond the curtain.


Find great shows for certain. And meet people full of panto pun.


Bringing all of us lots of festive fun.


In Lichfield, doth Snow White reside, turn the page to step


inside. At The Garrick, and a familiar face


for Midlands Today's viewers. Joanne Malin is transformed into


Queen Evilene, in Snow White and the Magic Mirror. You know, I never


forget a face but in your case, I'll make an exception. You can call me


your Majesty. And this is the busy sewing bee


who's helped make it happen. It's been brilliant. I've started out at


the studio in Cheadle with Jon. And then that's where all the designs


were. Then I will be doing the whole run and see it through to the end


when I will be sad to see the costumes go.


13 shows on the panto meter for Geoff at The Regent Theatre.


In Stoke on Trent, Geoff is at work in the box office. You'd think it


would be hard work doing two shows a day. It is fun, you can hear the


atmosphere, thousands of kids, parents, families, all coming into


the theatre to enjoy themselves to scream and shout. When do have a


chance normally to do that throughout the year?


Inside the auditorium, Snow White and Seven Dwarfs is the call of the


day for these young children. At The Courtyard, two dames we meet


serving up some yule time treats. And big hair, big make`up is the


order of the day for this panto dame.


I'm behind you! My goodness, you are so ugly. Oh no


we are not. Why is it such an important part of production? The


panto dame brings a bit of fun, it gets the audience going, kids


shouting. We get to play tricks on everyone. Brilliant fun at


Christmas. Isn't it? No, it's not. I'm prettier than you are. Oh, note


you are not! You guessed it.


The story here is Cinderella. She is putting in a 12`hour day for the


Christmas show in Stratford upon Avon. Her job, warming up the


actors' voice and body. There are lots of coughs and colds


at Christmas so it is sustaining their vocal health throughout the


festive season. It is a challenge. But we manage it.


As Wendy and Peter Pan take to Neverland, it's time for us to fly


to the second city, OT. Birmingham. And a panto grand, one of the


biggest in the land. At The Hippodrome, fashion guru Gok


Wan takes to the stage for the first time in Snow White and the Seven


Dwarfs. Panto means three things, family and


friends getting together and celebrating. The second thing is


fun. The third thing is, camp, camp, camp.


Beanstalk, Giant. A lad named Jack. To Shrewsbury, quick no turning


back. At Theatre Severn, Jo is in charge


of 600 litres of water for a gag`filled bathroom scene. It's the


best and worst part of the year for us. At the same time, everyone else


having fun and not havng to work. Whereas we're having fun at work.


And there you have it, my panto story.


So go forth and revel in Christmas glory.


Satnam Rana, BBC Midlands Today, somewhere in panto land.


Let's find out how the weather is shaping up over the weekend, Rebecca


has the forecast. We have a bit of everything to come.


A rather chilly start to today. Not dissimilar to the scene captured


here by Jack Downes in his garden. A frosty start. Plenty of rain to


come. Sunshine and showers to content with as well. There's


sunshine and showers will also see quite a bit of wind through the next


couple of days. We have an area of low pressure moving into day, taking


some time to get to us. We will see quite a bit of rain this evening.


And strong winds, up to 40 miles an hour this evening. 20 millimetres of


rainfall by tomorrow morning. Once that band of rain has cleared away,


it will be a quite end to the night. Not feeling too cold either.


Saturday is not too bad at all. Some sunny spells in the morning. Showers


to content with, some quite nicely. Still rather breezy, the possibility


of a wintry mix. Good spells of sunshine to come through the day


before this next band of rain makes its way in. Temperatures up to 11


Celsius, not feeling too bad. This second span `` second band moves in


afterwards. There could be localised flooding on Sunday. It is getting


much colder. Sunday is rather chilly. Showers we see are more


likely to contain some snow. Temperatures around seven Celsius.


The winds are picking up. Monday, a big area of low pressure bringing


strong winds, heavy rain, and a Met Office yellow warning for wind and


rain. By Christmas Day, things are starting to get colder. A mixed


picture heading to Christmas. It could cause travel disruption. Stay


tuned to the forecast. Tonight's headlines from the [email protected]


Nigella Lawson's two assistants are cleared of fraud. They had claimed


they were allowed to spend huge sums if they kept quiet about her drug


use. 17 different agencies failed to


prevent men sexually abusing young girls in Rochdale. If "We just want


to bring her home," the words of Nicola Payne's parents, after two


men arrested in connection with her murder are released on bail.


And a report into the death of a child who swallowed heroin says


there were unacceptable failings in his care.


That was the Midlands Today. I'll be back at ten o'clock. Have a great


evening. Goodbye.


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