20/12/2013 Midlands Today


20/12/2013

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

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

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

:00:13.:00:19.

bail. We have searched everywhere. Tried

:00:20.:00:24.

every avenue. We desperately need this closure.

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

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

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heroin says there were unacceptable failings in his care.

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

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because he was not monitored correctly.

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Better communication between different agencies has been

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

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

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

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

:08:34.:08:37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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gambling. His doctor said his liver was

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This is essentially a field hospital. Individual trauma bays,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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warnings about alcohol abuse? Unfortunately not. We see increased

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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who recorded himself sexually assaulting children, has been jailed

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

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King Edward School in Edgbaston, fitted secret cameras in the

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changing rooms. Police described Evans as a cold, calculating

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paedophile. Four people have been charged, after

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

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

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

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Gloucestershire, are charged with perverting the course of justice and

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possession and supply of class A drugs.

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

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

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with her murder are released on bail.

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Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly.

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

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United. Fans are asked to help out with

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

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Our reporter Satnam goes behind the scenes in panto land.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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indeed where, they're going to build it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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does. Mark Labovitch has been a nonexecutive director of Coventry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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concrete plan is for Coventry to play at Swindon tomorrow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:29.:17:31.

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

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

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

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

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to say. In the meantime, Albion play Hull

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

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

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

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

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reports. There were plenty of smiling faces

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

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

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

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dampener on morale. I totally understand and respect the decision

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

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

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

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

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

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floodlights, and raise more than ?100,000.

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

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

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

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

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relegation from the Football League saw their income drop instantly from

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

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

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

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

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struggling like us. We are one of many.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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connected with Hereford United, Coventry City and West Bromwich

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Albion. For many, Christmas just wouldn't be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bringing all of us lots of festive fun.

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

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inside. At The Garrick, and a familiar face

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

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

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

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your Majesty. And this is the busy sewing bee

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

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

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

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when I will be sad to see the costumes go.

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

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

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

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

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

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chance normally to do that throughout the year?

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

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

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

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order of the day for this panto dame.

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

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

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

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

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

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you are not! You guessed it.

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

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

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

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at Christmas so it is sustaining their vocal health throughout the

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

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

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

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

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

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Dwarfs. Panto means three things, family and

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friends getting together and celebrating. The second thing is

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

:24:09.:24:16.

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

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back. At Theatre Severn, Jo is in charge

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

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

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

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And there you have it, my panto story.

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So go forth and revel in Christmas glory.

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

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

:24:48.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:24:59.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:25:47.:25:51.

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

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

:25:58.:26:02.

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

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

:26:07.:26:11.

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

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

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

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likely to contain some snow. Temperatures around seven Celsius.

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

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

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

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

:26:59.:27:01.

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

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

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

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use. 17 different agencies failed to

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

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

:27:25.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:33.

there were unacceptable failings in his care.

:27:34.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:40.

evening. Goodbye.

:27:41.:27:44.

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