03/01/2014 Midlands Today


03/01/2014

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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today, the headlines tonight: Severe flood

:00:00.:00:08.

warnings, defence barriers up, and there's worse to come this weekend.

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It was very dramatic indeed for a period this morning, the river came

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up extremely quick. Talking to the locals, they haven't seen anything

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like it. We'll be live in Gloucester with the

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latest on the floods and the outlook for the weekend. Also tonight, a

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warning from farmers, changes to European subsidies will damage their

:00:29.:00:33.

business. If you take the average farm today,

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if you were to take away the support from CHP, it would not make a

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profit. Filmed and produced in the Midlands,

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actor Mark Williams tells us why he's loving the role of Father

:00:45.:00:48.

Brown. He is so interested in so many

:00:49.:00:52.

things, and I thought my natural inquisitiveness and nosiness would

:00:53.:00:57.

carry me through. Up for the Cup, the striker who

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could just cause a third`round upset.

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And it's the detail that counts with the weather this weekend, I'll be

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telling you when, where and how much more rainfall we can expect over the

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next few days, that's later in the programme.

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Good evening. After last night's heavy rain, flooding is causing

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problems along the River Severn, and there's more rain to come. Tonight,

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there are two severe flood warnings in place on the Severn around

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Minsterworth in Gloucestershire. Elsewhere, there are 13 flood

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warnings on the Severn, and also on the Wye and the River Leam. Further

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upstream, flood defences went up today on the Severn in Shrewsbury.

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But it's Gloucestershire, where the Severn Bore has been surging, that

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has been worst hit so far, as Cath Mackie reports.

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The tidal wave made its way up the river, already swollen from days of

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rain, and it hit had. The water rose by several metres, a force of nature

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breaking through the banks. In Minsterworth, they were prepared

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with a severe flood warning, and many had done what they could to

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protect their homes. It was about 18 inches in one part of the house,

:02:17.:02:21.

three or four inches in the other, so it was quite something, a tide

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coming out of the bank. At this pub, usually the spot to see the tidal

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surge, carpets were taken up in readiness. We have got our sandbags

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ready, but who knows? The coastguard moved along the river making sure

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no`one was trapped or injured. There was relief that the fences had not

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been breached. Elsewhere, the Midlands escaped the worst of the

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weather, and places used to flooding like the cricket ground and

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racecourse in Worcester were underground, but flood defences in

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towns along the river are doing their job. No problems at all, it is

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great to have them here, we don't have to worry about being flooded.

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There was concern that news that the Environment Agency is cutting jobs,

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including some in flood protection. I am appalled, to be honest, because

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they worked tirelessly, they work with communities, they raise

:03:15.:03:18.

awareness of flooding. What is going to happen to communities if these

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members of staff have gone? In Minsterworth, the next surge is at

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about nine o'clock tonight, it is predicted to be big but not as big

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as this morning. But weather forecasters are predicting more rain

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this weekend. These problems have been caused by a large search moving

:03:39.:03:40.

up the River Severn, due to an area of low pressure at high tide and

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strong winds. Couple that with excess water running of the Welsh

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mountains and more rainfall expected through the weekend, we could see

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even more flooding. The Environment Agency is advising people to monitor

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flood warnings and weather conditions.

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And Cath is near one of the areas worst affected in Gloucester, how's

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it looking now? Mary, the weather has been absolutely appalling this

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afternoon! Thankfully, we have some respite at the moment from the

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horrors of rain and howling winds. You can see the river behind me

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charging along, and with me is Chris from the Environment Agency, you

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were here this morning, was it as bad as you expected? It came within

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the parameters that we were expecting, it came very high indeed,

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and we were right to give that severe warning, because there were

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properties and lives at risk. Eyewitnesses said it was scary. It

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was. Initially, the Severn Bore came through that preceded the search

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itself, but I myself was further down river, and it came in a

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extremely fast, probably higher than I was expecting, so you can see the

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potential that it has. You still have a severe flood warning in

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place, what is the advice tonight? There was a bit of flooding but

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thankfully not too much into homes. Importantly, we are going to get

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another one tonight, because we have another astronomical high tide

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combined with wins and the fluvial flooding coming down the river.

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Importantly, we have kept that severe on. It is really to keep

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people away from the river and the parameters of the river. We still

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have to do an awful lot of work, we have people checking our

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infrastructure here. Just briefly, Chris, moored bad weather this

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weekend, what can we expect? Yes, we have another band of rain coming in,

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and other extremely low depression which will give us a lot of water on

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saturated ground, so another 20 or 30 millimetres of rain on high

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ground. So we will see further flood warnings and flood alerts further up

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in the Midlands area, for sure. If you're planning on travelling this

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weekend, you are best to check with your local radio station and the BBC

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News website. Back to you, Mary. Rebecca Wood will have the full

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forecast for the West Midlands later.

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Coming up later in the programme, 31 years in charge of Aston Villa, Doug

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Ellis at 90 on the highs and lows. We could not come in at midnight and

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put the lights on, because the moment you did, the phone would go,

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a van was down the road waiting to come in. That was my wife and I.

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Abuse, abuse, abuse. It's going to be a challenging year

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for our farmers as they face getting less cash from the Government in

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2014. Half of them say the changes will damage their businesses.

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Instead, more money will be diverted away from farmers and into

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environmental schemes and, you may be surprised to learn, grants for

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amateur dramatic societies. Here's our rural affairs correspondent,

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David Gregory`Kumar. The Lapworth Players in Warwickshire

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are tidying up after their Christmas show, a show staged with the help of

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cash from the Common Agricultural Policy, buying scenery and even a

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laptop for lighting. It has made a fantastic difference, a fantastic

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difference. We have used it in three production so far, all the

:07:24.:07:27.

equipment. It has just meant that we have moved on as well, we have not

:07:28.:07:31.

been stuck with old lighting, old sound, you know, we have been able

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to actually make our production better. The government has been

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shifting Common Agricultural Policy cash towards projects like this for

:07:43.:07:45.

a while now, and they want to do more of it, but the question is, how

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much extra cash should they take off farmers and what should they spend

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it on? 9% of the CAP budget had been diverted away from farmers, but over

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Christmas the Government increased that to 12%. And while this cash has

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been used to fund Warwickshire amateur dramatics, most of it is

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used for environmental schemes, often on farms, like Georgina Aird's

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Shropshire wetland. The money that we are getting for environmental

:08:15.:08:19.

schemes is absolutely crucial to what we are doing here, and if the

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NFU position means there is less money in that part, then that is

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really going to have a serious negative impact on our farm

:08:27.:08:29.

business. The NFU accepts the importance of grants for

:08:30.:08:31.

environmental schemes but worries taking cash from farmers to fund

:08:32.:08:36.

them will cause problems. Given that we are competing in the European

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Union, in the same market, the fact that actually English farmers are

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receiving less than farmers in France, Germany, Denmark, Ireland,

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the Netherlands, even in Scotland, well, that creates challenges when

:08:54.:08:57.

it comes to how competitive we can be. As farmers face cuts, the CAP is

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a growing part of rural life. And David is on a Shropshire farm

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now, to pick up on your last point, it's not great news for farmers, but

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surely more cash for rural projects is a good thing? Well, yes, in

:09:10.:09:18.

theory, Mary, but if you look at the numbers, you will see that counties

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like Warwickshire do better at picking up these grants that are on

:09:22.:09:25.

offer for rural businesses and even amateur dramatics when compared to

:09:26.:09:28.

somewhere like Herefordshire, and that could be because there is less

:09:29.:09:31.

need for cash and Herefordshire or because Warwickshire is better at

:09:32.:09:34.

getting hold of it through the system. That could be an issue as

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more of the funds go to the arrears. Let's return to farming, we have

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sheltered inside with a combine harvester and our Bay Hill, who

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farms here with his son. Why do farmers still need subsidies? We are

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still not at a level where we are meeting the industrial wages yet, so

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that was the idea of setting up CAP, and as soon as we get there, we will

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do away with subsidies altogether. Now, more money for green measures,

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most of that farming stuff, on farms, why can't you do more of that

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and grab back more of the money that way? I think at the moment the rules

:10:14.:10:18.

are very unclear on that, but they are going to be definitely

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targeting, and not everybody will be able to get them, and that, of

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course, could be a major problem for some farms were looking to

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diversify. Briefly, in Wales, even more money is going away from

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farmers, you have done quite well, really. They have had the benefit of

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it for many years in Wales, we love them to bits! Thank you for talking

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to us. If you go to my blog, you will find some useful tools that

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allow you to find out how much farmers near you are getting in

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subsidy and what sort of grants have been given to groups around you. We

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found well dressing in Staffordshire getting CAP money!

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Wise to stay indoors! 60 workers at a Black Country firm which

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manufactures brass products have lost their jobs after it went into

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administration. McKechnie Brass Limited, which is based in Aldridge

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in Walsall, dates back 140 years. It appointed administrators at the end

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of last month after making heavy losses, partly caused by an increase

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in scrap`metal prices, which pushed up costs.

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Detectives have released CCTV images of a man seen using a bank card

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stolen in a burglary. He was spotted at a Spa shop in Chelmsley Wood near

:11:30.:11:33.

Birmingham just minutes after a nearby house was burgled. Officers

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are hoping that releasing the pictures will help to identify the

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thief. The crime`fighting priest Father

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Brown is back for a second series on BBC One. Made by BBC Birmingham and

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filmed largely in Worcestershire and the Cotswolds, it's a worldwide

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success, seen in 16 countries. Our arts reporter, Satnam Rana, has been

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following filming throughout the year. She went on location to meet

:11:57.:12:04.

the star Mark Williams, who's perhaps even better known for his

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role as Mr Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

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Stand`by and action! Drama and motor history coming

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together on Shelsley Walsh hill climb in Worcestershire. Today the

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world's oldest motor sport venue in continuous use has been transformed

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into the set of BBC drama Father Brown. The top priority for us is to

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use the resources available to us locally and kind of put the Midlands

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on the screen, really, and to show where so much of the talent on and

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off is regional talent locations as well. It makes sense to use the

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local locations as well. I appear to be having an episode! The drama, set

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in the fictional Cotswold village of Kembleford in the 1950s, is based on

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the character created by GK Chesterton. Father Brown is played

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by Birmingham's Mark Williams. I remember the telephone call, and I

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remember thinking about whether I could do it or not. And I thought,

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yeah, I can do that. He's so interested in so many things, and I

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thought that my natural inquisitiveness stroke nosiness

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would carry me through, and it has. The series is made by BBC

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Birmingham's Drama Village, which produces 120 hours of TV per week.

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It's one of 31 features shot in the West Midlands last year. It's

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estimated ?8m was spent in the region. These shows also bring

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opportunities for local people. 64 extras have taken part in filming

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today. Now it's given theses supporting actors a chance to enjoy

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this beautiful landscape here as well as watch big names like Mark

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Williams in action. I think it is really good for the county, and it

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was a lovely drive over first thing this morning at 6:30, two, were when

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the sun had not risen in the clouds were in the valley. It was a special

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time of day to be driving. This is probably the oldest race track in

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the world, I believe, over 100 years old, and that is why they chose this

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place. Nice to see the Midlands featuring highly again. The second

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series of Father Brown starts on Monday afternoon at 2.15 for two

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weeks. And such is its success, filming starts for series three in

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the spring. 17 minutes to seven. This is our top

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story tonight, severe flood warning, defence barriers up, and there's

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worse to come this weekend. Your detailed weather forecast to come

:14:58.:15:00.

shortly, Rebecca will tell us how much more rain we're in for.

:15:01.:15:03.

Also in tonight's programme, it's FA Cup third round weekend, but Aston

:15:04.:15:06.

Villa's striker crisis deepens, Libor Kozak out for the rest of the

:15:07.:15:12.

season with a broken leg. And serious scores in Solihull, where

:15:13.:15:15.

Britain's best are competing for the title of champion.

:15:16.:15:24.

Sir Doug Ellis will always be linked with Aston Villa. Fittingly, he

:15:25.:15:29.

celebrated his 90th birthday today at Villa Park. He took over when the

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club was on its knees in the '60s and finally sold it seven years ago,

:15:36.:15:38.

with Villa established in the Premier League and solvent. Sir Doug

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has been talking to Nick Owen about his long love affair with Villa, on

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being the target of protests from the fans, and his relationships with

:15:47.:15:53.

a series of managers. I was fed to them all, they knew

:15:54.:15:58.

that they had complete control of training, choosing a team,

:15:59.:16:04.

discipline, whatever they did. When it comes to the finance,

:16:05.:16:07.

particularly if we were buying players, then it was passed to me

:16:08.:16:11.

once they have decided that was the player they wanted. But I spent

:16:12.:16:21.

120,000,001 year. Yet the fans often said you were too cautious. Oh,

:16:22.:16:26.

yeah, they kept calling me to get my cheque`book out. They abused me,

:16:27.:16:32.

they did all kinds of things to me and my wife and family. This house,

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a three tonne lorry driving all around the lawn here. We could not

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come in at midnight and put the lights on, because the moment you

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did, the phone would go, because they was a van down the road waiting

:16:47.:16:49.

for us to come in. Despite the abuse, I still kept to my principles

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of believing you cannot spend money which you have not got, and I didn't

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spend it. What did that do to you? Didn't it make you want to get out?

:17:01.:17:07.

No, no, just made me more determined to stay! I fought hard to keep the

:17:08.:17:14.

club stable, and I sold it without a penny of debt, with a good stadium,

:17:15.:17:19.

a good training ground, and a good set of players, and a lot of

:17:20.:17:25.

youngsters coming up. People have said you have got a huge ego, what

:17:26.:17:30.

do you say to that? If I did, I am sorry. I don't! I like to be humble

:17:31.:17:39.

and normal, and I'm not trying to be anything other than what I was when

:17:40.:17:44.

I was born. How important do you think the football club is to a

:17:45.:17:49.

community? The industrial cities are reliant upon the local football club

:17:50.:17:55.

being successful. And it is the talk of the town. When you lose, the men

:17:56.:17:59.

who are working in industrial cities' factories, on a Monday

:18:00.:18:06.

morning, they downed tools for the first half`hour, because they are in

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the toilets talking about the football match. Aston Villa's

:18:10.:18:13.

greatest success happened when you were not gently on, does that

:18:14.:18:17.

wrangle? It does a bit, because I knew the majority of the team and

:18:18.:18:21.

the staff behind the team were my appointments, so I was pleased for

:18:22.:18:26.

them. You were knighted for your services to charity, that must have

:18:27.:18:30.

been an absolute highlight. It was, knowing from where I came, six

:18:31.:18:39.

shillings a week to pick up milk and deliver it at 6:30. It was. You have

:18:40.:18:44.

been married for 50 years now, what challenge has been for you living

:18:45.:18:49.

with Mr Aston Villa, a driven businessman? Every match, home and

:18:50.:18:56.

away, she took a lot of the abuse, particularly on the telephone when I

:18:57.:19:02.

am not there from supporters who were abusing me. But she stuck it.

:19:03.:19:11.

And she is still here today. Finally, what are your hopes for

:19:12.:19:17.

Aston Villa? Oh... To win the premiership. Many happy returns. My

:19:18.:19:25.

friend, Nick, for many years, many thanks.

:19:26.:19:29.

Round three of the FA Cup takes place this weekend. There's sure to

:19:30.:19:35.

be an upset somewhere, but will it involve a Midlands club?

:19:36.:19:39.

Let's hope so, Kidderminster Harriers think they can, and they

:19:40.:19:42.

might have the man to do it. 12 months ago, Joe Lolley was studying

:19:43.:19:45.

at university and playing part`time in the Midland Combination. He

:19:46.:19:48.

scored 88 goals in 83 games for the Worcestershire club, Littleton. And

:19:49.:19:51.

this season, with Kidderminster Harriers, he's caught the eye of

:19:52.:19:55.

several top clubs. Joe's been talking to Ian Winter before

:19:56.:19:58.

tomorrow's FA Cup third`round tie against Peterborough.

:19:59.:20:05.

Joe Lolley, playing for fun and fully focused on the FA Cup. He's 21

:20:06.:20:12.

with pace to burn and a powerful shot. Peterborough, beware of the

:20:13.:20:19.

new kid on the Kidderminster block. I thought I might take a bit longer

:20:20.:20:22.

to get my chance in the team, it is happened quicker than I expected,

:20:23.:20:26.

but I'm not complaining. You are not afraid to have a crack at goal. I

:20:27.:20:31.

have already had the most shots, sometimes I think I should pass it

:20:32.:20:35.

more, but I see the goal and take a shot.

:20:36.:20:37.

And with seven goals so far, he's currently one of the hottest

:20:38.:20:40.

properties in non`league football. It is no surprise that his

:20:41.:20:43.

outstanding talent has caught the eye of many Football League clubs,

:20:44.:20:48.

surely one of them will make an offer that Kidderminster cannot

:20:49.:20:50.

refuse during the January transfer window. Everyone is on the edge of

:20:51.:20:56.

the seat when he gets the ball, it is fantastic, I know what the fans

:20:57.:21:00.

are thinking, something is going to happen. How good could he be tumour

:21:01.:21:05.

he is a special talent, the young lad making a name for himself, I

:21:06.:21:09.

have high hopes he can go to the top. By sheer coincidence, one of

:21:10.:21:12.

Joe's biggest admirers just happens to be Peterborough United, who'll be

:21:13.:21:15.

watching him like a hawk when they go head to head with the Harriers

:21:16.:21:19.

tomorrow. But his ultimate dream would lie a little closer to home.

:21:20.:21:24.

Are you an Aston Villa fan? I am, quite a big fan! But yeah, no, I

:21:25.:21:33.

love Villa. Now there's food for thought. Just imagine if Harriers

:21:34.:21:37.

got drawn against Villa in round four. But first, they must pull off

:21:38.:21:40.

a shock against Peterborough to write a famous chapter in the

:21:41.:21:48.

football life of Joe Lolley. So Kidderminster are up for the Cup,

:21:49.:21:52.

but the Aston Villa manager is a little less enthusiastic.

:21:53.:21:54.

Yes, in his pre`match press conference, Paul Lambert said that

:21:55.:21:56.

top`flight managers could do without the FA Cup. That raised a few

:21:57.:22:00.

eyebrows! Well, he'll certainly have to do without one of his strikers

:22:01.:22:04.

for the rest of season. Libor Kozak broke a leg in training yesterday

:22:05.:22:08.

and will be out for the rest of the season. He's scored five goals so

:22:09.:22:11.

far and has been increasingly important this season due to

:22:12.:22:13.

Christian Benteke's poor form. He has had injuries as well. Villa host

:22:14.:22:16.

Sheffield United in the Cup tomorrow. Let's look at the full

:22:17.:22:24.

list. Burton Albion are going well in League Two, they're up to second,

:22:25.:22:28.

so will hope to cause an upset at Championship side Bournemouth. Stoke

:22:29.:22:30.

City host the Championship leaders, Leicester City, so won't have that

:22:31.:22:33.

one all their own way. Birmingham City are guaranteed to be in the

:22:34.:22:37.

fourth round draw, they are at home to Crawley or Bristol Rovers, but

:22:38.:22:40.

they have not played the second round replay, it has been postponed

:22:41.:22:46.

twice. They hope to play that on Wednesday, with the Blues playing

:22:47.:22:51.

the next week. It is a cup run without blowing! Eight teams

:22:52.:22:55.

involved this weekend. That's it for today's sport, Mary, and onto more

:22:56.:22:58.

of a hobby now, Mary? Well, don't let players of the

:22:59.:23:01.

world's most popular word game hear you say that, Dan. The UK Scrabble

:23:02.:23:05.

Championships are being held in deadly earnest in Solihull. And we

:23:06.:23:08.

sent our reporter Bob, B`O`B, seven points, and it's OK because it's a

:23:09.:23:12.

word as well as a name, Hockenhull to join the action.

:23:13.:23:18.

A world of word experts representing ten countries has gathered in

:23:19.:23:21.

Solihull. I have come from Australia, I'm not sure how far it

:23:22.:23:26.

was, but I was travelling on an aeroplane for over 21 hours. It is

:23:27.:23:30.

one of the top international Germans, but there are local

:23:31.:23:35.

players, and this player is from Solihull. `` to an immense. I was

:23:36.:23:41.

not going to do it because it was the school holidays, but thinking

:23:42.:23:43.

about international players being two miles from home, I had to do it,

:23:44.:23:49.

it has been brilliant. Nearly 50 intense games will be played during

:23:50.:23:53.

the competitions. They have 260,000 words to choose from, but some

:23:54.:23:59.

increasingly familiar terms do not make it onto the board. Words that

:24:00.:24:03.

have become common in the last year do not necessarily count in

:24:04.:24:06.

scrabble. For example, twerking is not allowed. Neither is Bitcoin, but

:24:07.:24:16.

what about selfie? It might be acceptable for world leaders, but a

:24:17.:24:20.

quick check on a Scrabble computer program shows that selfie is not

:24:21.:24:27.

permitted. But surprisingly girl, a young woman who enjoys aggressive

:24:28.:24:31.

punk rock, is allowed, and you can also have the word vlog, a blog

:24:32.:24:38.

using the medium of video. The championships have already thrown up

:24:39.:24:42.

a few surprises. World champion Nigel Richards from New Zealand does

:24:43.:24:46.

not give interviews. Perhaps he is lost for words after being beaten

:24:47.:24:50.

three times by a 13`year`old from London. It was a good game, I got

:24:51.:24:57.

four bonuses, a close game. I only won by 28. You can never master it,

:24:58.:25:03.

you can always get better. It looks like Jack is setting himself up for

:25:04.:25:07.

a lifetime of playing with words. They say that Scrabble is one of the

:25:08.:25:11.

world's most addictive games. Let's turn to the forecast now.

:25:12.:25:15.

Rebecca is here. Compared with coastal areas, we've got away quite

:25:16.:25:16.

lightly, haven't we? Well, yes, Mary we've still seen

:25:17.:25:23.

some heavy spells of rain and strong gusts of winds, but apart from that

:25:24.:25:27.

we have largely managed to escape the worst of the weather, although

:25:28.:25:30.

there is a risk of another storm surge this evening as winds peak

:25:31.:25:33.

round high tide. We could see another storm surge in

:25:34.:25:36.

Gloucestershire. We are in for quite a bit of rain! Yes, we still have

:25:37.:25:40.

two bands of rain to contend with, each with the potential to deliver

:25:41.:25:44.

up to 20mm in a short space of time, that's nearly an inch. The good

:25:45.:25:47.

news, if there is any is that tonight is the worst of the weather

:25:48.:25:51.

is largely behind us. It will get colder, though, and we have more

:25:52.:25:54.

rain to come tomorrow night and through to Sunday. Still a few

:25:55.:25:58.

showers remaining tonight, some could be quite heavy, but they will

:25:59.:26:01.

eventually move off, and behind that under clear skies temperatures will

:26:02.:26:09.

fall away. That brings us to our next problem, which is ice, and we

:26:10.:26:13.

can see another weather system waiting in the wings which has quite

:26:14.:26:18.

a lot of rain on it. That will drop 20 millimetres on saturated ground

:26:19.:26:21.

tomorrow morning, but once it has clear the way things will not be too

:26:22.:26:26.

bad to end the day. We will get good spells of sunshine, but there will

:26:27.:26:29.

still be the odd shower. Temperatures not doing too well,

:26:30.:26:34.

despite the winds easing, still around seven or eight Celsius.

:26:35.:26:37.

Tomorrow night we continue to see showers pushing through, some quite

:26:38.:26:41.

lively, the potential for some to be wintry over high ground. And

:26:42.:26:45.

tomorrow night temperatures fall rapidly again, a widespread frost,

:26:46.:26:50.

ice patches once again, and we have some patchy fog to come through

:26:51.:26:54.

Sunday morning. By Sunday, we have the next weather system didn't end

:26:55.:26:57.

with, it is moving through and bringing with it, once again, some

:26:58.:27:09.

heavy rain. We start Sunday with dry and bright weather, but the rain

:27:10.:27:13.

moves into saturated ground, we will see a fair few millimetres with it,

:27:14.:27:17.

and this wet and windy weather is not going anywhere as we head into

:27:18.:27:21.

the new working week, we will see that pattern repeating itself,

:27:22.:27:24.

perhaps a little more brightness on Monday.

:27:25.:27:26.

A glimmer of hope! That is the main headline from the BBC. Another

:27:27.:27:34.

massive winter storm sweeps up the entire west coast of the UK with

:27:35.:27:37.

winds of 90mph. That was Midlands Today, I will be back at 10:30pm

:27:38.:27:41.

with the latest on the flood warnings and the outlook for the

:27:42.:27:44.

weekend. Join me for that, have a good weekend, bye`bye.

:27:45.:27:47.

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