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early 1990s. That's all from the BBC News at Six. It's goodbye from
We will ask what impact the new route will have on our economy.
Also tonight; Not just the bookies raking it in ` the Cheltenh`m
businesses odds on to boost profits in Festival week. Making schence fun
` the Big Bang fair getting children hooked.
We meet Mr Blue Sky himself. ELO's Jeff Lynne finally gets his place on
the Walk of Stars. I am thrhlled to have it. I never dream of h`ving
anything like it. And for various sporting fixtures
over the weekend and the Chdltenham Gold cup to come tomorrow, will the
weather be on winning form? I'll tell you later.
Good evening. Birmingham is to become the first UK airport outside
London to operate direct flhghts to Beijing. In 2012, the year of the
Olympics, the Chinese visitor market was worth ?15 million to thd West
Midlands economy. And Birmingham is now the fourth most popular
destination for Chinese vishtors in England. But the flights will only
operate during the summer months. Here's our transport correspondent,
Peter Plisner. The Chinese Prime Minister enjoying the delights
Stratford`upon`Avon two years ago. He flew direct on a
specially`chartered flight `nd this summer others will too, with a
series of charter flights dhrect from Beijing. At the airport today,
passengers were looking forward to yet another new destination. It will
certainly put Birmingham whdre it should be as a regional airport It
is going international so it is a good idea. I have been thred times
and I probably want `` wouldn't want to go again. To China? I wotld like
it. And already at this Birlingham travel company there have bden
plenty of enquiries from those hoping to use the new service.
Always a lot of people make enquiries and lots of peopld demand
whether there is a direct flight to China from Birmingham. The number of
people travelling to China has tripled in the last decade. Bringing
them here rather than he threw should mean the growth comes even
faster. Operated by China Southern Airlines, the direct servicd will be
limited to just six flights during the summer. A bit disappointing for
this Chinese`owned lighting firm based in south Birmingham. What they
want to a regular service from the city. It saves us going to London
and parking charges you inctr there. If you fly from Birmingham, the
alternative is flying to thd Middle East and I have done that once. I
don't intend to do it again. The new route to China will be the
second long`haul service to use the airport's extended runway. Ht's
still under construction and is due to be completed at the beginning of
May. Our business correspondent hs at the
airport this evening. So, Pdter it's only six flights. What
difference will it actually make? It is a tale in the water, testing
the market for direct flights to China. Joining me is David from the
airport. How much differencd will it make? It will make a huge
difference. We are confident there is a real
demand in the market for direct routes to trying. But only six
flights? But it is hugely significant `` routes to Chhna. It
is a unique partnership with various organisations who are all confident.
There is a genuine demand hdre so we are confident it will be a
springboard for other opportunities. It is another airline
using the new extended runw`y. You can build it, but will the
airline scam? We are highly confident we will attract a whole
crowd full of jewels. How mtch do you expect the flights to boost
tourism? We would hope it to be significant. Nearly 50,000
travellers passed through Bhrmingham who had to go via European hubs but
now they have the opportunity to fly direct and we will give thel a warm
welcome. Those six flights will happdn in
July and hopefully in the ftture there will be more.
Coming up later in the programme: Feeling the benefits of the tea cosy
effect ` the external insul`tion raising temperatures and lowering
bills, but for how much longer? More than a quarter of millhon
people are expected to visit the region this week for the Chdltenham
National Hunt Festival. For many businesses around the town, it's one
of the most lucrative weeks of the year and it's not just about the
racing. Steve Knibbs reports. Welcome to Cheltenham Town centre
where winners and it seems dven the losers are celebrating. For the
bars, it is their biggest wdek of the year.
If I can equate to Friday which is our busiest day, I would take almost
a week 's take just on the Friday alone.
The bands are cashing in also. At the town centre 's newest hotel it
is their first race week. Wd have been planning special events because
it is the biggest week of the year for us. We have had lots of
consultations with local residents and bars to make sure everyone has a
good time. There is something for everxone
Many clubs offer lap dancing and it is big business with 500 dancers
working in the town this wedk. They can earn a lot during race week so a
lot of girls want to registdr. Everyone is working hard and making
the most of it. For the chatffeurs and taxi drivers it can almost be
nonstop. Every night is like a very good
Saturday night and you can go anywhere and people jump in and ask
you for London or Manchester. It has only just gone nine o'clock
and this light `` this lot have a long night ahead and deep pockets it
seems. The festival is a cash cow for local businesses in the town
centre. Teaching staff from two Birlingham
schools have been arrested on suspicion of the possession of
extreme pornography. The three men in their 30s work at Park Vhew
Academy and Golden Hillock School. They were detained at their homes in
Birmingham and Wolverhampton as part of a long running investigation
It's claimed around 20,000 skilled jobs will be created in
Staffordshire after a so`called "City Deal" was agreed with the
government. The agreement ndgotiated by Staffordshire County Council and
Stoke`on`Trent City Council is thought to be worth over ?100
million to the local economx. The Walsall child`killer Raxmond
Morris has died in prison at the age of 84. Morris was jailed for life
for the murder of seven`year`old Christine Darby in 1967, and was
also suspected of killing two other young girls in what became known as
the "Cannock Chase Murders". The bodies of all three girls wdre found
dumped at the Staffordshire beauty spot.
Local UK Independence party leaders are dismissing an attack on their
leader as a distraction frol the real issues. Nicky Sinclair was
voted in as an MEP a few ye`rs ago but will be standing for thd We
Demand A Referendum Now. Shd launched a state `` scathing attack
in Strasbourg. Mr Farage, with unemployment a
problem in the UK and across Europe, does he think it is a fair tse of
taxpayers money, namely his secretarial allowance, to elploy his
wife and his former mistress. Is it a responsible use of taxpaydrs
money, Mr Farage? A spokesman of Mr Farage later
rejected those claims. Is it significant she may be attacking the
Parliament? Yes, it gives her Parliamentary
privilege. She said she had been wanting to explain this for some
time and only now had she the opportunity.
What does UKIP say? They say they are to busy
campaigning to give intervidws. But one member said that the public
would see right through this. I put that to Nicky Sinclair.
I am exposing the hypocrisy of Nigel Farage who told all UKIP MPs that
they could not employ their wives. Each MEP gets three times the
national average wage and hd chooses to employ his spies. It is
hypocrisy. Let me remind yot that the only tangible thing being done
in the last five years is about to withdraw from the European Tnion and
that was my petition. There are still two months to go to
the European election and it is shaping up to be a bruising
campaign? It is and we have been focusing on
the battle between UKIP and the three larger parties but thhnk about
this, Nicky Sinclair and Mike Nattrass have gone on to setup their
own parties the bitter rivalry and we're just the early skirmishes of
that now, that may be the ddfining feature of the European elections
coming up. A home insulation scheme in
Worcester has been hailed the best in the country by the Climate Change
Minister. But there are concerns that funding
for similar projects could be cut, leaving some home owners out in the
cold next winter. Cath Mackhe reports.
It's called the tea cosy effect External insulation is fittdd to
solid wall homes in Worcestdr. 50 have been done so far under a green
levy known as ECO, paid for by energy firms. We have done 250
properties of private homeowners. Homeowners Lynda and David Burgess
are feeling the benefits. Their wallet is too. Did you notice the
difference straightaway? Yes, even before they finished. The
Climate Change Minister was delighted to hear it. These are the
best I've seen anywhere in Britain. So, a PR triumph? Or maybe not
because the ECO policy is bding reduced. It means some homes will
have to wait for insulation. Since the autumn statement things have got
more difficult. Representing the major housing association, H have
still got 250 properties to find funding for.
Average gas prices for housdholders in the UK have risen by 41% since
2007. Electricity has gone tp by around 20%. It's a huge polhtical
argument and, not surprisingly, it's one that gets ministers out of
Westminster and into places like Worcester. We are putting an extra
?80 million in our green fund and I will announce a whole slew of local
authorities who successfullx bid for that funding.
The Government say the changes they've made have allowed energy
firms to cut bills, but there's no knowing yet if it's enough to keep
people warm next winter. Our top story tonight: From
Birmingham to Beijing ` the first UK airport outside London to fly direct
to China. Your detailed weather forecast to come shortly from
Shefali. Also in tonight's programme: Big hopes for thd Big
Bolster, the Gold Cup contender trained in Gloucestershire who'll be
ridden by a Herefordshire jockey. And, from graffiti to commissioned
art ` the Banksy style paintings creating a splash in Malvern.
What would it be like to botnce around on the surface of Mars, or
build a bridge out of chocolate They are just some of the things
visitors can try as part of the Big Bang Science Fair taking pl`ce at
the NEC. Sarah Falkland has been along.
This schoolboy is demonstrating how to catch a neutron. Welcome to fish
`` show designed to make yot think. Since its launch, organisers say
this show has helped change the way youngsters view science. If we ask
young women across the King `` country aged 11 to 14 if thdy see an
engineering career as desir`ble only a quarter will see it. A visit
to this show doubles that ntmber. We put that to the test. A sports
scientist. A fashion designdr. No engineers there then. It is
estimated there will be 2.7 million jobs vacant in the next few years in
engineering. There is nothing more gratifying for me as an olddr
astronaut and to see the sp`rkle in their eyes to think they might be
the first person to walk on Miles `` Mars.
If you are still wondering what it is like to walk on Mars, relember
sometimes science isn't enotgh and you have to use your imagin`tion.
Bands around. The planet is dusty and red. Pupils at this school are
on Mars. That looks like fun. He's a
musician, singer and songwrhter and this evening ELO's Jeff Lynne will
be honoured with a place on Birmingham's Walk of Stars. He'll
join fellow musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Roy Wood in having a
star etched with his name on Broad Street. Ben Sidwell has been to meet
the rock legend. Back in Brum for the unveilhng of
his star. A lot's changed shnce Jeff Lynne grew up as a kid in the Shard
End area of the Birmingham. I used to have my own studio in thd front
room of mums house which I commandeered as a recording studio.
It was a big bundle of junk and it used to drive her nuts. Of course I
would let everyone in there. We used to play a different place
every night for a month and then start again. After failing to set
the charts alight in the 1960s with his band the Idle Race, Jeff went on
to join the Move, which in turn became ELO ` selling tens of
millions of records and winning fans across the world. I'm from Cardiff.
We are from Spain. We are from Denmark. A few lucky fans h`ve got
tickets for tonight's Walk of Fame event and the chance to meet their
idol. Wonderful. I don't know what I would say. I think I'd just cry I
have dreamt of this all my life I'm looking forward to see him. If I
could talk with him that wotld be excellent. I've liked his mtsic all
my life. What would it mean if you gdt the
chance to talk to him? It would be the greatest thing in my life. It
makes me humble, I can tell you that much. It is just weird. When it is
yourself they are coming for, you just don't believe it. It is... Wow!
But it's not just as an arthst where he's been a huge success. Jdff has
produced such names as Roy Orbision and Tom Petty. And in the 1890s
when the three remaining melbers of the biggest group in historx
reformed, it was Jeff they called. I had a couple of sleepless nhghts
thinking, how the hell am I going to this `` to do this? Paul cale up to
me and said, you've done it Well done and he gave me a hug so that
was a treat. Singer, drama, guitarist. He can do it all. He s
not bad at all. `` drama. `` he has been a drama.
He may be a global music st`r, but to one of the people there tonight,
Jeff will always be her babx brother. We came from a famhly where
praise wasn't lavished upon so I don't know if we have ever said how
proud we are. And as for his award? I am chuffed I have got one. Thank
you very much. Jasper Carrot is Chair of the
Birmingham Walk of Stars ` `nd joins us now from the Library of
Birmingham where the ceremony is taking place. You've known Jeff for
a number of years. Why has ht taken so long to get his star on the walk?
I first approached him about four years ago and it has taken `ll this
time to coincide his movements with ours. Eventually, he is herd and
waiting to come on and therd is a load of people waiting to sde him.
The place is buzzing. The ptblicity has been enormous and Jeff hs
genuinely thrilled to be here and we'll be thrilled to see hil.
We had in that report his international appeal. How would you
sum up, if possible, his contribution to music?
When the Beatles approached him to do that single, it said it `ll. They
could have gone to anyone in the wild but they went to Jeff Lynne.
His CD is all over the world on CD, DVD and film scores, you nale it and
that is an incredible achievement. Paul McCartney described hil as not
bad at all. How would you ddscribe him?
He is a down`to`earth honest Brummie and that is what we love about him.
Who next? There is a whole list of people.
There is Ian Lavender from Dad s Army. And The Wimbledon Chalpion.
There is only so much room so I think we will have to move to the M
six. The Birmingham City manager, Lee
Clark, is to report referee James Linington for allegedly mocking the
club's captain, Paul Robinson, while booking him during their 3`3 draw
with Burnley last night. Birmingham came from behind three times in the
match, including this brillhant goal from Emyr Hughes. The third
equaliser from Federico Macheda came deep into stoppage time. Thd
Midlands has dominated day three of the Cheltenham Festival.
Herefordshire jockeys Richard Johnson and Tom Scudamore h`ve won
one and two races respectivdly. And Cotswold trainer Jonjo O'Nehll has
also won two, including Mord of That, who took today's big race the
World Hurdle, ahead of the previously unbeaten Annie Power
Thumbs up from Jonjo then, `fter three winners at the meeting so far.
So, can a Midlands horse trhumph in tomorrow's big race, the Gold Cup?
Well, The Giant Bolster will love the drying ground. Meet The Giant
Bolster. He's intelligent and inquisitive. Perhaps a bit too
inquisitive. When we filmed him turned ott in a
field he couldn't resist nibbling at the camera. We'd move and hd'd just
follow us. He even played a cameo role in the trainer's interview He
is beyond our dreams. But hd's also talented. The Giant Bolster has
finished second and fourth hn the last two Gold Cups. And winning at
Cheltenham in January, the stable feel he's a live Gold Cup contender
once more. If we have a fludnt round, you need to get into a rhythm
and if we can do that, I've got no reason to say we won't be in the
first three. It has been the wettest winters
since records began but somdone tipped wet and muddy. So, spare a
thought for all those involved in Harry Topper. He's trained just a
few miles from Cheltenham at Andoversford by Kim Bailey. But
Harry Topper's best in the lud. And the recent warmer weather mdans
they've scrapped plans to rtn in the Gold cup. He's simply not as good
when the going faster. I don't want to see him tailed off last because
he is not fast enough. I don't want to see that. 15 miles away `t
Stow`on`the`wold Wyck Hill Farm and the Giant Bolster will be flying the
flag for the small stables hn tomorrow's Gold Cup. He's one of
only 30 horses in training. The Giant Bolster is top of the class
here. And they hope tomorrow he ll aiming for top grades in thd Gold
Cup itself. A bus stop in Worcestershird town ``
a Worcestershire town has bdcome an unusual attraction as painthngs that
which appeared at the weekend have caused quite a stir.
At 4am, these prints appeardd. It is Sir Edward Elgar working, rdsting,
watching and just hanging ott. Quite a sight on this bus route through
Malvern. It felt like walking past a bank with accountants behind it
They are amazing. It has added some excitement. Some say this one is
similar to Banksy. The artist has since apologised for these works of
art for not getting prior approval adding they do not condone `ny sort
of public graffiti but they do not want to be interviewed. The pair are
to 34`year`olds who are old school friends from Malvern. I don't think
they can be classed as graffiti Over a hundred hours of work has
gone into them and they havd been executed with skill and
professionalism and we are delighted to see them. There was even praise
from art galleries in the town. It can only bring the profile of the
area up as an art that is `` destination. The police caught them
in the act but did not take any action. We are told this is a gift
to the town as you wait ages for one and then three come along at once.
If you are out on the road last night you were probably crawling
through the fog. How is it looking? There are fresh warnings in force
for fog for the early hours. Visibility will drop down to about
30 metres, which is quite unusual so that is something to take note of.
Other than that, not much to be concerned about and certainly if you
compare this march to last Larch which was the coldest on record
More in the way of cloud around Breezy and that will rid us of much
of the fog. Under the clear skies, we are seeing missed and Merck
developed already which will thicken into fog. `` it will be misty and
murky. Temperatures will go down to near freezing in some spots. Patchy
frost as we head to some pl`ces towards tomorrow. Gradually through
the day, under the sunshine, the fog will disburse quite quickly.
However, the frontal systems will nudge down from the north`wdst with
more in the way of cloud. Btt with a south`westerly wind, temper`tures
will rise which will be gre`t for the Gold cup tomorrow so thdre will
not be as much fog. The headlines: A former News of the
World journalist claims it was Princess Diana who leaked a
controversial royal phonebook. The first airport outside London to fly
direct to China, Birmingham. Have a good evening.