26/12/2016 South Today - Oxford


26/12/2016

The latest news, sport, weather and features from Oxfordshire and the surrounding region.


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Good evening. the news where you are. Goodbye.

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As we've been hearing, people have been paying tribute

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to George Michael, who died at his home in Goring on Thames yesterday.

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Peter Cooke spent this morning in the South Oxfordshire village,

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where people have been laying flowers outside the singer's home.

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# Kindness

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# In your eyes... #

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He was an international pop star,

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but to locals in Goring, he was just George.

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It was here at his home at south Oxfordshire

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that George Michael died yesterday aged 53.

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South Central Ambulance Service

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were called to the property just before 2pm.

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His manager has said the former Wham! star

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died of heart failure, but a postmortem will be held

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to discover the exact cause of death.

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He'd lived in Goring for nearly 20 years

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and was well liked by his fellow villagers.

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Yes, it's a sad day for Goring, and he'll be missed.

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Always said hello, never been too pretentious, just a nice guy.

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Just a sad day.

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Goring people would just let him be, basically,

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which is the attitude around here,

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but that doesn't take away from the huge impact he had

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over the course of this lifetime with his music.

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Mary runs the local pub and said the singer enjoyed

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the privacy the area offered.

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It was slightly surreal to begin with, to be honest.

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Obviously, you don't expect that such a music legend

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is going to walk through your door.

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But he never wanted any special treatment.

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He was very respectful of others around him, as well as of us,

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and he was a pleasure to have.

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Fans around the world are still reeling from news of his death.

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However, it's here in this south Oxfordshire village

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where he will be missed and mourned by those who knew him so well.

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Peter Cooke, BBC South Today.

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Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder

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after a man was found dead in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.

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Police were called to the Rose Inn on Pier Street just after midnight

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yesterday after reports that a man had been assaulted.

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A 57-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

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An elderly couple have lost their home in Worthing

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after it was engulfed by fire yesterday.

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The pair, in their 80s, were lighting candles

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near the Christmas tree when it went up in flames.

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Fire and ambulance crews were called to the house

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in Durrington Hill just after 1pm.

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The couple and one other were taken to hospital

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suffering minor burns.

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A woman has spent Christmas in an Iranian jail

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while her family had to celebrate in Fleet without her.

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Nazanin Zagari Ratcliffe is a British-Iranian charity worker

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accused of trying to overthrow the state,

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a charge she's always denied.

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Today was her 38th birthday.

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Matt Treacy has been speaking to her family.

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Are you being a good girl?

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Separated for nine months, Richard's two-year-old

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has been looked after by Iranian grandparents

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while her mum is in prison.

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So it's kind of online parenting at this point,

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and we probably speak on Skype not every day but most days.

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But yeah, obviously she's adapted to her new environment,

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and she's a little Iranian baby now and speaks Farsi fluently

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and is so much bigger than she was when she went.

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And can't speak English, really, now,

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so she doesn't really understand, but she knows that her home is here.

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There are still presents under the tree

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for the two who couldn't come, but Sunday was still a special day.

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We did get a Christmas present this year,

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in that Nazanin was allowed a family visit to the prison

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and was allowed to phone me.

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Talking to Nazanin, it's just husband and wife again,

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and, yeah, she's not happy, she wants to come home.

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Those phone calls remind me the gap there is between us,

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and how much time has passed.

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This time last year, we were just a normal family,

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having a normal Christmas, you know, opening lots of presents,

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eating lots of nice Christmas food.

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So this year it's quite a surreal experience for us.

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He does have his down moments, obviously,

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and we tend to find them...

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We realise, when he's down, he's very, very quiet.

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And it's terrible to think of her in a dark cell

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the size of a double bed, that's it, as far as we know.

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Nazanin is hoping to appeal against her five-year sentence

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in the New Year.

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Matt Treacy, BBC South Today, Dleet.

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It's been a busy afternoon of football across the region.

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Bournemouth lost out to Premier League leaders Chelsea.

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The final score was 3-0 there.

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In the Championship, Reading beat Norwich City 3-1.

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Disappointment, though, in League One

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for both Oxford United and MK Dons, both lost 1-0,

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while Swindon lost their game against Milwall.

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It ended 2-0 there.

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Portsmouth had a better afternoon away at Newport, winning 3-2.

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It's been warm weather for swimmers with a number of charity swims.

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Hundreds charged into the sea at Bournemouth yesterday

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for the ninth annual White Christmas Dip

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in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

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Much braver than me. Will it stay mild?

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Here's Ian Fergusson with the weather.

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Hello, a very good evening to you, and we're going to find,

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with high pressure now dominating the pattern,

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that tomorrow brings a fine day.

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We are into a return of some cold nights, mind you,

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many areas getting down below freezing tonight,

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particularly away from the coastal fringe.

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In fact, there could be some parts of Oxfordshire

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as low as about minus five by first light tomorrow.

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The odd patch of fog around, most areas will be clear that tomorrow,

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and indeed most areas will be effectively clear of cloud.

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It's looking a beautiful day all round,

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just light and variable winds, and not a drop of rain in sight.

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Another cold night to come tomorrow,

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and the threat of fog tomorrow, or even freezing fog,

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is going to be that bit more widespread by Wednesday morning.

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Temperatures tomorrow, chilly, yes,

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pleasant enough in the sunshine, getting up to about 5-7 Celsius.

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Bye-bye.

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That's it from us for now.

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Enjoy the rest of your Boxing Day, goodbye.

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