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Hello and welcome to South Today. takeover offer for Unilever.
In tonight's programme: Assessing the damage while the search
A demolition expert gives us his view on the explosion that
Also: They saw off Newcastle - now Oxford are hoping to cause
another FA Cup upset as they take on Premier League Middlesborough.
And later on: An emotional moment - a deaf husband and wife hear
Three days since an explosion destroyed a block of flats
in Oxford, rescue teams are still searching for a man
who's believed to be buried under the rubble.
Guido Schuette, who's 48, hasn't been seen since
Firefighters are still trying to make buildings safe in the area.
Around 20 people have had to be moved into temporary accommodation.
Matt Graveling has spent the day with a demolition expert.
Piles of bricks and mortar surrounded by shards
of shattered glass - the carnage caused by Tuesday's
explosion still lays untouched, in the gardens of Gibbs Crescent.
This was the home of 48-year-old Guido Schuette, a man police
fear may be found dead, buried beneath the rubble.
But as the search for a body continues, what is happening
The first thing that occurs to me is I can't hear engines running,
so my guess is they haven't got heavy equipment in and they're
still manually searching by hand at this point.
Obviously a digger is a lot less controllable than a man,
so if there is a body under there, they'll be doing it
delicately instead of going in with all guns blazing.
If we look, there is a tree here on the left, there's a piece
In fact, I'd have expected to see more debris over this far.
The blast seems to have been directed this way,
I'd've expected to find more, really.
The homes in Gibbs in crescent are all one-bedroom flats.
Three have been destroyed, with four others left badly damaged.
This evening, specialist machinery has been brought in to support
surrounding buildings as more than 40 personnel continued
to gather evidence and look for any signs of life.
The structure that it is connected to it would be their first concern,
making sure that is stable and safe, but the second concern would be
There are gas explosions every year, but not to that degree.
Decent demolition contracts are equipped to deal with that -
making the site safe and making sure the recovery process can be done
Residents of the 20 flats within the cordon are staying
in emergency accommodation while the safety of their homes
is assessed, with police sniffer dogs now expected to visit the site
as the search for Guido Schuette continues.
A murder investigation is underway after a woman in her sixties
was attacked in her home in Milton Keynes and
It happened at her house in Orne Gardens in Bolbeck Park last month.
Detectives say the woman was pushed to the floor after a group of men
One of the men held her down with a hand over her mouth,
A man's pleaded guilty to raping a woman at knifepoint near
Mark Pearton, who's 44 and from East Sussex,
admitted the assault in a park near Harcourt Hill last month.
He also pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place.
He'll be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court in April.
The family of a man who died after he was stabbed in Oxford have
described him as a "kind, loving and caring man".
Domingos Ramalho, who was 35, was stabbed on Windmill Road
In a statement, his family say he was a "good and trusted friend
to many and a family man dedicated to his partner and children."
A 27-year-old man from Oxford has been charged with his murder.
A man's appeared in court, charged with causing the death
of a three-year-old girl by dangerous driving.
Isla Wiggin was killed in a crash on the A34 at Hinksey Hill
A lorry and seven cars were involved.
Thomas Hunter, who's 58 and from Nottinghamshire, is due
to appear at Oxford Crown Court again in May.
A UK space company, based in Oxfordshire is playing a crucial
role in the next mission towards humans living on the moon.
A team of engineers at the Harwell campus have won a contract to design
a new landing sensor, for an unmanned mission.
Angela Walker has been finding out more.
It's hard to believe, but the key to humans living
on the moon could be inside this small, silver box.
It's a radar laser being developed by scientists at Neptec
Inside this box we have a laser and some scanning mirrors.
The laser will send out pulses of light and we time how long it
takes for the light to come back, and we use this to build up
The Lidar will be used to help an unmanned craft land on the moon
in a mission to locate water that could eventually be used to make
fuel and oxygen to support future manned lunar missions.
It's a stepping stone to future exploration,
so Lidars and the other sensors that we're building at Neptec UK
like infrared cameras can be used for many missions both
to the surface and for rovers and for automated
The Luna Resource mission is a joint effort by
the Russian Federal Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
It's scheduled to launch in 2021 - 52 years after the Americans
Alongside the Lidar, which will map the surface of the moon,
scientists here are also developing the next-generation
The rover has been designed to be a heavy lifter.
It's going to carry people and cargo and perform tasks.
As well as being the next step towards humans living on the moon,
the Lidar technology being developed here can also be used on Earth.
It can be applied in the development of autonomous vehicles,
which is an international growth industry worth millions.
A Chinese woman has been told she can join her husband
in Oxfordshire after a long fight for a visa.
Mary Zu has been married to Steve Bearns from
For the last 12 months she's been living near Hong Kong
because her spouse visa application was rejected.
Now the British Embassy in Bejing has done a U-turn
Council tax is being frozen in South Oxfordshire. Rates are being kept
the same for the second year running. In its budget meeting last
night he promised to make more than ?1 million worth of advances
available to community projects and invest ?500,000 in delivering
superfast broadband to more communities across South
Oxfordshire. Thousands of Oxford United fans are
preparing to make the long journey The team are hoping to cause another
upset tomorrow as they visit the Premier League side in the fifth
round of the FA Cup. This was the goal against Newcastle
that put the Oxford in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first
time since 1994. And now they're ready
for the challenge. If we can go in with the same
mentality and belief with 20,000 supporters there,
I'm sure as a boy growing up that's the kind of support you want to be
going out in front of, so hopefully it'll be a great day
and we can do the business. And here's where they'll be playing
- the Riverside Stadium. More than 3,000 Oxford fans
will travelling more than 230 miles to Middlesborough
to support the team. It'll be a great day out and we're
going up there with one thing - If we get a draw, we can bring
them back to our place, but the main thing we're
going for is the win and to try Much of the Oxford squad is made
up of players released by Premier League teams early
in their careers and may be If they perform as well as a team
as they do as individuals, they'll stand out anyway and they'll
all do their bit. They're expected to try and get
something out of the game. There will be a few of our players
that will impress a few We've got players that we believe
can play at a high level and hopefully it will be Oxford
at some point. Moments like this -
the promotion party last year in Oxford -
prove that Us fans are well nown for showing their pride,
so while Teeside may not rank high in UK's top tourist destinations,
Oxford United fans are preparing That is live commentary on BBC Radio
Oxford. Now more of today's
stories with Sally Taylor. Still to come in this
evening's South Today... The scheme that's inspiring
and supporting youngsters who've One of Reading's most-loved arts
venues reopens tonight following a major refit,
two years after facing The South Street Arts Centre has
hosted acts like Mumford and Sons, Radiohead and Michael McIntyre
before they were famous but Reading Council considered shutting
the venue to save money. A campaign by loyal
customers forced a rethink. Just move the light
to the other side. Technical preparations for one
of the first productions New and improved lighting
and a reworking of the studio space makes this a much better place
for performers and audiences. It just has a much more
contemporary, really vibrant feel A lot of musicians and
actors and performers of cut their teeth here,
so it is kind of integral for the development of artists
from Reading who can go on to greater things,
but also it serves audiences who are looking for something a bit
different, a bit more unusual, When you wake up in
the middle of the night... Just two years ago, the arts centre
faced an uncertain future. Reading Borough Council
considered closing it, but South Street's loyal audience
rallied - as did those who've performed here,
who hold it in high regard. I remember when there
was the potential that We were like, no, you can't
close it, because it's got so much, I guess,
history, and on the circuit of contemporary theatre in Britain
it's a really important venue. The Arts Council agreed,
offering half a million pounds of public money to improve
and extend the building. That helped convince the council
it was worth saving, so it too chipped in just
over half that. This is a huge boost
for a town keen to continue Controversial plans to knock down
a hotel in the New Forest to build retirement flats have been rejected
by the park authority. Lyndhurst Park Hotel
once had connections Campaigners objected
to the proposals to demolish the building and build 75 flats
for pensioners and 12 holiday lets, saying there was a desperate need
for affordable housing Pegasus Life says it's
disappointed with the decision. It's a disease that can kill
and scar young children for life. How to you help someone who has lost
a limb to meningitis deal with it? Today a leading charity that
supports young people who've lost limbs to meningitis has held
an event to inspire them in Reading. All the children in this game have
lost limbs through meningitis. Overseeing the enthusiastic training
is Paralympian Aaron Phipps, who For me, it's just, it's the young
people getting to meet other young people in the same sort
of circumstances as them. One little boy arrived, looked
at another little boy and went, More than 100 families have come to
the Pushing The Boundaries day. Eleanor was eight months
old when she fell ill. Originally diagnosed with a throat
infection, she nearly died. I was really ill,
and they had to chop It is something she will have to
deal with the rest of her life. Coming to places like
this really helps her see very positive role models
who have had the same amputation but are going on and doing everything
in life that they want to. The foundation helps survivors with
things like state-of-the-art prosthetics but also funds research,
and the main research in that respect is bacterial meningitis,
which can be all around us. A few people carry it in their nose and
throat, which can get into the system and attack the body. That is
why in many cases amputation businesses are. In many ways those
here are lucky. The infection can kill in just 12 hours.
For those who've come through it, days like these
fuel their ambitions so they won't let this awful
An important day and a fun day called Pushing The Boundaries. It
has been a day of recognition and a special day for our Olympians and
Paralympians. After a memorable summer of sport
at the Olympics and Paralympics, many of the South's gold-medal
winners were today honoured Prince Charles was on hand
to welcome the latest Members of the Most Excellent Order
of the British Empire. Great Britain have won
the Olympic gold medal! A golden Olympic moment for GB's
women's hockey team, that today continued to bring
rewards in the form of more medals. Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh given
an OBE for services to hockey. Her team-mates, including partner
Helen and Southampton's Alex Danson, were all awarded MBEs
for their triumph in Rio. While for Hannah Russell,
who joined Guildford Swimming Club at the age of 12, an MBE
is the icing on the cake after two golds and one bronze
at the Paralympics. Absolutely incredible, something
that not many people get awarded. 13 years of hard work I've put
into this sport and to come out As parents we are really
proud of everything she has done and it is lovely
to come to the Palace today and see Hannah get presented her
MBE by Prince Charles. We have followed Bournemouth
schoolgirl swimmer Alice Tai through the years and after
taking Paralympic bronze in September today there
was more reason to cheer. Who could forget these
scenes on the Olympic Dorset's Hannah Mills
and Saskia Clarke recognised along with Giles Scott for services
to sailing. Top honours too for Hampshire
golfer Justin Rose, while Alton's Paralympian
Georgina Hermitage, Surrey paracanoeist Anne Dickins
and Berkshire's Liam Heath A summer of sport that
will live long in the memory. Congratulations to all recipients, a
fantastic day for the athletes and their families.
Bournemouth have been charged for breaching
the Football Association's rules on anti-doping.
Clubs are required to provide accurate details of training
sessions and player whereabouts so they are available for drug
It's alleged the Premier League side failed to do so.
The club has until Thursday to respond to the charge.
As well as Oxford's trip to Middlesborough in the fifth
round of the FA Cup, there's football league
Brighton's trip to Barnsley is manager Chris Hughton's 100th
A win could see the Seagulls re-take top spot in the Championship.
In League One, MK Dons host Fleetwood.
Swindon welcome Oldham to the County Ground.
Defender Gareth Evans is a doubt for Portsmouth,
Surrey Scorchers continue their push to make the British Basketball
They're only points difference outside the all-important top eight
as they prepare to welcome sixth-placed Plymouth Raiders
That match is live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC website.
Swish. Sorry storm start their netball season earlier in the week.
A couple from Salisbury who've been married for 12 years are hearing
each other's voices for the first time after having Cochlear implants.
50-year-old Helen Robinson and her husband Neil,
who's 54, have been deaf since birth.
They're believed to be the first couple in the UK to be "switched
on" at the same time - and they can't believe
Half a century without sound, changed with the flick of a switch.
Neil and Helen have been married since 2005.
They've both been deaf since birth because of a genetic condition.
They could hear some muffled noises but now the cochlear
implants are sending electrical signals directly to the brain which
I didn't realise that the sound was coming from inside my head. I
realised it was a different sound from the sound I am hearing normally
with my hearing aids. It has led to a passion for awesome
audio. I love sound and I want
to be able to hear more. You'll be surprised
at what's caught their ears. You know the car,
when you are changing For me, I knit, and when I'm
doing the knitting I can hear the needles clacking together
and it's a nice sound. Their new fifth sense can be
overwhelming at times and clinicians also have to adjust
the volume as they become They are the latest among more than
a thousand patients treated by the university team. It is exciting to
do a first session for somebody come you never know quite how it will be
go and whether the person is quite excited or anxious and nervous.
The new device can be switched off, which may have
I can call her now and also learning to put up with
Apparently Neil was saying that he could hear the birds for the first
time and Helen was saying, I could hear our cat.
First it was a hit film, then a successful stage musical.
Billy Elliott is the story of a boy who trades boxing
gloves for ballet shoes, when he discovers
It's all set against the backdrop of the miners' strike in the '80s.
This week pupils at Ringwood School in Hampshire are staging
And who better to offer some advice to the boys
sharing the lead roles, than the stars of the West End
version, currently on at the Mayflower Theatre in
So at final rehearsals the pressure is on for the four boys who share
the roles of Billy and his best friend Michael.
The ballet has been quite difficult because it pushes you to limit that
you don't want to go to but you have to. And the tap is quite hard. I
loved performing since I was little, I danced around the kitchen. I have
done singing in past shows that I think the acting is kind of the
thing that I had to work on. It is quite funny doing the swearing
because not many little kids do that and the audience loved it because
they are not expecting it. I went to an audition like, I won't get much
of a part, and they said, you have got Billy Elliot!
With six performances this week, the boys have a busy schedule.
But they've taken time out for a special trip.
The West End production of Billy Elliott is now
on at the Mayflower in Southampton, and the lads have been
invited to get some tips from the professionals.
Come on in. Welcome to the Mayflower. What do you think?
Massive. How many seats to you think that is? That is a few, isn't it?
Martin Walsh plays the role of Billy's dad.
Who wants to be an actor when they grow up? All four of you? Why not,
that is how I started out, showing people what you have got and doing
it with an open heart and just going for it.
All right boys, time to show us what you do. That is good.
You can't make kids do things like this, they either want to or they
don't, so it is good, it reminds me of my youth, getting up there.
So now it's back to school, with an added spring in their step.
That Ringwood School production is sold out.
You can see Billy Elliott at the Mayflower Theatre until March 4th.
On to the weather for the weekend. Fraser on Friday.
It has been really mild through the half-time, -- half term, why bother
with Barcelona when you can have Basingstoke?
It was a very pleasant day across the region, springlike, with
temperatures up to 11 Celsius widely. That mild theme continues
for a few days. For tonight we are dry and cloudy, the cloud coming and
going through the night. There will be breaks in it as well and with the
light winds mist patches forming by dawn here and there. Not a chilly
night, temperatures not dropping much below six Celsius. Moving on
Saturday morning, that the lawn is rather grey and dreary, low cloud
and mist, but that will lift and clear through the morning. To the
east, good spells of sunshine, bit more cloud to the West but mild
everywhere, temperatures at 11 Celsius while widely and light
breezes. There is a rainy front coming through overnight, bringing
spits and spots of rain, but under the cloudy skies it will not be
chilly, 67 Celsius in most places. Sunday, that rain sticks around
first thing for a time but it will clear away as the morning wears on
and the bulk of Sunday is looking try and find. Bright spells
developing and some warm air being brought in on a westerly airflow. It
will feel very unusually mild, 12 Celsius the most places, and that
warm tropical air is set to stick with us on Monday. Temperatures on
Monday up to 14 Celsius. Let's look at the outlook, and half term is a
fantastic start, dry and bright, 12 Celsius and light winds. Monday,
dreary start but we will see some bright spells and very mild. --
Sunday. Monday, 14 Celsius but cloudy. Cloudy and mild but Tuesday
as well. I enjoyed that, normally you are
telling us about storms. That is it from us. More at 10:25pm
tonight. Have a good weekend what ever you are doing.