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  1. Updates from Thursday 21 December

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Have a good evening

Marcus Liddell

BBC South

Thank you for clicking on BBC South Live today.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with all of the region's latest news, travel, sport and weather.

Until then you can keep in touch via our Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire and Oxford Facebook pages, or via our Twitter accounts: @BBC_Hampshire, @BBCDorset, @BBCBerkshire and @BBCOxford

Stormzy sings at fan's father's funeral

Mark Savage

Music reporter, BBC News

Stormzy performs at the funeral
The star gave up his free time to perform at the funeral

Stormzy has turned up to perform at the funeral of a fan's father in Reading after spotting a message on Twitter.

Nasir Bockarie's father died in the Royal Berkshire Hospital on 8 December, the day Nasir graduated.

He sent Stormzy a message saying he and his father had both loved the song Blinded By Your Grace, and invited him to sing at the funeral.

"Don't worry if you can't," he added. "I just thought I'd try my luck". To his surprise, Stormzy replied and agreed to come.

The funeral took place on 21 December and, sure enough, Stormzy kept his promise.

Driver, 77, admits killing pedestrian

A 77-year-old man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a pedestrian by careless driving.

The 87-year-old victim died in hospital after she was hit by a car in Southbourne Road, Bournemouth, on 26 April.

Lewis Thorne, of Southbourne Road, is due to be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on 11 January.

Southbourne Road accident location

Tyre Christmas tree complaint 'ridiculous'

Miss Stanley said: "It's ridiculous. Our staff members wanted to do it, and we were a bit gobsmacked that anyone complained."

In an email sent to South Oxfordshire District Council's head of planning a villager said: "I really don't want to be too curmudgeonly about this.

"But the illuminations up on the on the B4027 are contrary to Rectory Farm planning conditions regarding signage."

They added that farm workers should not be indulged "at the expense of others, and in particular the green belt".

The tree
Imogen Stanley

Tyre Christmas tree prompts 'green belt' complaint

The tree
Imogen Stanley

A Christmas tree made out of tyres has prompted a complaint to the local council about its impact on the green belt.

The 6ft temporary festive decoration was set up at the entrance to Rectory Farm in Stanton St John on Saturday.

But a complaint was made at a parish council meeting and an email has now been sent to the district council suggesting it breaches planning rules.

Imogen Stanley runs the farm with her parents and said they were "gobsmacked".


Mark Savage

BBC Music reporter

The rapper performs Blinded By Your Grace at a funeral service after a fan contacted him on Twitter.

Read more

Body found in search for missing man

Police searching for a missing man from Thatcham have recovered a body from a river.

The body was found in the River Kennett in Newbury.

It has not been formally identified but police believe it is that of Steve Holand, who has been missing since 8 December.

Police say his next of kin have been informed and the death is being treated as "unexplained but not suspicious".

Out of the Blue release Christmas single

View more on youtube

It wouldn't be Christmas without Oxford University a cappella group Out of the Blue releasing a festive cover.

The group, which has had members appear on The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, has reimagined Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody, and has filmed a fun video which sees the lads larking about in Oxford.

Their previous covers have included Sleigh Ride, Santa Baby and All I Want for Christmas Is You. Their version of Hips Don't Lie even got a complimentary tweet from Shakira herself.

It's all in aid of local charity Helen & Douglas House. Deon from the group appears on BBC Introducing in Oxford on BBC Radio Oxford on Saturday.

Government's badger cull 'effective'

Almost 20,000 badgers were killed this year as part of a government plan to control the spread of bovine TB.

The animals were culled in 19 areas in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Wiltshire.

Farming Minister George Eustice said the cull had been "effective".

Culling is part of the government's 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but opponents say there is no evidence it is effective.

Data for two further supplementary cull zones, in Gloucestershire and Somerset, had not yet been analysed, Defra said.

Figures released by the government show the minimum target of culls was achieved, and the maximum not exceeded, in all 19 areas.

Too easy to be racist online - Mings

BBC Sport

Tyrone Mins (left)
Getty Images

Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings has criticised social media platforms for making it "all too easy" for racist abuse to take place online.

In sharing an article about a man being jailed for 16 weeks for a racial attack on Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, Mings has received malicious tweets.

"You get 16 weeks for this but on social media it's all too easy to be racist," tweeted Mings, 24.

"Just hide behind a fake picture, fake details and get away with it?"

Royal Navy bomb disposal vehicle on the scene

The 11-hour motorway shutdown caused gridlock and long tailbacks on 23 September.

Read more

Little Troopers campaign for Christmas smiles

The charity that helps make special memories for Armed Forces families.

‘Days to weeks’ before Nazanin is freed

BBC Radio 5 live

Husband of British mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on the news that his wife is to be freed

British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held in Iran for 18 months, has been told she is eligible for early release, her husband has said.

Richard Ratcliffe, originally from Fleet in Hampshire, told BBC Radio 5 Live that an Iranian judiciary database had listed her as "eligible for release".

He said her lawyer was "hopeful" when he visited her in prison on Wednesday.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held in Iran since April 2016 after being accused of spying - charges she denies.

Troops celebrate Christmas in South Sudan

Gosport-based 33 Field Hospital troops

British troops from the Gosport-based 33 Field Hospital have been getting into the Christmas spirit.

They'll be spending this Christmas on United Nations operations in South Sudan, based at the UK role 2 Hospital in Bentiu.

Gosport-based 33 Field Hospital troops

They've got some fabulous hats there, and we wish them all a very merry Christmas.


Campaigners say they are "bitterly disappointed" by the decision to uphold changes to Horton Hospital.

Read more

More than 53,000 sign a petition calling the Oxford Junior Dictionary to reinstate words like acorn.

Read more

Water on Mars 'absorbed into the crust', say Oxford scientists

University of Oxford

Mars was made uninhabitable when its surface water was absorbed into the planet's crust, according to scientists in Oxford.

New research by the Department of Earth Sciences suggests water is locked into surface due to chemical reactions.

The Red Planet was covered in water until around three billion years ago.

Dr Jon Wade, who led the team, said: "People have thought about this question for a long time, but never tested the theory of the water being absorbed as a result of simple rock reactions.

"On Mars, water reacting with the freshly erupted lavas that form its basaltic crust, resulted in a sponge-like effect where the planet’s water reacted with the rocks forming a variety of water bearing minerals.

"This water-rock reaction changed the rock mineralogy and caused the planetary surface to dry and become inhospitable to life."

Homeless people 'forced to wait years for a home'

Homeless people are having to wait up to seven years to get a home from their local authority, the BBC has found.

Southampton City Council says it simply cannot keep up with increasing demand, as many of the social housing properties it owns are lost to the Right to Buy scheme.

BBC figures show the waiting lists for social housing are getting longer

BreakingMan, 85, dies in three-vehicle crash

An 85-year-old man from the Wantage area died in the three-vehicle crash on the A420 near Faringdon this morning, police have confirmed.

He sustained fatal injuries in the collision between a car and two lorries and died at the scene.

His next of kin have been informed.

Council 'disappointed' by Horton challenge defeat

Horton General Hospital

Leader of Cherwell District Council, Barry Wood, says he's "bitterly disappointed" after losing a legal challenge over the way controversial changes to Horton General Hospital were consulted on.

The authority had claimed there was "insufficient information" in the two-phase consultation process.

It follows Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's decision to downgrade maternity services at the hospital in Banbury.

The move has also been referred to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and Mr Wood says the council will now be focusing its attention on the referral.

Severe accident: M3 Hampshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire southbound severe accident, between J8 for A30 and J9 for A34.

M3 Hampshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M3 southbound between J8, A30 (Andover) and J9, A34 (Winnal Roundabout), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Eric Black leaves Southampton for personal reasons

BBC Sport

Eric Black has stepped down as Southampton's senior first team coach for personal reasons.

A statement from the club said Black, 54, will be having treatment for the effects of previous back injuries sustained during his playing career and felt it was the right time to take a break from the game.

The former Scotland international joined the Premier League club in June as assistant to then manager Claude Puel.

Eric Black

BreakingHorton hospital legal challenge 'dismissed'

Horton campaigners
Campaigners protested prior the decision to downgrade services at Horton General Hospital in August

A judicial review into the consultation process which took place prior to a decision to downgrade services at Horton General Hospital in Banbury has been dismissed.

Cherwell District Council says High Court Judge Mr Justice Mostyn made the ruling after a two-day hearing in London.

The authority had brought the challenge, with support from South Northamptonshire Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, and Banbury Town Council.

It follow's Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group's decision in August to permanently change the obstetrics unit at Horton General Hospital into a midwife-led unit, despite opposition from campaigners.

Nine arrests after football violence

Nine men, including three from Oxfordshire, have been arrested for violent disorder in the centre of Swindon following a football match last month.

It happened at about 17:40 in the Fleet Street area after a game between Swindon Town and Newport on 25 November.

Wiltshire Police says three of the men came from Wantage, Oxfordshire - while the others came from Calne, Swindon and Chippenham in Wiltshire.

Serious three-vehicle collision near Faringdon

Here's the scene at the A420 after a serious collision between three vehicles.

A420 crash

It has caused lengthy delays with traffic diverted through Faringdon town centre.

A Thames Valley Police spokeswoman said: "The A420 near Faringdon remains closed following a road traffic collision this morning at around 07:00.

"Thames Valley Police officers remain on scene while they carry out their investigation and recovery of the vehicles takes place.

"We would ask that you please avoid the area and find alternative routes as the road is likely to be closed for a couple of hours.

"A diversion route has been set up with Highways England."

Reading forward Josh Barrett looks on in a game against Blackburn in 2016

Coventry City sign Reading forward Josh Barrett on a loan deal until the end of the season, starting from 2 January.

Read more

Hopes rise for axed bath tub race

A New Year's day bath tub race on the Dorset coast is set to go ahead after the plug was initially pulled on health and safety grounds.

As we reported yesterday, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) said it would not permit the race - which has run for 43 years - to take place as "safety criteria has not been met".

The PCH said, after a "very positive" meeting with organisers, it was hopeful the event could be sanctioned.

The annual event on 1 January attracts thousands of spectators who watch teams race in homemade craft made out of bath tubs.

Bath race
Blue Boar

It is not our intention to prevent events from happening but we must ensure that there are adequate safety measures and insurances in place. The Health and Safety consultant is fully aware and understands the requirements that should be met to ensure a safe and fun day for all and we are happy to do all that we can to assist.

Capt Brian MurphyPoole Harbour Commissioners

Chris Tarrant charged with drink driving

Michele Cross

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

Chris Tarrant

Chris Tarrant has been charged with drink driving in West Berkshire.

The 71-year-old, who lives in Bucklebury, was stopped in Chapel Row in the village on Saturday.

He'll appear before Reading magistrates on 18 January.

BBC Radio Oxford spreads Christmas cheer

The station's breakfast show had Wantage Brass Band play some Christmas tunes on the radio early this morning.

View more on twitter

WWI hero Lawrence of Arabia's sandals auctioned

T E Lawrence's sandals

Sandals owned 100 years ago by Lawrence of Arabia have been bought at an auction.

The footwear was part of a collection including one of Lawrence's books that had been left to a family friend.

The memorabilia was sold for £2,600 at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire.

Thomas Edward Lawrence grew up in Oxford and served as a British officer in the Middle East during World War One. He was played by Peter O'Toole in an Oscar-winning film.

He lived near Wareham, in Dorset, after the war and died in a motorcycle accident in the county in 1935.

The collection of items had been given to Rodney Havelock Walker, a family friend who had worn Lawrence's christening gown.

They were presented to the auctioneers in a plastic bag.

South Western Railway consultation due to end

There are calls to extend and further publicise the consultation period for changes to train timetables which will affect those in the south.

South Western Railway is proposing changes to its service from December next year.

They include direct trains from Weymouth to London dropping from two an hour to one, and many smaller stations, such as Wool and Wareham, could lose direct trains to Waterloo altogether.

The consultation is set to finish tomorrow.

CCTV images released after Wareham restaurant burglary

Burglary suspects
Dorset Police

CCTV images of suspects believed to have stolen a till drawer and a bottle of brandy from a restaurant have been released by Dorset Police.

The burglary happened at about 03:45 on 8 December at The Italian Kitchen in South Street in Wareham.

PC Roan Doyle said: "I am releasing images of the suspects in the hope that someone might recognise them.

"I would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area around the time of the offence."

Petition to reinstate 'acorn' into Junior Oxford English Dictionary

Scrat and his acorn
On the left is a sabre-toothed squirrel. But what's that funny-looking thing on the right?

More than 35,000 people have signed a petition for the Junior Oxford English Dictionary to reintroduce nature-related words that have been removed.

The appeal set up by a Watlington resident wants words like acorn, adder and ash to be put back in the children's dictionary.

But Oxford University Press says its resources reflect how children are currently using language, and says the total number of words has significantly increased in the past 40 years.

Chelsea 2-1 Bournemouth - Late heartbreak for the Cherries at Chelsea in the League Cup

Morata's goal moments after Gosling's leveler sends the blues through.
Alvaro Morata scored an injury-time winner as Chelsea reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals with victory over Bournemouth.

Willian opened the scoring, capping a fine team move which resulted in Cesc Fabregas squaring for the Brazilian to tap home.

Bournemouth thought they had forced extra-time when Dan Gosling curled home from the edge of the box in the final minute after being picked out by Callum Wilson.

But substitute Morata sent Antonio Conte's into the last four when he finished from Eden Hazard's backheel.

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe disruption, between J13 for A34 Chieveley and J12 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M4 London-bound between J13, A34 (Chieveley) and J12, A4 (Theale), because of a broken down vehicle.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Proposals to increase Boomtown festival capacity

Capacity could be increased at Winchester's Boomtown Fair.

Organisers are proposing to allow 80,000 people to attend by 2019, an increase of 20,000 on this year.

Residents will be able to offer their feedback at the Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall this afternoon.