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  1. Updates on Friday, 15 July 2016
  2. Body found at home of missing Royston author Helen Bailey
  3. Man, 55, re-arrested on suspicion of murder
  4. Shares in Luton-based Easyjet hit by Nice terror attacks
  5. Yarl's Wood staff probed over alleged sex assaults
  6. Baby death accused 'found boy on floor'

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Max Whitlock: Former trainer on rise of golden gymnast

BBC Radio 2

How will Max Whitlock react to newfound Rio fame? 

His former trainer Matt reveals all and talks about how the golden boy's gone from strength-to-strength.

Max Whitlock's former trainer speaks to BBC Radio 2

Max Whitlock's mum 'can't put pride into words'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Max Whitlock's mum Madeleine says she "can't put into words" how proud she is of him.

Max stands on podium to receive gold medal
Getty Images

Whitlock made history by winning gold in the men's floor exercise and on pommel.

Ms Whitlock said going into the competition she was "quite relaxed" as she wanted to "really enjoy" it.

"I can't put it into words how proud I am," she said. "He works so hard, but he loves it. I'm sure there'll be big parties when we get back."

Fellow gymnasts congratulate Max Whitlock

Fellow GB gymnasts have been congratulating Max Whitlock's double gold win on Twitter...


You heard it here 1st " Sir Max Whitlock " Difficult to comprehend the magnitude of that achievement 🏆 @maxwhitlock1

You heard it here 1st " Sir Max Whitlock " Difficult to comprehend the magnitude of that achievement 🏆 @maxwhitlock1

@maxwhitlock1 what can I say? I am so proud of you! Making history again! Bring on pommel final!

I'm so relieved. What a pommel final!! @maxwhitlock1 a true champion . So happy to be hear and do my best. I owe so much to my coach Paul ❤

'Max made me proud to be from Basildon'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

It's business as usual here at the Basildon Sporting Village, where double-gold gymnast Max Whitlock trains.

These gym-goers were particularly happy about the 23-year-old's wins yesterday. 


Max was incredible... It made me so proud to be part of Basildon."

Kirsten Priddle

He has done so well for his country - and for all of us in Basildon."

Joanne Beckwith

Rio 2016: GB men's eight win rowing gold

BBC Sport

Another local Olympian who won gold over the weekend was Bedford's Phelan Hill (third from left), in the men's eight rowing.

Team GB reclaimed the Olympic title for the first time since 2000 in Rio on Saturday.

Britain, the world champions, led throughout and finished well clear of Germany, who took silver, and the Netherlands, who claimed bronze.

It is Britain's third gold medal of the rowing competition, and follows the women's eight earlier winning silver.

Rutherford's 'ultimate downer' as phone stolen in Rio

Greg Rutherford after long jump final
Getty Images

Buckinghamshire long jumper Greg Rutherford was visibly upset after winning bronze on Saturday evening in Rio - losing his gold title he obtained at London 2012.

But he says the "ultimate downer" from the Games is having his mobile phone stolen...

Rutherford says he's lost photos of his young son. 

The ultimate downer from this champs is having my phone stolen. Just for the pics and videos of milo 😢

Kieran Agard

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson lauds new signing "brave" Kieran Agard following his two-goal debut on Saturday.

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Nation's media descends on Basildon

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

It's not just me that's made the trip to Max Whitlock's training gym. BBC News, ITV and Sky have all sent reporters down to the sporting village. 

Satellite trucks

Rio 2016: Greg Rutherford takes bronze in long jump

BBC Sport

And, of course, we can't forget Woburn Sands' Greg Rutherford, who took bronze in the long jump in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Rutherford, 29, said he was "gutted" not to have defended his Olympic long jump title: "I came here to win but couldn't quite get it together. I'm very disappointed. Bronze is not good enough for me."

America's Jeff Henderson, 27, took gold with an 8.38m jump. South Africa's Luvo Manyonga won silver with 8.37m, while Rutherford took bronze with a final leap of 8.29m.

Laura Trott goes for fourth Olympic gold

BBC Sport

But it doesn't end there... Laura Trott (centre right) could add a fourth Olympic gold medal to her collection tonight as she defends her title in the omnium.

Gold medalists Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker of Great Britain
Getty Images

"I could not be prouder right now," said Trott, after she won the women's team pursuit.

Watch her compete in the individual pursuit on BBC Sport from 20:30.

Rio 2016: Laura Trott makes history as GB's women win team pursuit

BBC Sport

Over the weekend, Cheshunt's Laura Trott also made history by claiming her third Olympic title in Rio.

Trott, 24, is the first female GB competitor to win a third gold, having triumphed alongside Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald in the women's team pursuit.

The team clocked four minutes 10.236 seconds to beat the United States in the final.

Trott had won gold in the team pursuit and omnium at London 2012.

Council congrats for Max

Sir Max Whitlock?

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

I think the people here at Basildon's Sporting Village might agree with you Gabby... 

View more on twitter

Three words to describe Max Whitlock?

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

I asked his training mates at South Essex Gymnastics Club to sum up the Olympic champion in three words... 

View more on twitter

'Our phones are ringing off the hook'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

The phones at Max Whitlock's gym are already ringing off the hook with people enquiring about membership, according to Rhythmic Head Coach Verity Adams.

Verity Adams

"We're all over the moon here, it's quite overwhelming," she said.

"We'll have to get extra people on the phones, because they want their child to be the next Max Whitlock."

We're live from the training home of Max Whitlock

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Where does Britain's first Olympic gold gymnast train? Basildon, of course... 


I've come to the South Essex Gymastics Club where Max Whitlock perfects the tricks of his trade.

There's lots of people with beaming smiles across their face - I'll bring you what they have to say shortly.

Reaction to Max Whitlock's double Olympic golds

BBC Look East

It's a massive achievement that many people are talking about across Britain, but especially in Hertfordshire and Essex.

Here's a flavour of what is being said on our Facebook page...

Max Whitlock gives thumbs up to camera
Getty Images

April says: "Brilliant! Well done Max, you are a great role model for youngsters wanting to get into gymnastics, amazing Olympic result, and I'm sure a few more medals might come along after this tournament, so well done!"

Carol writes: "A big Congratulations Max, a double gold medal, that's brilliant!"

Mo says: "What a complete & utter brilliant Champion. Well done Max!"

Karl Robinson: MK Dons boss on Millwall draw
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson speaks to BBC Three Counties Radio following their 2-2 draw against Newport.

Whitlock: 'Only child we'd seen walk entire floor area on hands'

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Max Whitlock on floor
Getty Images

Max Whitlock "was always a very hard-working person," says the club leader of his former gymnastics school.

Max Whitlock on pommel
Getty Images

Whitlock trained at the Sapphire School of Gymnastics in Hemel Hempstead from the age of six until the age of 11.

"He was the only six-year-old we'd ever seen who could walk on their hands all around the floor area," said Sally Echlin.

"We knew straight away that this was a very talented little boy."

Max Whitlock: At his parents' nursery

Matthew Lockwood

BBC Three Counties Radio

Nursery with banner saying "good luck Max"

I'm at the nursery owned by the parents of double Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock in Hemel Hempstead this morning. 

Nursery with banner saying "good luck Max"

Staff here are understandably delighted for him.  

Max Whitlock is front page news

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

By the way... if you're buying your paper today, chances are it'll have Max's face on the front...

Front pages

Off to the gym...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

I'm not clocking off work ultra early - just heading to the Essex gym where Max Whitlock trains, to get reaction at base camp this morning to his historic medal tally.

I'll bring you more updates when I get there.

Rio 2016: How Max Whitlock made his teenage dream reality

Aimee Lewis

BBC Sport in Rio

Max Whitlock holds gold medal
Getty Images

Once the merriment and revelry of London 2012 had dimmed, and the country had returned to focusing on the routine, Max Whitlock held a meeting with his coach Scott Dann.

It was during that one-on-one talk that the boy from Hemel Hempstead said he wanted to be a great, wanted to be remembered, wanted to inspire a nation.

It was a stirring speech from the winner of two bronze medals at his home Olympics. It excited Hann, it roused him. It was the start of their journey to Rio, to double Olympic gold, to history.

"I asked if he wanted to be just a pommel horse specialist," remembers Dann. "He said, 'I want to be an all-around gymnast and I want to be one of the world's greatest. I don't want to be a flash in the pan.' That inspired me."

But what happened from there? You can read all here.

Whitlock wins second gold on the pommel horse

...and this is the moment Max Whitlock won his second gold of the day in the men's pommel horse. 

Whitlock creates British gymnastics history - again

Not being contempt with winning Britain's first all-round Olympic medal in 108 years as he took bronze on Wednesday, Max Whitlock gained the nation's first Olympic gymnastics gold men's floor yesterday, with a score of 15.633.

...little did he know, he'd gain a second gold medal a few hours later.

An Olympic-sized welcome

Dani Bailey

BBC Local Live

Did you see Team GB's record-breaking weekend?

We will of course this morning be celebrating the news that Hemel Hempstead's Max Whitlock made Olympic history last night.

He won two Olympic gold medals on pommel and floor - a first for Great Britain.

Max celebrates his win on pommel in Rio
Getty Images

We'll also bring you news on Laura Trott's equally historic achievements at the weekend, sharing our love for Greg Rutherford (the colour of the medal doesn't matter Greg!), and bring you the rest of the day's news, sport, weather and travel across Beds, Herts and Bucks.  

Dean Haverley/The George Inn

A 61-year-old man is arrested over the murder of a man who was attacked in a pub in Burnham, near Slough.

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Kieran Agard of MK Dons heads in his teams equaliser during the Sky Bet League One match between Milton Keynes Dons and Millwall at StadiumMK

Kieran Agard makes a sensational start to his MK Dons career as his first-half brace salvages a draw against Millwall.

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Nathan Redmond celebrates equalising for Southampton against Watford

Neil Johnston

BBC Sport

Nathan Redmond scores on his first Premier League appearance for Southampton to rescue a point against Watford at St Mary's Stadium.

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Anthony Stewart's injury-time winner against Grimsby earns Wycombe their first victory since March.

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Southampton 1-1 Watford- Mazzarri reacts
Watford boss Walter Mazzarri says he is pleased with the way his players reacted after going down to 10 men in a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Southampton 1-1 Watford- Puel reacts
Southampton boss Claude Puel says his players were much better after half-time as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Watford.

Jon Stead's first goal of the season salvages a point for Notts County against Stevenage at Meadow Lane.

Read more

A second-half equaliser from Yeovil Town striker Tom Eaves earns the Glovers a point at Luton.

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Southampton 1-1 Watford

Trevor Sinclair

Former England winger on Final Score

It was definitely a free-kick and yellow card (for Ben Watson) but the other defender would have got across. It wasn't a red card. The referee should have given himself a bit of time.

George Inn Burnham

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man died in a pub brawl in Burnham, near Slough.

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Southampton 0-1 Watford

Dion Dublin

Former Leicester and Aston Villa forward on Final Score

What is catching my eye is Watford. They seem to be very confident on the ball and once they get into the final third out wide they cross it and they are getting players in the box. It looks a very simple philosophy and they look comfortable playing it.

Soares Cedric

Team news

Southampton v Watford (15:00 BST)


Southampton's new £10m winger Nathan Redmond makes his Premier League debut for his new club after arriving from Norwich City in the summer.

Boss Claude Puel has named his other three new signings Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg,Alex McCarthy and Jeremy Pied on the bench.

Southampton XI: Forster, Cedric, Yoshida, Van Dijk, Targett, Romeu, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond, Long.


Watford are without club record signing Isaac Success and new defender Brice Dja Djedje because of injury. Teenage striker Jerome Sinclair, who joined from Liverpool this summer, is on the bench.

Watford XI: Gomes, Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Amrabat, Capoue, Behrami, Guedioura, Holebas, Deeney, Ighalo.

Cyril Banks and charity representatives

A World War Two veteran whose life savings were stolen gives thousands of pounds to charity after an online campaign helped him raised £18,000.

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