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Live Reporting

Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage for the week

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    So that's it from all of us at the Local Live team for Beds, Herts and Bucks for this week. 

    We'll be back with more news, sport, travel and weather at 08:00 on Tuesday.

    So what ever you're doing, we hope you have a good one and the rain stays away, if anyone is planning a BBQ or other outdoor fun. 

    I'm hoping to go out and see some beautiful bluebells as spotted by Honeybee, one of our BBC Weather Watchers

    Bluebells in Bedford
  2. The bank holiday weather forecast

    Julie Reinger

    BBC Look East weather

    Apart from a few isolated showers, tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells.

    Temperatures could fall as low as 3C (37F) although they'll rise by the end of the night.

    Weather graphic for 05:00 Saturday

    A largely fine and dry day tomorrow, with sunny spells and just the chance of an isolated shower.

    Temperatures rising to 14C (57F) - although it could be a little bit warmer in the best of the sunshine.

    Another dry day on Sunday, although cloud will increase from the south west later... rain isn't expected until the evening.

    As for bank holiday Monday... it's still uncertain, but potentially we could have some rain, followed by sunshine and showers, with temperatures hitting 17C (63F).

  3. Joshua & Klitschko face off ahead of showdown

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport boxing reporter

    This is the moment that Watford's Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko faced off at the weigh-in ahead of Saturday's heavyweight boxing showdown.

    Video content

    Video caption: Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko face-off ahead of Saturday's heavyweight showdown

    The Hertfordshire sporting star is hoping to bring the Ukrainian down in front of a 90,000-strong audience at Wembley Stadium tomorrow night.   

    He says he'll go as far as he needs to go. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Anthony Joshua says he is ready to dig deep to get the win against Wladimir Klitschko
  4. Stevenage boss calls Wycombe boss a 'liar' over play off claims

    Geoff Doyle

    BBC Three Counties Radio sport

    Stevenage boss Darren Sarll has laughed off suggestions from Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth that it's better to be just outside the League Two play-offs and chasing rather than being in them.

    The Boro currently occupy the final play-off place with Wycombe a point behind.

    Ainsworth said: "It's always better being the chaser than the one being chased. The pressure ramps up."

    Sarll responded: “He’s a big liar! Gareth wishes he was in the play-offs. But if Gareth wants to chase, Gareth can chase!”

    Darren Sarll
  5. Hamilton fourth quickest in Russian GP practice

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Bahrain

    Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari one-two in second practice at the Russian Grand Prix as title rivals Mercedes appeared to struggle for pace.

    The four-time champion was 0.263 seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen while Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was 0.670 seconds off the pace.

    Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton, seven points behind Vettel in the championship, was fourth quickest - 0.039secs off his Ferrari team-mate. 

    Hamilton appeared to be struggling with his car throughout the day - he aborted his first two attempts at a fast lap, made a series of mistakes and was slower than Bottas in both sessions.

    The Milton Keynes-based Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, but 1.4 seconds off Vettel's pace, and the Dutchman ground to a halt with an engine problem midway through the session.

    Lewis Hamilton
  6. Man's eye sockets fractured in 'violent and unprovoked attack'

    Jane Killick

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    This rather graphic image of a man's injured face has been released by Hertfordshire Police

    The man in his 50s, who only wants to be known as Gavin, suffered fractures to his eye sockets, cuts and bruising.   

    He was walking along Nicholas Place in Stevenage on Wednesday at about 23:30 when a red car drove past. 

    He shouted for them to slow down, the motorist pulled over and two men got out. 

    Facial injuries

    One then held back Gavin's friend and the other punched Gavin. When he fell to the ground he was kicked in the head several times. 

    Poice say it was a "violent and unprovoked attack". 

    They believe a woman was driving the car and they are appealing for her to come forward. 

  7. Gavin Samuels: 'Bravery and courage' of his victims praised

    The courage of Gavin Samuel's three victims has been praised today by both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

    After the 26-year-old from Melford Drive, Linslade, was sentenced to 14 and a half years in jail at Luton Crown Court, Det Con Ben Stone said: "I’d like to thank them for their incredible bravery in coming forward to reveal this abuse. 

    "I hope that it gives others the confidence in knowing that they do not have to suffer in silence – we will support them, and justice will be done. 

    Bill Khindey, from the CPS, said: "It is only due to the courage of the victims that the disgraceful behaviour of this man has been exposed. 

    "I would like to pay tribute to them all for their strength and tenacity in coming forward and providing evidence for the prosecution." 

  8. Gavin Samuels: 'I'm proud to have stood up against sexual abuse' says one of his victims

    A victim statement was read out at Luton Crown Court from one of the girls that Gavin Samuels, 26, from Melford Drive, Linslade, abused. 

    It explained that she was initially too scared to speak out. 

    "I was afraid to tell others because of what they might think of me. I didn’t know how to tell anyone for a long while so I kept it to myself," she said. 

    "Following this experience, I feel reassured that he will no longer abuse any more girls and I feel proud of myself and the others involved for having the courage to stand up to sexual abuse," she added. 

  9. Gavin Samuels: 'Predatory and manipulative'

    Former golf professional Gavin Samuels abused three girls between 2006 and 2014, at a Bedfordshire golf club. 

    His first victim was about 12 when he started abusing her, when he was aged between 15 and 16.

    She was 13 when he first raped her, Luton Crown Court heard.  

    The other offences happened when the girls were aged between 14 and 15, and Samuels urged them not to tell anyone. 

    Judge Lynn Tayton QC described the 26-year-old as "predatory and manipulative." 

    She said: "I have been told that golf was your life but you were not deterred that you could lose your career. You were in a position of trust.

    "There is evidence of a long history of your interest in young girls which manifested itself when you were 15 and continued until you were reported to police."

  10. Golfer sentenced for raping teenage girl

    A former golf professional who raped a teenage girl and sexually assaulted two others has been given a lengthy prison sentence. 

    Gavin Samuels, 26, from Melford Drive, Linslade, has been jailed for 14 and a half years and given a five year extension to his licence period. 

    He was convicted following two trials at Luton Crown Court in August 2016 and February this year, after being found guilty of 10 sexual offences, including four of rape. 

    Gavin Samuels
  11. Two birds of prey found dead - at least one was shot

    Alex Pope

    BBC Local Live

    Two buzzards have been found dead in Hertfordshire.

    Their bodies were discovered by a member of the public south of Beningfield Drive in London Colney on Sunday - one of them had "clearly been shot" by an air gun.  

    Jenny Shelton from the RSPB says they're "angry and saddened" by the deaths.

    "April and May is an important time for buzzards - it’s when they start pairing up and laying eggs," she said.

    "Buzzards mate for life, and males perform a ‘roller-coaster’ flight to impress their partners – a spectacular sight if you’re lucky enough to see it." 


    The charity is offering a £1,000 reward for any information which leads to a successful conviction.  

    The birds are protected under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.   

  12. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Greater London anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Greater London anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J25 for A10 and J24 for A111.

    M25 Greater London - One lane closed and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J25, A10 (Enfield) in London and J24, A111 (Potters Bar) in Hertfordshire, because of a broken down car.

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

  13. 'Long wait' expected at hospitals this bank holiday weekend

    Carol Abercrombie

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    NHS bosses in Hertfordshire are warning that accident and emergency services are under pressure ahead of the bank holiday weekend. 

    Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group says people going to Watford General with a minor complaint are likely to face an extremely long wait. 

    Bedford Hospital has also warned that they are very busy and are advising that, if anyone is unwell, "your local pharmacist could help". 

    Watford General Hospital
  14. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J11 for A505 Dunstable Road.

    M1 Bedfordshire - M1 lane closed on exit slip road and slow traffic northbound at J11 A505 Dunstable Road, because of a broken down vehicle.

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

  15. Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko - A step to greatness or can Wlad turn back the clock?

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport boxing reporter

    Watford's IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua believes he will take "another step towards greatness" when he meets Wladimir Klitschko in the richest bout in British boxing history.

    Joshua, 27, will defend his title and bid for the vacant WBA strap in front of a post-war record boxing crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in just his 19th professional fight.

    Ukrainian Klitschko, 41, was unbeaten in 11 years prior to defeat to Tyson Fury in his last fight in November 2015 and says he is "obsessed" with overcoming the Briton.

    Video content

    Video caption: Anthony Joshua has left 'no stone unturned' ahead of his showdown Wladimir Klitschko
  16. Joshua heavier after weigh-in

    Luke Reddy

    BBC Sport boxing reporter at Manchester Arena

    Anthony Joshua and Wladamir Klitschko have just weighed-in ahead of tomorrow night's fight at Wembley Stadium.

    Klitschko is 17st 2lb (109kg), while Watford's Joshua is 10lbs heavier at 17st 12lbs (113kg).

    Anthony Joshua

    The bout starts at 22:00 and you can listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live from 21:00 and text updates on the BBC Sport website and app from 20:00.     

  17. Lewis Hamilton 'affected' by British teenager's crash

    Matt Davis

    BBC Sport

    Stevenage's Lewis Hamilton says he was "affected" by British teenager Billy Monger, who had to have both his legs amputated after a Formula 4 crash.

    Formula 1 teams and drivers are showing their support at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix with #BillyWhizz stickers on their cars and helmets.

    An online fundraisier for the 17-year-old has raised more than £760,000.

    "It really hit home," said Hamilton. "Just to see a kid, I've been there, been in that position of racing."

    Billy Monger

    The three-time world champion added: "He was doing well -  fighting to get to Formula One and then such a horrific incident.

    "I think I was affected more by Billy's incident than I probably have been by most, with the exception of what happened in Formula One."

    Monger hit the back of another car on 16 April during the Formula 4 British Championship at Donington Park in Leicestershire and had to be airlifted to hospital.

  18. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise

    BBC News Travel

    M25 Hertfordshire anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J17 for A412 and J16 for M40 affecting J19 for M25.

    M25 Hertfordshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M25 anticlockwise between J17, A412 (Maple Cross) and J16 M40, because of a broken down lorry and recovery work. Congestion to J19, M25 (Watford).

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

  19. Man in serious condition after car hits bridge

    Lee Agnew

    BBC Three Counties Radio

    A 50-year-old man has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a car hit a bridge in Great Missenden near High Wycombe this morning. 

    The A413 remains closed in both directions between London Road and the B485 Frith Hill. 

    South Central Ambulance Service were called at 10:33 and they used hydraulic rescue equipment to release the driver, who was trapped.

    He was then flown to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford with serious chest and head injuries.