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  1. Ex-Southampton football coach in court over child abuse charges
  2. Fans lose out over axed Olly Murs gigs
  3. Reading sign Black Cat goalkeeper Mannone
  4. Downton Abbey 'hospital' restored
  5. Updates from Thursday 20 July

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Good evening!

That's all for today - thanks for joining us!

The BBC South Live service will resume at 08:00 tomorrow when we will be bringing you all the latest regional news, travel, sport and weather until 18:00.

You can still get in touch by email, on our Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire and Oxford Facebook pages or on Twitter @BBC_Hampshire, @BBCDorset, @BBCBerkshire and @BBCOxford.

NHS boss sorry for 'nagged to death' comment

Linda Serck

BBC South

An NHS boss in East Berkshire has apologised after saying men did not live as long as women because they were "nagged to death" by their wives.

Sir Andrew Morris, head of Frimley and Wexham Park Hospitals Trust, made the remark during a health conference.

His comment was in response to national figures showing a change in male life expectancy rates.

Critics on social media accused Sir Andrew of sexism and branded him a "dinosaur".

Sir Andrew was part of a think-tank meeting during the Kings Fund Conference when he said: "Usually the blokes die off earlier because they're nagged to death by the other half."

Jon Rouse from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said on Twitter: "Sir Andrew Morris just made extraordinary sexist comment. Dinosaurs still roam in East Berkshire".

In a statement Sir Andrew said: "I made a comment that I realised right away was completely inappropriate. I would like to apologise unreservedly for any offence that it caused."

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra "disappointment" at cancellation

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra has issued a statement after a concert was cancelled after the promoter went bust.

The orchestra was due to play at Exeter's Powderham Castle on 5 August but Stephen C Associates Limited, which organised the event, said it had ceased trading.

The company, which was also promoting concerts by Olly Murs which have also been cancelled, said it was "not in a position" to offer refunds.

Powderham Castle
Powderham Castle

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is very disappointed due to the recent news which has led to the BSO’s concert at Powderham Castle, Sunday 30 July 2017 to be cancelled. The circumstances in which the concert has been cancelled are out of the BSO’s control, the concert was being managed by an external promoter, and any tickets for this concert purchased directly from the BSO will be fully refunded."

BSO statement

Xanda: Son of Cecil the 'lion killed by hunter' in Zimbabwe

Two years after Cecil the lion (pictured) was killed by a trophy-hunter in Zimbabwe, prompting global outrage, his son has met a similar sad end.


Xanda, a six-year-old lion with several young cubs, was reportedly shot on a trophy hunt.

He died just outside the Hwange National Park in north-west Zimbabwe.

News of the lion's death emerged because he had been fitted with an electronic tracking collar by Oxford University researchers.

Grants for south Oxfordshire community facilities

South Oxfordshire District Council has announced £423,000 of grants for community facilities in the area.

It includes funding for renovate play areas in Benson, Berinsfield, Hagbourne, Long Wittenham and Little Milton.

Improvements will also take place at clubs and village halls in Lewknor, Benson, Peppard Stoke Row, Sandford on Thames, Wallingford and Watlington.

Wallingford Corn Exchange will get a roof replacement and Ewelme a replacement pavilion.

Elizabeth Gillespie, cabinet member for grants, said: "This funding achieves our goals to make a real difference in our communities across south Oxfordshire, helping ensure existing facilities are upgraded and that new ones become available for residents to use."

Fire brigade not out-foxed by cub challenge

Here's today's 'aww' moment - a fox cub has been rescued by Hampshire Fire and Rescue.

View more on twitter

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

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

M4 Berkshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic 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

Jane Austen - alive or dead?

A Cabinet minister prompted laughs from MPs when she mistakenly praised Jane Austen as one of the UK's "greatest living authors" just days after the 200th anniversary of the writer's death.

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom made the error in the Commons when attempting to praise the Pride And Prejudice author, who will feature on the new £10 note due for issue in September.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney unveiled the design of the new banknote earlier this week at Winchester Cathedral, where Ms Austen was buried after her death in 1817 at the age of 41.

Leadsom calls Jane Austen 'one of our greatest living authors'

Teenager admits spraying noxious gas into Slough home

A 17-year-old boy has admitted spraying harmful gas through a window which hospitalised eight people.

the scene

The boy pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon to discharge a noxious gas into a home in Slough on Sunday.

The six female and two male victims were treated for issues including breathing difficulties and vomiting.

He appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on Wednesday, and was remanded in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

Severe accident: M27 Hampshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M27 Hampshire eastbound severe accident, between J5 for A335 Wide Lane and J7 for A334.

M27 Hampshire - One lane blocked and very slow traffic on M27 eastbound between J5, A335 (Southampton Airport) and J7, A334 (Hedge End), because of an accident involving car and van.

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

Poole Park railway reopens for summer season

The railway has been operational in the park since 1949.
Having recently won the tender to operate the railway for the next 30 years, the Friends of Poole Park charity has been working hard to refurbish the station, engine shed and the track.

BBC Radio Solent's Neil Sackley has been onboard to find out more about the historic miniature railway. With him was Caroline Slocock from the Friends of Poole Park

Coastguard called to fall casualty at Portland Bill

Wyke Coastguard has been in action this afternoon after a elderly man fell on rocks below Portland Bill Lighthouse.

The team were called in incase a technical rescue was needed. In the event however the man was able to walk from his location.

Portland Bill scene
Wyke CRT
The escape room phenomenon is provided business opportunities in the south
Six escape rooms, where players solve puzzles to get out, have been set up in Southampton over the past year.
Poole public toilets a "health risk" to residents
Residents in Poole are campaigning for the council to reopen public toilets which they say are a "health risk".

Dorset's 101 number is back

The 101 emergency number is back in action after an earlier fault.

View more on twitter

Honorary degree for Sir Ben Ainslie

Sir Ben Ainslie has received an honorary degree from the University of Portsmouth at a ceremony in the Guildhall.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist has just returned from Bermuda where his Land Rover BAR team, which is based in Portsmouth, lost out to New Zealand in the semi-finals in their attempt to win the America's Cup.

Sir Ben Ainslie
Christopher Ison
Sir Ben Ainslie receives his honorary degree from university chancellor Sandi Toksvig
Christopher Ison

A boy is remanded in custody after pleading guilty to an attack that saw eight people hospitalised.

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Dorset Police non-emergency 101 number down

Dorset Police's 101 service is currently unavailable due to a technical fault that was reported to police at around 13:00 today. The force said the fault does not affect the 999 number and non-emergency enquiries can still be emailed to

A spokesman said: "We do not currently know when the service will resume, however we are doing everything we can to identify the fault and quickly ensure a normal service is resumed."

Downton Abbey hospital has roof restored

The roof of a building depicted as the cottage hospital in hit TV series Downton Abbey has had its roof restored after a fundraising campaign.

The 400-year-old former Old Grammar School in Bampton, Oxfordshire, has become a tourist magnet, but was said to be in desperate need of repair.

The campaign, which raised £125,000, was backed by several actors from the show, including Hugh Bonneville.

The Bampton Community Archive said it was "extremely happy" with the result.

Old Grammar School

Chairman Robin Shuckburgh said: "It's extremely likely it'll be on the big screen."

A film version of Downton Abbey is expected to start production in 2018.

Radiohead defy critics to play Israel

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Radiohead have defied critics, and supporters of a cultural boycott, to play a gig in Israel on Wednesday.

In fact, the Oxford group played their longest show since 2006, playing 27 songs and two encores at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.

Thom Yorke

Protestors and activists had repeatedly called on the band to abandon the show in protest at Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

"A lot was said about this, but in the end we played some music," frontman Thom Yorke told the sold-out crowd.

Prince Harry, sculptor Les Johnson and Vernon Monument project manager David Sandiford (right)

The planned sculpture is due to be installed at the former site of HMS Vernon in Portsmouth.

Read more

Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J11 for A361.

M40 Oxfordshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M40 northbound at J11, A361 (Banbury), because of a police incident.

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

Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire southbound severe disruption, at J11 for A361.

M40 Oxfordshire - Stationary traffic on M40 southbound at J11, A361 (Banbury), because of a rolling road-block and a police incident.

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

Motorcyclist seriously injured in collision

A motorcyclist has been left with life-threatening injuries in a crash near Clanfield.

It happened on East Meon Road at about 15:15 on Tuesday and involved a green Kawaski motorbike and a red Citroen Xsara Picasso.

The 34-year-old man, from Swanmore, was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital. No one else was injured.

Sgt Scott Kerr, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: "We would like to speak to anyone who may have been travelling along the East Meon Road that runs between Clanfield and Warnford at around 15:00 that day."

CBE medal stolen in Oxford

An 80-year-old man from Headington, Oxford, has had his CBE medal stolen.

Burglars forced entry to the rear of a property overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday on Old London Road.

The man was awarded the medal from the Queen in the 1998 Birthday Honour's List.

Investigating officer PC Simon Collins said: "If you have any information about this incident or the stolen medal, which is of great sentimental value to the victim, please contact me."

'Why are theirs open and ours are not open?' Are Poole's public loos being unfairly closed

John Rampton is from Poole Borough Council and Mike Randall lives near Baiter Park's loos.
John Rampton is the Environment Portfolio holder at Poole Borough Council and Mike Randall lives near the closed public loos in Baiter Park. He says the fact those toilets are closed while the ones at Sandbanks have reopened is politically motivated.
Chris Maguire

Bury sign Scotland international striker Chris Maguire from fellow League One side Oxford United.

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Bampton Village Library, which is used as the location for Downton Cottage Hospital

Bampton's Old Grammar School featured in the show as the cottage hospital and is now a tourist site.

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Robert Higgins: Ex-Saints coach faces child abuse charges

A former Southampton Football Club youth coach has appeared in court to face charges relating to historical child abuse allegations.

Robert Higgins appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court charged with 65 counts of indecent assault against 23 boys all aged under 17.

Football abuse accused Robert Higgins arrives at court

The court heard the alleged offences date from between 1970 and 1996.

Mr Higgins, 64, of Litchfield Road, Southampton, spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address during the hearing.

He was given unconditional bail until a hearing at Winchester Crown Court on 16 August.

Bob Higgins

A former Southampton FC youth coach faces historical indecent assault allegations against teenage boys.

Read more

Reading sign Black Cat goalkeeper Mannone

Reading have signed Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £2m.

The 29-year-old underwent a medical on Wednesday after agreeing personal terms and a three-year contract.

Getty Images
Both Mannone and Finnish keeper Anssi Jaakkola will now compete for the Reading goalkeeper spot

Mannone, who joined the Black Cats from Arsenal in 2013, made 13 appearances in all competitions last season.

The Italian's arrival bolsters Jaap Stam's goalkeeping options following the departure of Ali Al-Habsi to Saudi club Al-Hilal.

Car Park

New Reading Council pay and display charges could stop patients and staff from parking for free at weekends.

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Law of the road

Radio Oxford presenter Sophie Law once described birthday messages next to public roads as "tacky and lazy", but that didn't stop her colleagues putting one up at the junction of London Road and Headley Way this morning.

View more on twitter

It was even picked up by the cameras at the traffic control centre.

We don't think Sophie has changed her opinion.

Dorset hospitals get £100m boost

The Department of Health is giving £100m to Dorset to pay for changes to the way healthcare is delivered in the county.

The changes will see Bournemouth or Poole hospitals become a specialist urgent and emergency care unit with the other handling planned operations.

No decision has been made yet but there has already been opposition, particularly about the loss of services in Dorchester.

Royal Bournemouth Hospital
Wessex Road

The heir to a botanical garden was killed by a friend who wrongly accused him of rape, a jury hears.

Read more

Reading Fringe Festival under way

Seventy acts will perform at the Reading Fringe Festival which gets under way today.

Music, drama and dance feature over the next six days.

A number of German artists are taking part because of Reading's celebration of 70 years of twinning with Dusseldorf.

They include Emil Schult, former member of seminal German group Kraftwerk.

Emil Schult

Severe accident: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe accident, at J7 for A40.

M40 Oxfordshire - M40 lane closed on exit slip road and heavy traffic northbound at J7, A40 (Thame), because of an accident.

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

Oxfordshire headlines

Sophie Law

BBC Radio Oxford news

  • A group of haemophiliacs who received infected blood from the Oxford Haemophilia Centre 40 years ago is taking legal action against the Department of Health
  • Oxfordshire welcomes the Royal Swan Uppers to the county this afternoon as they arrive in Moulsford
  • Around one in five children in the county start primary school overweight or obese, according to Public Health England

Hampshire and Dorset headlines

  • Many Olly Murs fans have been told they won't get a refund after the star was forced to cancel a show in Bournemouth
  • The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth is celebrating one year since it underwent renovation work
  • Staff at Marwell Zoo are celebrating the birth of a critically endangered African wild ass, one of the rarest animals in the world