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tv   Lennon Remembered  BBC News  December 6, 2020 8:30pm-9:01pm GMT

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for examination at their lab near tokyo from the asteroid ryugu, which lies some 300 million kilometres away. they will measure the rock's age, what it is made of and how it is formed, potentially offering vital clues as to how the sun and planets came to be. this one is special because this one is going to an asteroid that we think is really rich in organic material and in water so in the very earliest history of the earth we think it may have been pelted with asteroids like that and that is what gave us the water and the carbon to form our oceans and to enable life to flourish on earth. it's an exciting prospect, after a successful landing following what one member of the space agency here described as a perfect mission — with many more to come.
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translation: i had jotted down the dates when the probe adjusted its orbit. if there is a hayabusa 3 or 4 or even 5, i'd like to be involved in the mission. that next mission on this mothership, having launched its first capsule, will boldly go examining near—earth asteroids where no—one has gone before. mark lobel, bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with tomasz schafernaker. it is going to be another chilly day especially across the south and south—east of the country, frost outside of town mainly. frost is still what is across much of the uk and parts of central and western through the night she was a
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scattering of showers but primarily a dry night. the frost on the fog, the freezing fog across southern areas of the uk. the temperature to between —2 and plus two. the weather forecast tomorrow, fog may linger through the morning and afternoon gci’oss through the morning and afternoon across southern through the morning and afternoon across southern areas through the morning and afternoon across southern areas but actually a lot of sunshine around. obviously hla day. you can't miss the rain which will reach scotland and northern england a little bit later on in the day. just the tendency for things to turn less cold through the week.
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hello, this is bbc news. the headlines this hour: the uk's chief negotiator is back in brussels to resume brexit talks, with time running out to do a deal. we're going to see what happens in negotiations today and we will be looking forward to meeting our european colleagues later on this afternoon. croydon university hospital becomes one of the first to take delivery of the coronavirus vaccine in the uk, with the firstjabs set to be given on tuesday. obviously, i can't hold them in my hands because they are —70 degrees, but to know that they are here and we are amongst the first in the country to actually receive the vaccine, and therefore the first in the world, is just amazing. i'm so proud. overcrowding on its opening day forces nottingham's christmas market to close early.
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thousands of turkeys are to be culled after a second outbreak of highly contagious bird flu in norfolk. he's bird flu in norfolk. played it boldly. that could be magical. peter alliss, the voice of golf, who's died aged 89. more news at the top of the hour. now, tom brook marks the 40th anniversary of the murder of former beatle john lennon in new york, using his own recollections as a journalist, and assesses his powerful legacy a0 years on. archive: any doubts about the beatles‘ reception in america were dispelled the moment they touched down. friday, february 7, 1964. a pan am boeing 707 jet called clipper defiance from london taxis to its destination,
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a terminal at jfk airport in new york. there to greet the beatles — the biggest pop act of the 20th century — were more screaming fans than the airport had ever seen before, 4,000 of them. screeching and screaming to americans, the spirit of the most outspoken beatle, john lennon, was evident the moment he arrived, as he jousted with reporters and fans at an airport press conference. for lennon, that february gave him his first taste of new york, a city he grew to really love and moved to living permanently in august 1971. photographer bob gruen took countless images of lennon in new york. the two men grew to become friends. he very much enjoyed the freedom of new york. maybe some people would wave to him, but he could go around the corner to a coffee shop and people wouldn't bother him. you know, he felt very
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comfortable living here. in his last seven years in the city, this was his home, the dakota apartment building on manhattan's upper west side. he lived there with his wife, yoko ono, and son sean until that fateful day a0 years ago — december 8, 1980. gunfire on that night, a disturbed fan fatally shotjohn lennon as he returned to his apartment building with yoko ono. as news of his death spread, it traumatised millions around the world. nearly everyone can remember exactly where they were when they first got word that he had been killed. as a young journalist working for the bbc in new york, i became intimately involved that night in reporting on lennon's death. i'd arrived in new york ten years
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after lennon moved here on a twa flight from london onjanuary 5, 1980, to do a temporary stint as a radio news and current affairs producer — much of the time in the bbc news bureau reading the teletype machines while eating lunch — but it was an exciting time covering the democratic and republican conventions in 1980. in my career with the bbc, i have probably filed some 3,000 reports or packages. i have interviewed nearly every living big—name movie star, but whenever i meet people, all they want to know is "what was it like to cover the death ofjohn lennon?" i never knew the man, but i do feel a real kinship with him. i have often wondered what his last few hours on this planet were like. # john lennon and yoko ono # new york city are your people. #
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i do know that he and yoko ono left the dakota late on that monday afternoon and headed south. they may have gone down central park west, which, today, with its grand apartment buildings overlooking the park, looks much like it did when lennon was alive. to him, new york city was the capital of the universe. lennon's destination that monday afternoon was a now—defunct recording studio called the record plant located at 321 west 44th street, not far from times square. phone rings sometime after 10pm that night, my phone started to ring. i was living in an apartment, a tiny shoe box for which i paid $400 a month on horatio street in greenwich village. hello? on the phone was a colleague, jonathan king, the british pop empresario then living in manhattan. he told me he had heard there had been a shooting at the dakota and thatjohn lennon was possibly the victim. i moved quickly, leaving the apartment rapidly with a tape recorder, radio and notepad.
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i rushed to 8th avenue to get a cab uptown. can you take me to the dakota apartment building? the cab couldn't go fast enough. i loved lennon's music. beatlemania and john lennon were a big part of my youth. this is how i looked on my first official bbc id card in 1976. i had been a bit of a hippie, it shows. i was just the kind of person to have embraced john lennon and yoko ono. as i travelled up to the dakota, lennon's music was on my mind. he'd just made an album — double fantasy — after a five—year break. across town at the roosevelt hospital, where lennon had been taken after being shot, was wabc tv news producer alan weiss, who lay injured in the emergency room after a motorbike accident opposite a room where doctors were working on lennon, trying to resuscitate him.
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the door was open and i was able to watch them working onjohn lennon. so, the scene is this. john lennon, they'd taken all his clothes off, he's lying on his back, his feet are facing me, his head is away for me. and in a semi circle around him are the medical staff. and at least one of the doctors has his hands injohn‘s open chest. around that time, millions of americans were tuned into monday night football on the abc network, when sports commentator howard cosell broke the devastating news to the nation. an unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by abc news in new york city. john lennon, outside of his apartment building on the west side of new york city, the most famous perhaps of all of the beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to roosevelt hospital, dead on arrival. so i set about doing myjob. remember, in those days, there was no internet, no mobile phones, no texting, so i rushed down the street
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to this point right here, where there once stood a payphone, and i made a call to my bbc colleagues in london on the today programme — where i once worked as a producer — to let them know what was going on. i spoke to the overnight editor, quite an excitable fellow. he was agitated and so was i. after all, a former beatle being murdered on the streets of new york was a major news story. in those days, we used these rather big west german tape recorders made by a company called uher to record interviews when we went out into the field. they had great fidelity
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but they were rather unwieldy. and in fact, a colleague of mine used to refer to them as "clockwork handbags". anyway, i still have mine from decades ago, and the other day, i put some batteries into it. and lo and behold, it kind of worked. you can see the reels go around here. anyway, the night thatjohn lennon died, i had this in reserve, and i got most of my interviews with a small cassette recorder. and i was speaking largely to fans outside the dakota, and they were in a very emotional state. i remember some of their responses to this day. there was one young woman who told me that when she heard the news, she felt like she'd been punched in the stomach, and that to me is a very accurate way of describing the emotional response to lennon's death. after i fed the interviews, it was time to do the live reports. it was nowjust around 6.15am
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in the morning in london. soon, millions of britons would hear the shocking news. i had scribbled out a voice piece for the news bulletins and practised it, but, to be honest, i was a novice. i had been trained in newsjournalism by the bbc, but i was not exactly a hard news person. but the story was so dramatic, it was easy to report. i rushed to the payphone, got through to broadcasting house, and soon i was on the air. radio 4. it's half past six. time for today. good morning from brian redhead and libby purves. the former beatle john lennon has been shot dead outside his home in new york. on the line now from outside the apartment building where the murder took place is our reporter, tom brook. tom, can you tell us exactly what happened ? well, as you were saying, brian, john lennon was killed two hours ago. he was returning home with his wife, yoko ono, to his home, the apartment building, the dakota apartment building. and everything is still rather confused, but we gather that he got out of a car and there was an altercation
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about an autograph. shots were then fired, several shots. he was very badly wounded and the police squad car took him to hospital and he was pronounced dead upon arrival. it was a very emotional assignment. i remember at one point saying, "of course, now lennon is dead." and i did feel a very big lump in my throat. outside the dakota, the crowds of fans continued to grow. in the days that followed, there was a massive outpouring of grief. in new york central park, on the sunday after his death, thousands showed up for a vigil. they sing: imagine byjohn lennon today, people of all kinds, but perhaps those of my generation in particular, look back
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on the night of december 8, 1980 with great sadness. 69—year—old lennon fan anne will never forget. it was a bad day. i heard it on the news and i didn't believe it. i had to listen to it again and again to make sure i wasn't dreaming. it was bad. it was a bad day. i felt as if someone from my own family had died and it was just so tragic. he was my hero, so i couldn't wait for the new album. and now that it was out again, starting over was playing and all these great songs. i was excited to hear his voice again, and then he was so sadly taken away from us. # imagine allthe people... # there was a palpable sense of loss, but why was the grief so extreme? it was definitely more pronounced
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than that brought on by the untimely death of other pop culture figures like whitney houston or michaeljackson. john lennon in a way connected very emotionally with his fans. people mostly know john through his music or some of his interviews, and yet they felt very personally connected. i think a lot of the things he says in his music, people took very personally. and it was that loss, that violent loss, that was just such a shock to so many people. lennon's greatest legacy is of course his music. together with fellow songwriter paul mccartney, they formed one of the most successful music partnerships in history. broadcaster and journalist robin denselow appeared on the bbc‘s newsnight programme the day after lennon died with this assessment of the former beatle's professional career. john lennon was surely the most remarkable rock artist that britain has produced... a0 years on, does robin denselow still see lennon's stature in the same way?
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it's grown in that he's a legendary figure. people still write books about him, people buy books about him in large numbers still, so he's one of those few heroes who have kept going and going and going. in terms of his stature musically, i think an awful lot of people just remember him, apart from the beatles, of course, forjust a few songs — give peace a chance and imagine. so i think probably musically, people have forgotten how good he was. i've revisited lennon's death every decade since 1980, doing special programming, and i've always found it relatively easy to get big names in the industry to reflect on his talents as a musician and to express how much he means to them, perhaps because he's so revered. my whole life as an artist was kind of shaped by him. and i... ican't...
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..exaggerate enough the effect his music had on me. he was synthesising a lot of other things that were coming in, you know? early on, everly brothers and elvis and rhythm and blues and country music, and it was very wide open sources that he had for his music. but as much as any of us might want to praise lennon, he was a complicated character and could be difficult. he reportedly had a short temper and he admitted he had abused women, but none of this seems to have tarnished his love and peace image. he was a very complex character. i mean, if you look at his songs, he could be very sentimental, very loving — his last album, his odes to yoko and sean, his son. he could be absolutely vicious, as in his song about mccartney. he could be very funny, he could be a rocker, he could be a balladier, he could be almost anything,
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and so that was what made him so interesting. and he could be very nasty, i'm sure, and he could be very, very funny, so it was that contradiction within that made him two years after lennon died, i returned to the dakota to interview yoko ono. the interview was broadcast on nationwide, then the bbc‘s main early evening news magazine programme. thoughts ofjohn were clearly on yoko's mind. well, he's still alive, he's still with us. his spirit will go on, you know? you can't kill a person that easily. that's the way i feel about it, yeah. in new york, the most obvious memorial to lennon is strawberry fields, a small part of central park a stone's throw from the dakota dedicated to his memory. his fans routinely gather here, often leaving flowers. that lennon's spirit
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is still alive is, of course, most evident in the appetite for his music, his lyrics, his thoughts. there is a whole generation that wasn't alive at the time he died who have become his fans. last year, beatles songs were streamed online 1.7 billion times — almost half by people under 30. it is remarkable how many young people know about lennon. what is it that you like about john lennons‘s music in particular? do you like the words that he uses? yeah, i like the words and i like the music and... yeah. and i like the rhythm and how it all goes together. i think that it's about something that is very important. he's got a real reputation for being a man of peace and spirituality, which i think speaks to the moment today in a pretty fundamental way. i mean, the song imagine is sort of a banner song of what we're all trying to work for right now. he plays: imagine
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byjohn lennon and lennon isn'tjust engaging legions of young followers. he's also continuing to influence musicians from the time he was alive right up to the present day. the sound of his voice... he has one of the truly great voices in rock history. and now you have artists like liam gallagher of oasis and then modern bands like tame impala and cut worms who all get that very specific lennonesque vocal sound because of such a trademark. and among the new generation of young musicians influenced by lennon's work is seattle—based 26—year—old tom. he's drawn to lennon by the way he thought about the world. # you may say i'm a dreamer # but i'm not the only one... # i thinkjust the fact that he emphasised love and peace and this idea of striving
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for something that doesn't currently exist, i still see that message as something that we need. the idea of feeling or thinking about something that's beyond ourselves is just incredibly powerful. lennon's fans have long been drawn in by his pacifism, by his anti—vietnam war bed—ins for peace. he was a political figure, targeted for deportation by the nixon administration for his anti—war views. he and yoko ono were sometimes criticised for being naive in their approach to world affairs — a matter i brought up with yoko ono a few years ago. what do you say to people who think that you might be naive in terms of the message, "war is over if you want it"? i don't think it was naive at all. i think that's the only way that we can really get some results. and we did get the result in the vietnam war. lennon may have left us with a worldview and great music, but it was hope there might be another legacy — one that resulted from the fact that he was murdered with a handgun. ed koch, then mayor of new york,
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spoke out at the time of lennon's death. all of us here in central park are showing our distress, our upset with the fact that a deranged person who came from honolulu and bought a gun in honolulu and came to the city of new york and struck down a world personality was able to do that, and the only way to stop it is to have national gun control. but the restrictions on gun ownership weren't part of london's legacy. gun—related homicide in america is now 25 times higher than it is in other developed nations. with issues like gun violence, a worldwide pandemic, economic meltdowns and calls for racialjustice on people's minds, many think lennon, were he alive today, would've been speaking out. 0h, there's no question. i think if lennon were alive today, i think we'd be hearing his voice very loudly, trying to call our attention to the incredible divide and polarisation that's
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going on in this country. again, can't think of a better song than all you need is love. so, there's no question that the message of his lyrics is as powerful today as back then. i thinkjohn lennon changed people's lives by setting an example of a normal person who was trying to be better. he didn't stand up and say, "i'm perfect, and you should be like me." he said, "you should be like you, but you should try to be better. you should try not to hurt people, you should try to control your anger." he didn't say "do it", he said "try it". you know? he knew the limitations of human beings. and i think people were inspired by that because it's not easy to control your anger. and yet, it's easy to try. john lennon, had he lived, would never have been able to recreate the huge excitement and hysteria that accompanied the beatles‘ early years, but it's highly likely that he would've moved
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forward as a musician. what would've happened to him had he lived? it depends partly on where he lived. he was a new yorker, he was spending his time in new york. had he hung around with serious musicians, he might've developed into something extraordinary, but the possibilities are absolutely enormous. john lennon still haunts my life. i now live just four blocks north of the dakota apartment building and go past it virtually every day. and whenever i go to my gym down on 63rd street, it is part of a complex that also houses a hotel — the very hotel where lennon's killer stayed on his first night in new york. i've been giving a lot of thought tojohn lennon and what he means to people like myself and his millions of fans around the world on this 40th anniversary. he remains a hugely talented musician in many people's eyes and a great iconic figure in the history of 20th—century pop culture. he is a true british original,
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an authentic voice. he certainly isn't a fake. to millions of people, he is still very much part of their lives. as yoko ono puts it, "his spirit still lives on. you cannot kill a person that easily." so, with those thoughts, our programme remembering john lennon comes to an end. on behalf of the production crew here in new york, from me, tom brook, it's goodbye, as we leave you with new york—based trumpeter jo whitcomb playing imagine.
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well, it's quiet on the weather front, so not an awful lot of change on the way for tomorrow. as far as the week is concerned, it is going to stay on the chilly side, but there are signs that as we head towards the end of the week, it's going to turn a little less cold. so this is the satellite picture. we are in between weather systems, you can see clouds out in the atlantic also in central parts of europe. we are in this sort of clearer slot here, so there has actually been some sunshine around, some of us have been stuck underneath the fog. but the cold air is with us,
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notjust across the uk but many parts of western and also central europe. so the pattern remains the same for tonight and into monday, clear skies, so frost forming here and there, and of course, you've got the fog in some areas as well where it's already lingered all through the day, all through sunday. city centre temperatures overnight falling to around freezing, outside of town, it will be around three degrees colder than that in rural spots. so the fog tomorrow in the south and southeast, but actually, for many of us, a lot of bright weather, certainly around the irish sea, belfast, glasgow, though western isles, once again, some sunshine there. four, five, six degrees, then we're watching this weather front in the north sea. that's going to reach the north coast of england and also scotland through the evening. there will be a bit of mountain snow here, but notice that in the south of the country overnight into tuesday, it actually stays clear. so it's low pressure, it will anchor itself across scotland
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during the course of tuesday. so the weather is going to be unsettled here, often cloudy, not the sunshine that we've had in the last day or so. you can see the low, the winds spiralling around it, and also some very strong winds, possibly up to gale force around some of these coasts. to the south of that, the weather will be better, drier, brighter, less windy, it will feel more pleasant. but it's going to be fairly chilly, temperatures 4, 5, 6 degrees, wherever you are, really. just that little bit milder eight or 9 degrees. now, on wednesday, we are ahead of a weather system here, actually, it should be fairly quiet. not much happening on the weather front through the middle part of the week. but towards the end of the week, there is just a hint that those temperatures will start to recover, so it's going to be a good deal milder, but you will notice it possibly up to around double figures on the south coast and in southwestern parts of the uk. that's it from me.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the uk's chief negotiator is back in brussels for more brexit talks, but with time running out, there are still several major stumbling blocks to overcome. we're going to see what happens in negotiations today and we will be looking forward to meeting our european colleagues later on this afternoon. donald trump says his personal lawyer rudy giuliani has tested positive for coronavirus. we'll bring you the latest live from washington. doses of the pfizer coronavirus vaccine have begun arriving in english hospitals — immunisations are due to begin in less than 48 hours. elections go ahead in venezuela, despite a boycott by the official opposition. and an apology from the family of the author of charlie and the chocolate factory, roald dahl for his


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