The Text Santa bagpack

As part of our Text Santa campaign, Fred, Sangeeta and Simon went bag packing at a local supermarket.

Live updates

Bus driver reunites little boy with bear

A young boy from Reading was left distraught after he lost his cuddly toy on a bus.

But - after getting off the bus in Berkshire the little boy suddenly discovered that his Harry Bear was missing.

His mum Alice immediately began using social media to announce that Hayden’s blue bear was lost.

Hayden Tilley back with his source of comfort

The Facebook appeal was seen by bus driver Stephen Saunders and decided to search for the bear in his own time.

He didn’t find the bear that day, but kept searching and the following day it came to light in a pile of rubbish.

Stephen immediately notified Alice that Harry Bear had been found and she was able to break the good news to a very relieved and excited Hayden.


Temperatures set to rise but thunder in the wings

Although the mercury could reach its highest point so far yet this year in the ITV Meridian region, forecasters said the heat will be accompanied by high humidity and heavy, thundery showers

Temperatures will start to rise from Thursday, peaking on Friday when the 30C barrier could be reached for the first time this year, with the most likely location somewhere to the north-west of London.

Forecasts suggest the South coast will be slightly warmer than European holiday destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza and Nice.

The hottest day so far in 2014 was July 4, when 28.7C (83.7F) was detected in Norfolk and Essex.

Not great news for the superstitious is that there is a chance of patchy rain for St Swithun's Day tomorrow, which, according to the legend of the saint buried at Winchester Cathedral, we could have 40 days of very damp weather.

– Simon Parkin, ITV News Meridian weather presenter

Dinosaur museum planned for Jurassic Coast

A meeting will take place this evening over a 60 million pound plan to turn a dis-used quarry into a dinosaur museum

The visitor centre - called Jurassica - would open on Portland in Dorset in around 2019. It would see a glass roof over the limestone quarry and include an aquarium and animatronics. Early designs have been drawn up by Renzo Piano - the same man behind the shard in London

Centuries old tradition of Swan Upping begins today

Swans on the Thames Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Centuries old tradition of Swan Upping, the annual census of the swan population on stretches of the Thames, began today with crowds lining the riverbank to watch the swan uppers set off from Shepperton Lock

The historic ceremony dates from the twelfth century, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans - all unmarked mute swans still belong to the Queen.

At that time swans were regarded as a delicious dish at banquets and feasts, today Swans are counted to protect their numbers.

Swan Uppers set off from Shepperton Lock Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The Queen's Swan Uppers wear traditional scarlet uniforms and each boat flies appropriate flags and pennants.

On passing Windsor Castle, the rowers stand to attention in their boat with oars raised and salute "Her Majesty The Queen, Seigneur of the Swans".

Cygnets are weighed and measured to obtain estimates of growth rates and the birds are examined for any sign of injury.

At the completion of the 5-day long Upping, the Queen's Swan Marker writes a report on the number of swans found, this enables conservation methods to be used to protect the birds.


Walkies! Giant iguana is out enjoying sunshine

Keith enjoying his walk Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

Keith, the giant iguana, is making the most of the recent spell of hot weather by going for walks on Hastings beach. The exotic one-and-a-half-metre-long reptile was re-homed at Blue Reef Aquarium after its owner could no longer look after him.

Just like humans, iguanas need vitamin D to keep them fit and healthy. The walks not only allow Keith to enjoy a spot of sunbathing but also ensure his claws do not grow too long.

SciFi By The Sea(quel)

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Hoards of aliens from outer space invaded a seaside town today but they seemed to be quite friendly. Thousands of people flocked to Herne Bay to meet Darth Vader, Dr Who and any number of tentacled creatures from other worlds.

Our reporter, David Johns, explains, speaking to David Prowse who played Darth Vader; Hattie Hayridge who played Holly in Red Dwarf; and Gerald McCarthy who organised the event.

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