Maidstone gets ready to party

Revellers are getting ready for a brand new festival in Maidstone this weekend featuring bands like Sister Sledge and Brand New Heavies.

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Brighton Hippodrome plans called in

Plans have been unveiled to convert the Hippodrome into a cinema Credit: ITV Meridian

Plans to convert the dilapidated Brighton Hippodrome into a cinema have been called in by the Secretary of State for Local Governement, More than 11,000 people in Brighton and Hove had signed a petition against the proposals - which had been agreed by the city council.

"I had been contacted by many concerned constituents, who want to see this iconic venue preserved for people to enjoy in the future. I immediately raised the issue with Eric Pickles, and I am so pleased at today's news. I will continue to monitor the situation closely."

– Simon Kirby, the Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven

Former Saints players starts 1000 mile - visiting every Premier League stadium in the UK

Francis Benali prepares for 1000-mile run Credit: ITV news

Francis Benali, the former Saints defender, is about to tackle his toughest match-up yet - running nearly 1000 miles in three weeks to raise £1million for Cancer Research UK.

'Benali's Big Run' starts on Sunday 24th August at St James Park, home of Newcastle United and finishes at St Mary's - on Saturday 13th September - coincidentally when Saints take on the Magpies in the Barclays Premier League. He aims to visit every Premier League stadium on the way.

The ex-defender, who club spent over 20 years of his career with Southampton, said: "I've been told that 'I'm mad', 'it can't be done', 'don't do it' - but it's made me even more determined to succeed. This challenge has been nagging away at the back of my head for years. It's hugely demanding I agree, but that's why I'm so motivated to do it. Cancer Research UK is a fantastic charity and has made a difference to many thousands of families in the UK. I want to raise as much money as possible - it would be great to hit £1 million, but every pound counts. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far."

Benali has been preparing for his big challenge by running around Southampton in the summer often covering over 20 miles a day.


Woman 'raped in Reading Festival caravan'

Thames Valley Police is investigating a report of rape that took place on the grounds of Reading Festival last night . At around 11.30pm, the victim, a 19-year-old woman met a man and a boy near an ice cream van opposite one of the mobile phone charging points in one of the campsites.

The victim reported that she had subsequently been raped in a caravan on the festival traders' site.

A 31-year-old man from London and a 14-year-old boy from Surrey have been arrested on suspicion of rape and are currently in police custody.

'Rape' reported at Reading Festival

Thames Valley Police has recorded 21 crimes so far at Reading Festival. Five drugs offences, one public order offence, one robbery of personal property and 13 thefts have been recorded since Wednesday. There has also been one report of one rape.

Of these 21 offences, six were as a result of proactive police activity and the rest were reported by members of the public.

There have been 20 arrests made so far. Of these, three were people arrested on suspicion of robbery, one arrested on suspicion of fraud, and others for drugs possession and supply offences and public order offences.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the rape offence.

Behind the scenes at region's newest TV station

In just over a week's time, Brighton and Hove will have its very own TV channel.

'Latest TV' will be the first of the new local television stations to start broadcasting in our region. Further stations are planned for Oxford, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton and Basingstoke.

The Government say it's a revolution in the way people get local news. But what can viewers expect? Andy Dickenson has been taking a look around the studios and spoke to Chief Executive Bill Smith and Head of News Tim Ridgway.

An exclusive interview with Sir Bob Geldof

by Cary Johnston

It's been four months since the model and TV presenter Peaches Geldof died from a heroin overdose. Yesterday, her father Sir Bob Geldof, took to the stage at a music festival in Henley as the charismatic frontman of The Boomtown Rats.

Until now, he's been reticent about revealing his pain over his daughter's death at her home in Wrotham, in Kent. But, after the performance, he spoke exclusively to ITV News Meridian's Cary Johnston.


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