Fireworks at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games

Tonight: 2012 and the Best of British

In the last episode before Christmas, Tonight celebrates 2012 and asks was it the year that the Great in Great Britain was truly realised?

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Diamond Jubilee boatbuilder awarded MBE

The barge led the Diamond Jubilee pageant down the Thames last year
The barge led the Diamond Jubilee pageant down the Thames last year Credit: Press Association

The master boatbuilder whose team created the million pound Gloriana rowbarge that led the Jubilee river pageant has been awarded an MBE for services to boatbuilding, heritage and the 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

Mark Edwards, who has been building boats for more than 40 years, said he was incredibly proud to be commended. He said:

"The Gloriana was a fantastic project and it's brilliant to get the honour. For the last 20 years I've built lots of rowing boats. So during the celebration I had the Gloriana at the front and 40 other rowing boats there, so I was obviously very proud."

Read: Queen's Jubilee barge crashes into bridge

Queen's Jubilee barge crashes into bridge

The barge collided with Kew road bridge late yesterday afternoon.
The barge collided with Kew road bridge late yesterday afternoon. Credit: RNLI /www.chiswicklifeboat.org.uk/

The Queen's Jubilee barge Gloriana has crashed into a bridge whilst sailing down the Thames.

The ornate vessel, which played a starring role in last year's Diamond Jubilee pageant, has been damaged after hitting Kew road bridge in west London.

More: Diamond Jubilee news

A lifeboat crew from Chiswick RNLI was called out late yesterday afternoon to help free the vessel, carrying four passengers, which had become wedged under the bridge. A spokesman for RNLI Chiswick said:

"There was a small impact with the Gloriana. That was because the lifeboat was trying to get itself between the Gloriana and the stone bridge. The damage was quite minor to both vessels."

Read: Olympic flame completes Gloriana journey down Thames

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Rare access to the Queen in Jubilee year

The first feature length royal documentary in more than 20 years will be shown this weekend.

Read: Latest Queen news.

Our Queen features unique access during the Diamond Jubilee year to members of the Royal Family, to Her Majesty's staff - some talking for the first time - to her Prime Ministers and to her residences.

Gallery: The Queen over the years.

Watch Our Queen on ITV on Sunday at 8pm.

Meridian

Sculpture of Queen to be unveiled today

Bronze
The Diamond Jubilee Bronze with artist Vivien Mallock Credit: Nick Carter

The Earl of Wessex, will unveil a specially commissioned bronze in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Winchester today. The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, commissioned the bronze of Her Majesty The Queen for future generations to enjoy

It is being installed in the Great Hall in Winchester, following the example that took place in 1983 when the famous Royal Wedding Gates were commissioned for the wedding of The Prince and Princess of Wales.

The bronze sculpture is six feet in diameter. The Queen is shown wearing a necklace and diamond tiara. The surround for the bronze is a representation of the Hampshire Rose which provides an informal frame for the sculpture.

Buerk takes swipe at George Entwistle in BBC attack

Referring to the way June's Thames river pageant was covered by the BBC, Michael Buerk said:

Nobody knew anything and nobody cared. The main presenter couldn't even work out what to call the Queen. The Dunkirk Little Ships, the most evocative reminders of this country's bravest hour, were ignored so that a pneumatic bird-brain from Strictly Come Dancing could talk to transvestites in Battersea Park. I was so ashamed of the BBC, I would have wept if I hadn't been so angry.

Much of the blame for the Jubilee coverage was directed at George Entwistle, the then head of BBC Vision who went on to become director-general.

Referring to Mr Entwistle's short-lived tenure at the top, after resigning in the light of the Jimmy Savile scandal, the former 999 presenter went on:

The worst thing was that it was deliberate - planned that way to be 'light' and 'inclusive'. The BBC actually congratulated itself, and the executive ultimately responsible (George Entwistle) was promptly promoted to become the most disastrous director-general in the corporation's history.

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BBC veteran Buerk lambasts corporation's Jubilee coverage

Michael Buerk
"I was so ashamed of the BBC, I would have wept if I hadn't been so angry." Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

BBC veteran Michael Buerk has said he was "ashamed" of the corporation's "cringingly inept" coverage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, the ex-newsreader launched a stinging attack on the summer's live broadcasts, for which the BBC received 2,400 public complaints, which he said had ridiculed the Royal family.

"The one enduring British institution was mocked by another that had shamefully lost its way," he said, adding that instead, "A succession of daytime airheads preened themselves, or gossiped with even more vacuous D-list 'celebrities'."

Charles and Camilla join Julia Gillard to honour Queen in Australia

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard greeting Camilla and Charles at an unveiling ceremony in honour of the Queen in Canberra Australia.
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard greeting Camilla and Charles at an unveiling ceremony in honour of the Queen in Canberra Australia. Credit: PA

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, joined Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today at the unveiling of Queen Elizabeth Terrace in Canberra.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall unveiling Queen Elizabeth Terrace, as Australian PM Julia Gillard looks on.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall unveiling Queen Elizabeth Terrace, as Australian PM Julia Gillard looks on.

The terrace was originally called Parkes Place and was renamed in honour of the monarch's Diamond Jubilee this year.

The Duchess of Cornwall meeting the public at the unveiling ceremony in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, in Canberra Australia.
The Duchess of Cornwall meeting the public at the unveiling ceremony in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, in Canberra Australia. Credit: PA

Prince Charles and Camilla begin Jubilee overseas tour

A drummer performs for Prince Charles and Camilla in London before the trip. Credit: Carl Court/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are to begin a Diamond Jubilee tour in honour of the Queen in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand in a two-week trip.

Charles and Camilla's celebration of her 60-year reign will include a traditional Aussie barbecue with outback sheep farmers and time with race goers at the Melbourne Cup.

They will also be given a sneak preview of the film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by director Peter Jackson.

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