Man from Moscow in a Vigil for Sheena; BOYFRIEND FLIES HOME TO SPUR PRESENTER'S FIGHT FOR LIFE AFTER CRASH

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS MAGUIRE;JULIA TIMMS

THE boyfriend of Channel 4 presenter Sheena McDonald was at her hospital bedside last night as she continued her fight for life.

Allan Little, the BBC's Moscow correspondent, flew home from Russia to join her family in a vigil at the intensive care unit where she remains unconscious after being hit by a police van as she crossed the road.

Miss McDonald, 44, a former girlfriend of Chancellor Gordon Brown, suffered serious head injuries in the accident near her home in North London on Friday night.

Doctors at University College Hospital in Central London said last night that her condition remained grave.

Miss McDonald's parents William, a Church of Scotland Minister and former Moderator of the General Assembly, and Patricia, a teacher, were at her bedside with her brother Rod and 39-year-old Mr Little, her partner of four years.

Mr Brown has asked to be kept informed of her condition. The pair have been friends since meeting at Edinburgh University in the early Seventies.

Scotland Yard has launched an investigation into the accident, which happened as Miss McDonald was crossing St John's Street, Islington, just before midnight.

The police van, with blue lights flashing and siren sounding, was on its way to deal with a fight in Holloway Road, a mile away.

Neither the driver nor his passenger were injured, although both were treated for shock.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: 'The Accident Investigation Unit will carry out a full inquiry. We cannot comment at this stage.' The 27-year-old driver, a constable, has been suspended from driving as a matter of routine.

Police signs appealing for wit-

nesses have been put up at the accident scene, close to Sadler's Wells Theatre.

Miss McDonald is a political broadcaster regularly seen on Channel 4 News, The World This Week and BBC1's On The Record.

Born in Dunfermline, she began her journalistic career as a newsreader with BBC Radio Scotland and worked at Scottish Television for eight years before moving to London to work for Channel 4.

She writes columns for two newspapers and last year chaired the judging panel for the Orange Fiction prize. …