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  1. Updates from Wednesday 1 April 2015

Live Reporting

By Andrew Humphrey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it for today's BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire. We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

In the meantime, if you need to get in touch, drop us a line by clicking


Evening TV

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today


South Today this evening: One of the busiest shopping destinations in the country, Bicester Village, has been partially closed today following a fire at the complex.

Fire crew at Bicester Village

Seven fires crews and specialist appliances were sent to the centre just before 09:00 this morning. The blaze broke out at Carluccio's restaurant.

Join me for that and more at


Rain and wind

Holly Green

BBC Weather

More rain will arrive this evening with some hill fog around overnight.

Holly Green

Blustery winds will also feature, but that at least keeps it a little bit more mild, with lows of 5C (41F).

Bird spotting

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

I'm not sure who's watching who in this picture of a Kestrel in Horton-cum-Studley.

Alison Barnes

The beautiful bird was photographed by Alison Barnes. If you have any pictures you would like to share, why not send them in to

Local Live?

(Motor)cycle safely

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

I can often be found touring the roads of Oxfordshire on two wheels, and if, like me, you can't get enough advice about how to ride safely, you may be interested in this.

Police motorcyclist
Thames Valley police

Thames Valley Police

tweeted a video, filmed on GoPro cameras, of a police motorcycle instructor providing live commentary through potential issues and dangers.

Coming up

David Prever

Drivetime presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

Francis Habgood has t

aken over in the top job at Thames Valley Police - and it turns out he didn't want to be a police officer when he first considered the job he might do.

Francis Habgood

I've been to meet him on his first day, and you can listen to my interview with the new chief constable


Strange but true

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

The media has been full of fun and false tales as is the tradition today, but some stories are stranger than fiction.

Surprised person

Such as Swedish MPs backing a ban on unlicensed dancing in public or the news that Downton Abbey could be transported to the 1970s.

BBC News Magazine has

collated the top tall tales, that are true.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

An area of Bicester Village is being dampened down by the fire service after a major fire broke out there this morning.

Join me for all the headlines at


UKIP candidate denies racist online posts

Alex Forsyth

Political correspondent, BBC News

A UKIP parliamentary candidate said he was "absolutely disgusted" by reports that he posted racist and homophobic comments on social media.

Alan Harris

Alan Harris, who is standing in Oxford West and Abingdon, said he did not make any such comments and presumes his account was hacked.

He said he thought it was an April Fools' joke when he first read the comments, which have been reported by the

Huffington Post.

Broken-down bus

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

There's a

broken-down bus blocking the inbound lane on the Cowley Road in Oxford, near Manzil Way. That's causing traffic to tailback in that direction.

And in Banbury, the traffic lights have failed again on the A361 Bloxham Road at the Oxford Road junction.

'No regrets'

Nabil Hassan

BBC Sport

Justin Burnell has been

reflecting on his tenure as head coach of London Welsh.

Justin Burnell
Getty Images

Burnell was sacked in March after Welsh lost 27 straight games but says he has no regrets from his time at the club.

You can read an in-depth interview on the

BBC Sport website.

Political prank

Emma Vardy

Home affairs correspondent, BBC South

A Liberal Democrat intern in Oxford gave the party's campaign team a fright this morning when he texted in telling the office: "I've actually been working for Nicola Blackwood (the Conservative MP and major rival in the hotly contested marginal seat of Oxford West and Abingdon) for the past three weeks."

Layla Moran and Nick Clegg

He went on: "I won't be coming back to work."

Panicking, the Lib Dem office began deleting the intern's accounts, only to receive another text a few minutes later: "April Fool."

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The majority of stores have reopened after a fire at Bicester Village retail outlet.

Join me for more on that and the other headlines from Oxfordshire at


Pop-up shop push

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Wallingford residents and small local businesses are to be

given the chance to run their own shop in the town.

Shop sign

Short-term commercial leases will be offered by South Oxfordshire District Council to five people a taste of running a shop and trial ideas.

Thames Valley Police's new boss in his own words

via Facebook

Thames Valley Police's new chief constable Francis Habgood has released a video on


TVP chief constable Francis Habgood

In it he sets out his agenda for the future, outlines his priorities and gives a message to the public.

Summer of arts

Banbury Guardian

Banbury town centre will be a showcase for the arts and creativity on Fridays

when Banbury Presents starts next month.

Retail return

BBC Radio Oxford

BBC Radio Oxford presenter Ali Jones was one of the disappointed shoppers who had to cancel their trip to Bicester Village this morning

because of the fire.

Bicester Village fire


tweets: Hooray @bicestervillage open apart from some shops after fire. Back to do school shoes for kids this afternoon *credit card groans*

Delivering the start of the election

Helen Catt

Political reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Election writs have been

issued to all 650 constituencies ahead of the
general election next month.

Election writ

The official instructions, which order the holding of an election, were drawn up in Westminster after Parliament was dissolved on Monday.

Banbury's writ was

hand-delivered on Tuesday.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Fire crews are expected to be dampening down an area of Bicester Village for a number of hours after a major fire broke out there this morning.

I'll have more on that and the other top stories at


'Sincere gratitude'

Bicester Village has thanked the emergency services for their efforts to

put out a fire at the retail outlet this morning.

Fire fighters

They say: "Bicester Village would like to express its sincere gratitude to both the police and fire services for their prompt and efficient handling of the situation."

Most of the shops have now re-opened.

April Fools?

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

According to the Oxford Times this morning, a leisure firm is proposing a money-spinning use for Oxford's planned flood relief channel by

offering to build a log flume there.

Roller coaster

If you've seen any funny April Fools, why not share them on

Local Live?

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The fire service is working to dampen down Carluccio's restaurant at Bicester Village after a major fire broke out there this morning.

Join me for the latest at


Thatcher theft

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

A master thatcher has appealed for help after his unique and historic tools were stolen from his truck outside his home in Chipping Norton on Sunday night.

Grant Batchelor

Grant Batchelor's collection of handmade instruments included some that were hundreds of years old.


told Danny Cox: "I will never ever get that kind of tool again. Years and years of collecting these things and working with them. If they were sold as scrap or dumped somewhere it would be heartbreaking."

Lunchtime TV

BBC South Today


South Today this lunchtime: Fire crews have spent the morning containing a fire at Bicester Village.

Bicester Village fire

It happened at Carluccio's Italian restaurant this morning.

Join us for the latest at


Shopping outlet reopens after fire

Bicester Village has reopened,

although these outlets will stay shut for the time being: Vivienne Westwood, Kurt Geiger, Prada, Folli Follie, Dior, Dior Homme, Fred Perry, Loewe, Coccinelle, Ralph Lauren Home, Zwilling, Bicester Visitor Centre and ChangeGroup

Winds fell 23 trees

Banbury Cake

Roads and pavements across Oxfordshire were

blocked by fallen trees yesterday following high winds, with a motorcyclist hurt in one accident.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Bicester Village is reopening now after being closed this morning because a

major fire at Carluccio's restaurant.

Join me for the latest at


Bicester Village to reopen

Chiltern Railways

tweets: Please note that
@bicestervillage will reopen from 13:00 after being closed due to a fire.

Fire-hit restaurant praises emergency services

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

The restaurant that was

on fire this morning at Bicester Village has thanked the emergency services for their response.

Bicester Village fire

A spokesperson for Carluccio's said: "Prior to opening for business this morning, the fire service was called to Carluccio's at Bicester Village.

"The emergency services were onsite within minutes and the fire was contained to our restaurant.

"All guests and staff were evacuated safely and we would like to thank both the police and fire service for their swift response and efficient handling of the incident."

New police chief

The new chief constable of Thames Valley Police

started his new job today.

Francis Habgood, Deputy Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police

Francis Habgood

takes charge after seven years as the deputy chief constable of the force.

Former chief constable Sara Thornton left for a new role at the

National Police Chiefs' Council.

Bicester Village blaze

It seems like the fire at Carluccio's restaurant in Bicester Village is under control and the incident is winding down.

We will keep across any developments alongside all the other news, sport, weather and travel from across Oxfordshire.

Dampening down

Fire crews will remain at the scene of this morning's

fire in Bicester Village for "eight to 10" hours dampening down the affected building.

Bicester Village fire

The retail outlet centre was shut at about 08:45 after a fire broke out at Carluccio's restaurant.

Graham Mitchell, from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We've extinguished the majority of the fire but we're just going through a period of hot-spotting and dampening down the embers so we can be confident that the fire's fully extinguished."

News on the hour

Rahil Sheikh

BBC Radio Oxford

The fire service is likely to spend up to 10 more hours at Bicester Village

after a serious fire this morning.

Join me for the latest at


Fire 'may have started externally'

Firefighters at the

Bicester Village blaze have told BBC Oxford that they believe the fire did not start inside Carluccio's restaurant.

Graham Mitchell, from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We believe the fire may have started externally but it is too early to confirm that."

Fire cause 'not known'

Oxfordshire fire service has said the cause of today's fire at Bicester Village

is yet to be determined.

Bicester Village 'to reopen later'

Paul Jenner

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Bicester Village staff have told me that they hope to reopen later today

following this morning's fire.

Fire at Bicester Village

'Ferocious fire'

BBC Radio Oxford

Shoppers have been speaking to

BBC Radio Oxford about the fire at Bicester Village this morning.

Bicester Village fire

One visitor, Colin, said: "The fire was coming out of the eaves, burning quite quickly and ferociously."

News on the hour

Rahil Sheikh

BBC Radio Oxford

Bicester Village is likely to be closed for the rest of the day

after a serious fire this morning.

We'll have the latest updates from our reporter at