Betfair octopus stunt backfires after Oxford Circus breakdown (or did it?)

Betfair has apologised for the disruption caused when a giant octopus, thought to be part of its World Cup campaign, "broke down" in the middle of Oxford Circus this morning.

Stuck in Oxford Circus: The octopus was due to be part of a Betfair stunt  (Credit: TfL)
Stuck in Oxford Circus: The octopus was due to be part of a Betfair stunt (Credit: TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) was quick to alert commuters to the potential hazard, tweeting a picture of the cephalopodan hold-up and warning Londoners to "approach with care".


The origin of the eight-armed obstruction remained a mystery until a few hours later, when Betfair issued an apology via Twitter claiming the flatbed that was transporting the octopus had broken down.

However, other Twitter users, including the truck hire company (Roman Self Drive) were quick to question Betfair's version of events:

Betfair hasn't revealed what the purpose of the octopus was, although a common theory is that it is connected to 'Paul', the supposedly psychic octopus that predicted the outcome of eight matches at the 2010 World Cup.

Betfair corporate communications manager James Midmer said: "I understand it’s our octopus and that we have apologised for the delays caused on Twitter...it is our Brand team that was transporting it from a film shoot."

This story's headline was amended on 4 June to include "(or did it?)"

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