So how did that Oxford Circus octopus breakdown happen?

Social media have been bursting with pictures of Betfair's giant octopus, which was stranded in the middle of Oxford Circus on Tuesday. Here's how events led to it being there.

The octopus in Oxford Circus on Tuesday (Credit: TfL)
The octopus in Oxford Circus on Tuesday (Credit: TfL)

To recap, it was not clear at the time why an octopus was being transported on the back of the truck, which broke down in the middle of the busy Oxford Circus junction and held up traffic for around 15 minutes, according to London's transport authority TfL.

Later in the day, betting company Betfair revealed it was a prop it was using for its new World Cup advertising campaign and apologised for the inconvenience.

Yesterday the driver of the truck, Ala Miah, explained he was transporting the giant cephalopod from Peckham to Hammersmith when one of the relays overheated causing all of the vehicle's electrics to stop working.

Miah, who also owns the Autowerke garage in Muswell Hill, said one of his clients is a Betfair employee who commissioned him to transport the replica across London.

Miah said he was en route to Hammersmith when "there were some roadworks and redirection of traffic and I got a bit lost", so he was driving through Oxford Circus when it broke down.

Miah said one of his staff knew a garage nearby where they were able to nurse the stricken truck back to health by replacing the faulty relay. Thus they were able to complete their unusual delivery service and return the truck to the hire company, Roman Self Drive in Byfleet, Surrey.

Miah duly reported the breakdown to the hire company; however, as he had already fixed the fault, Roman Self Drive were unable to find anything wrong with the vehicle, which it immediately sent back out on hire.

A spokesman for Roman Self Drive said: "There'd obviously been a lot of coverage of what happened so we asked him if it had broken down and he said yes, that it was a problem with one of the relays and he'd replaced it. It's working fine – we couldn't find any sign of a fault but the thing about relays is you wouldn't know if one was brand new or not – they all look the same."

He added that the request to hire a truck to transport a giant octopus was "not that strange" for the company, which has a lot of clients in the film industry.

Betfair said the truck transporting the octopus broke down while returning from a film shoot. 

After it claimed responsibility for the prop on Tuesday it hinted it was part of an advertising campaign. 

The campaign starts tomorrow and the TV advert can be seen over at PRWeek's sister magazine Campaign's website.

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