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  1. Updates for Friday, 23 December 2016
  2. Posh fans' frustration at Chelsea ticket woes
  3. Village helping out robbery victim with Christmas fundraiser
  4. Tumble dryer fires prompt legal move
  5. Weather: Dry morning, becoming wet and very windy by this evening

Live Reporting

By David Keller

All times stated are UK

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Festive cheer as Clean Bandit score Christmas number one

David Keller

BBC News

It's time to say goodbye, but no need to be sad... because Cambridge's Clean Bandit have done it.

They've been crowned Christmas number one with their ridiculously catchy Rockabye.

The Jesus College alumni fended off stiff competition from One Direction's Louis Tomlinson, Little Mix, Rag'n'Bone Man and an old festive favourite, All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, to score the prestigious title.

Clean Bandit
Getty Images

But before you groan that it's not a Christmas song, guitarist and keyboard player Jack Patterson (right) said his mother had a "theory" about Rockabye, in that the lyrics refer to Jesus Christ.

He said: "It's weird, actually, my mum has got this theory about the song, about (the lyrics) 'Rockabye, baby' being about Jesus, and that Jesus is the baby. 

"She's talking about this woman who's looking after the child on her own and saying it's a bit like Mary - she had the Immaculate Conception - and Joseph is kind of there ... but not."

So there you have it... Merry Christmas one and all and we'll be back on 28 December from 08:00 with all the news you need to know in Cambridgeshire.

See you then.

Overnight weather: A dry night after heavy rain clears

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

A brief period of heavy rain and gusty wind are possible at first, but clearing to the east by about 20:00, leaving a dry night with clear skies across the BBC East region.

Overnight weather map

Strong southwesterly winds at first with some gusts over 50mph (80 km/h)possible, but winds easing to moderate after the rain clears as the temperature dips to 2-4C (upper 30sF).

Christmas Eve will be dry and long spells of sunshine, but turning cloudier later from the west, with the temperature peaking at 9-10C (upper 40sF).

Visit BBC Weather for a more detailed forecast where you are.

Travel: Fallen tree causing train delays

A fallen tree has damaged overhead electric wires near Audley End, meaning trains are now running at a reduced speed. 

There are currently up to 15 minutes delays to journeys running through the area. 

This is expected to continue until approximately 19:30.

Network Rail staff are working to remove the tree as quickly as possible. 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Porky pot-bellied piggy pair on prowl for 'parents'

Helen Burchell

BBC News

A rather porky pair of pot-bellied pigs are hoping for new parents this Christmas.

Pigs Ed and Jeff
Wood Green/YouTube

Ed and Jeff are father-and-son Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs, and both are a little fond of fodder, so Godmanchester's Wood Green animal charity hopes to find new "parents" to keep them in trim. You can watch a video of them here.

It's a weighty undertaking, but the pigs are currently on a "behavioural training programme to help build their confidence and trust people".

If you can offer Ed and Jeff a "forever field", get in touch with the charity by email.

Peterborough congestion problems continuing

There's been heavy congestion in Peterborough all afternoon due to the Christmas traffic.

Stagecoach has been tweeting that all its bus services are delayed by the problems, and they're going to continue into the evening.

View more on twitter

Peterborough v Chelsea tickets all sold out

Tom Horn

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

That's it - I'm afraid they've all gone.

Tickets for Posh's FA Cup third-round tie at Chelsea on 8 January have now sold out. 

The club has apologised to fans who were unable to purchase tickets online this morning due to problems with its website.

A statement explains that some fans already in the online queue before 09:00 were not given access due to a "technical fault", adding: "Due to unprecedented demand for tickets, we understand that this will have caused disappointment for many."

Not the sort of smoked salmon you need this Christmas...

David Keller

BBC News

A Christmas hamper has caught fire after being placed on top of a cooker - which was accidentally turned on - in Peterborough. 

Fire crews were called to a house in Wingfield in Orton Goldhay at 09:10 today. One man was treated by paramedics at the scene for suspected smoke inhalation.  

Cambridgeshire Fire Service says flames were contained to the kitchen, but is urging householders to avoid placing anything on the cooker top.

Christmas hamper

Spokesman Danny Kelly said: "A cooker top seems a handy surface to use, but this incident shows how easily the hob can accidentally get switched on and start a fire. 

"As we approach the Christmas weekend and worktops get used to their max with all the dinner preparations, please avoid using the cooker top to place things on."

Three-night queue for Christmas service

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is the world-famous Christmas Eve service held at King's College, Cambridge. 

It is broadcast on BBC radio, but unless you work at King's the only way to be there in person is to queue. 

For more than 40 years, Ian de Massini has camped outside for three nights to ensure his place in the chapel. 

King's carols: Man queues three nights for Christmas service

He has been captivated since the first time he did it at the age of 16. 

Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday when he first joined the queue, he said: "I had never experienced such ecstasy of being in a building of such beauty and simplicity. Coming home to this thing once a year reminds you of why we're here." 

The Festival is separate to that of Carols from King's, which is broadcast on BBC TV on Christmas Eve but is recorded earlier in December. 

The footage of carol singers used in this clip was shot during the TV rehearsal on 16 December.

Earnings from Christmas lights split to help robbed shopkeeper

Emma Baugh

BBC Look East

Earnings from a charity Christmas lights display in Cambridgeshire are being split to help a village shopkeeper robbed at gunpoint. 

Kuldip Sekhon

A man in a Halloween mask held a shotgun to Kuldip Sekhon (above) at Elm Village Stores, near Wisbech, on Wednesday night and beat him to the ground, before making off with £300. 

Darryl Ward (below), who has a charity display, said Mr Sekhon had only been running the store for six weeks and pledged to give him back his lost earnings "to show that we do care about him". 

Money is also being given to the King's Lynn Critical Care Unit and the Wisbech and District Stroke Club.

Darryl Ward
Elm Christmas lights

Mr Sekhon told me he was amazed at the generosity of the local community following the attack, and had been given a number of gifts.

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.    

Trading Standards accused of not protecting Whirlpool consumers

Earlier we mentioned Peterborough Trading Standards (PTS) was facing legal action over its handling of the safety alert around faulty dryers made by Whirlpool, which is based in the city.

It follows a tower block tumble dryer fire in west London in August, which took 120 firefighters to bring under control.

Consumer watchdog Which? said it believed PTS had failed consumers by not properly carrying out its role as an enforcer of product safety laws.  

Various dryers made by Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda between April 2004 and September 2015 are subject to a safety notice about the fire risk, which is caused by excess fluff coming into contact with the heating element.

Which? said it expected PTS to conduct a fresh, independent assessment of the risks posed to consumers by the faulty dryers that remain in homes and "not shy away from enforcement action if it is needed".

Whirlpool HQ in Peterborough

Peterborough City Council said: "An independent review, which began earlier this month, is currently taking place and we would expect Whirlpool to fully comply with the outcome.

"We will strongly defend our position if Which? is granted a judicial review and bearing in mind the ongoing independent review, we consider that this action is premature."

Whirlpool said consumers' safety was its "number one priority" and that it was carrying out its tumble dryer modification programme "in a safe and timely manner".

Posh snap up St Albans striker

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

Meanwhile, Peterborough United have announced the signing of St Albans City striker Junior Morias for an undisclosed fee.

The 21-year-old will sign a two-and-a-half-year contract on New Year's Day, with the option of another year, and will link up with his new team-mates ahead of the fixture with Scunthorpe United.

Junior Morias
Joe Dent

Manager Grant McCann said: "He has scored some great goals already this season for St Albans and we are pleased to have secured his signature. 

"He is a lovely lad and he is desperate to succeed.

"Junior has been in the building with us for a few weeks and has been getting up to speed with our sessions."

St Albans co-owner Lawrence Levy said: "I am very pleased that this club has given a talented player the platform to progress to the Football League - I'm sure he will go on to have a fantastic career." 

Junior Morias

Peterborough United sign striker Junior Morias from National League South side St Albans for an undisclosed fee.

Read more

Posh fans' frustration at online ticket problems for Chelsea match

Sam Edwards

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

This was the queue at the Abax Stadium earlier as eager Posh fans queued for tickets to the FA Cup clash against Chelsea on 8 January.

View more on twitter

However, we've noticed on Twitter this morning that a number of people have been complaining about their struggles to get tickets online.

A statement has since appeared on the club's website saying technical issues are to blame.

It says: "Peterborough United would like to apologise to those supporters who were unable to purchase tickets online this morning for the FA Cup Third Round tie at Chelsea. 

"After the switchover at 9am this morning, some fans already in the online queue before 9am were not given access due to a technical fault. 

"Due to unprecedented demand for tickets, we understand that this will have caused disappointment for many."

We'll keep you updated on the situation. The club has told us that tickets have now nearly sold out.

Tumble dryer fires prompt legal move

Consumers group Which? has formally requested a judicial review of Peterborough Trading Standards (PTS) over its handling of the Whirlpool faulty dryers safety alert.

PTS has been dealing with the alert, which involves a reported 5.3m dryers made by Whirlpool brands Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda, as Whirlpool's UK head office is in Peterborough.

Tower block blaze

Fire chiefs warned in October that owners of faulty Whirlpool dryers must stop using them immediately, after one of the machines was found to be the cause of a huge blaze in an 18-storey tower block in Shepherd's Bush in London.

Which? said it was "stepping up its action" with the judicial review request to the High Court following PTS's "failure to review the situation in light of this report".

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said it believed the action was "premature" with an independent review currently taking place. 

Newport County

Andrew Aloia

BBC Sport

Mother nature cruelly robbing a teenager of a wonder strike is among five things you may have missed from Saturday's EFL matches.

Read more

Clean Bandit taking clean sweep of Christmas chart

Their latest song was released back in October, but the currently unstoppable Clean Bandit, from Cambridge, are favourites to bag this year's Christmas number one.

Earlier in the week their single Rockabye was 4,000 copies ahead of its nearest rival, despite having been number one for the last six weeks.

Clean Bandit
Getty Images

But we all know it's a funny old world, the Christmas number one... 

Could we see the greatest upset since Gary Jules pipped Suffolk boys The Darkness to number in 2003? You'll have to listen to Greg James' Official Chart show on Radio 1 later.

Two 'unwell' hospital staff now back at work

David Keller

BBC News

A full statement from the fire service has revealed that two members of Peterborough City Hospital staff visited A&E after feeling unwell, following this morning's chemical spill.

However, "both are now fine and back at work", it adds.

The incident did not affect operations at the hospital and only the corridor outside the room was evacuated. No patients were affected.

'No appointments cancelled' following leak, says hospital

Chemical leak: Latest from fire service

David Keller

BBC News

I've just got off the phone to the fire service.

A spokeswoman said four fire engines and a specialist chemical unit were called to Peterborough City Hospital at about 06:10, where they discovered a leak of five litres of a chemical in an isolated side room at the site.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and specialist gloves cleared up the leak using absorbent granules and the chemical was sealed in bags and the area made safe again.

We've yet to hear back from the hospital, but the service said it appears the site wasn't particularly disrupted by the leak.

Breaking'Small chemical leak' at hospital

Peterborough City Hospital has confirmed there has been a "small chemical leak" on site. 

Fire crews are in attendance and have it contained.  

We'll bring you more when we can.

Village gets in the Christmas spirit to help shop robbery victim

Johnny Dee

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

A Cambridgeshire shopkeeper has been left shaken after a vicious raid on his shop. 

But now villagers in Elm, near Wisbech, are rallying round the owner of the village store, and the people behind the Christmas lights display at Cemetery Cottage are collecting donations to help him. 

Elm Village Stores

Just before 20:00 on Wednesday, a masked man with a shotgun entered the shop on Birch Grove and demanded money. He left with £300 in cash after threatening a member of staff.

I've been to meet Darryl Ward, the man behind the fundraising effort. We'll bring you more from him later.

That moment when your mum and then your gran calls...

View more on twitter

Not best to answer at the wheel though... This driver was stopped by police in last night. We're trying to find out more details from police about where it happened.

Weather: Wet and very windy this evening

Georgina Burnett

BBC Weather

It will be breezy but dry this morning with sunny spells. However, the wind will increase during the afternoon and heavy rain and strong gusty winds will sweep in later, bringing difficult driving conditions during rush hour with a high of 10C (50F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Ho ho hello

David Keller

BBC News

We're almost there now, aren't we...

Welcome back to Local Live again on Christmas Eve-Eve, where we'll keep you up-to-date with the latest news in the county.

Christmas tree

(This is my tree by the way ^ - not too bad, ay?)

No doubt you'll notice it's pretty quiet on our roads this morning, but I imagine it's a different picture at our supermarkets. We'll report on any cranberry chaos we see around.

We've also got the latest in the row about Peterborough-based Whirlpool, plus a heart-warming tale about a community is getting in the Christmas spirit to help a robbery victim.

So put down the wrapping paper and tape, pull up a chair with some gluhwein and stay with us until 18:00.

Get in touch with your stories and pictures of your family being festive by dropping us an emailtweet or message on Facebook.

Good evening from Cambridgeshire Live

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

That's it from your Cambridgeshire Live team for tonight.

Don't forget you can send us your photos and news from across the county via emailFacebook or Twitter using #cmblive.

And rest assured if anything breaks overnight - you'll find the latest here.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, have a lovely evening.

Huntingdon, Cambs

One from the Archives: Cambridge students fire squad 1940

Nic Rigby

BBC News

Seventy six years ago this month at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, undergraduate members of the university fire squad in cap and gown were photographed carrying their gas masks and tin helmets, so as to be ready for any emergency.

Cambridge undergraduate members of the University fire squad in cap and gown carrying their gas masks and tin helmets so as to be ready for any emergency
Getty Images

Wildlife Trust 'gutted' about oak hare theft

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Jo Dickson, from the local Wildlife Trust, said: "We're gutted that this has happened just before Christmas.

"The sculptures have only been in place since the summer and they're well-loved by visitors.

"Hopefully someone will come forward with information."

Stolen hare sculpture
Wildlife Trust

Wooden hare stolen from country park

A wooden hare worth more than £3,000 has been stolen from Trumpington Meadows country park, near Cambridge.

The oak sculpture is 5.2ft (1.6m) tall and is one of five that have been dotted around the meadows since the summer. 

There's also an otter, a woodpecker, a skylark and a trout.

The area is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Stolen hare sculpture
Wildlife Trust

The trust believes it would have taken three men to remove the sculpture and vehicle tracks were discovered in the area where it sat.

The hare was created by woodwright Patrick Brown. 

If you have any information, you can contact Cambridgeshire Police on 101. 

In the papers

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Elsewhere in Cambridgeshire:

  • The man at the helm of one of the country's leading theatrical companies says Peterborough's Broadway Theatre is a success story and shouldn't be converted into flats, says the Evening Telegraph
  • The Ely Standard is reporting that former Bake Off contestant Ian Cumming wants to boost the fortunes of Britain's quietest railway station at Shippea Hill by selling mince pies
  • And the Cambridge News says residents are expressing concerns that the tall, new-look CB1 development around the station will overlook their homes
papers generic

Severe disruption: M11 Cambridgeshire southbound

BBC Travel

M11 Cambridgeshire southbound severe disruption, between J10 for A505 and J8 for A120.

M11 Cambridgeshire - Queuing traffic on M11 southbound between J10, A505 (Duxford) and J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe disruption: M11 Cambridgeshire southbound

BBC Travel

M11 Cambridgeshire southbound severe disruption, between J10 for A505 and J8 for A120.

M11 Cambridgeshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M11 southbound between J10, A505 (Duxford) and J8, A120 (Bishops Stortford), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Armed robbery in Fenland store

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

A masked armed man has threatened staff and stolen money from a village shop in the Fens.

It happened at 19:50 yesterday evening at the Elm Village Store, near Wisbech.

Police say the man was brandishing a shotgun and threatened staff. He left with £300 in cash.

map showing Elm and Wisbech

The man spoke with a "local" accent and was wearing a grey and white mask, dark blue hooded top and was carrying a sports bag.

Detectives are keen to speak to a woman who briefly entered the shop while the robbery was happening and may have vital information.

Insp Will Davis said: "This was a frightening experience for the victim. Thankfully nobody was hurt."

Girl, 9, brings some festive cheer to the ambulance service

Sun breaks over Cambridgeshire

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

The sun is out and Cambridgeshire looks beautiful today.

We love this shot taken by Sir Cam of punts resting at daybreak.

Remember you can send your pictures to us here at Cambridgeshire Live via emailFacebook or Twitter using #cmblive.

View more on twitter

Stagecoach East confirms fare changes

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Stagecoach East gave BBC Radio Cambridgeshire a statement this morning:  

"As from 1st January, Stagecoach East will be implementing changes to some online fares which have been heavily discounted for several years.

"As a result of rising costs and cuts to public sector spending on buses, it is no longer possible to continue subsidising these discounts into 2017."

Stagecoach bus

The company's managing director, Andy Campbell, said: "We are conscious that these fare adjustments come at a time when the future of public transport is undergoing much scrutiny in Cambridge.

"We wish to stress our continued commitment to delivering greener, smarter travel at the lowest possible prices for our customers."

Turnstiles open for Posh ticket sale

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Got your hands on one yet?

View more on twitter

The turnstiles have just opened for the sale of tickets for Posh's FA Cup third round clash against Chelsea.

It's an all-blue affair at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, 8 January.

Bus fares to rise in the New Year

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Monthly tickets to ride on Stagecoach East buses around Cambridgeshire will rise by as much as 13% in 2017. 

Customers riding on the "Cambridge monthly megarider Xtra" ticket have been told that from 1 January it'll increase from £49.50 to £56.

Stagecoach bus in Cambridge

We've also heard the more expensive "Cambridgeshire monthly megarider Plus Xtra" will go up 8% - from £89 to £96.

Stagecoach East has blamed "rising costs and cuts to public sector spending". 

Tickets to go on sale for Posh clash with Chelsea

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Queues are expected at London Road this morning as the first tickets go on sale for Peterborough United's clash with Chelsea in the New Year.

Posh will travel to Stamford Bridge for the FA Cup third round tie on Sunday, 8 January.

Tickets go on sale at 09:00.

Season ticket holders and junior members are first in line today and it's first-come first-served from tomorrow morning.

BBC Sport

Thursday's weather: Colder than yesterday with sunshine later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Today will be noticeably colder than it was yesterday, and while it should gradually brighten up through the morning, some fog could linger into the afternoon in places. 

Top temperature: 8C (46F).

Watch my full regional forecast:

Elizabeth Rizzini brings us the region's weather prospects

Hello from Cambridgeshire Live

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

Good morning from the team.

If there's anything happening in the county today we'll bring it to you here as we get it.

And don't forget, we always love to hear from you - send us your photos of Cambridgeshire via emailFacebook or Twitter using #cmblive.

It's a murky one out there so far, so be careful on the roads.