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  1. Updates for Wednesday, 23 December 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Updates for Essex Live have finished for today. 

    We'll be back on Christmas Eve with all your latest news for the county. 

    Have a great evening.

  2. Weather: A few showers overnight with rain later on Thursday

    BBC Weather

    Cloud will tend to increase through the evening with a few showers persisting through the night. However, many places will remain dry. 

    Winds will strengthen with gales likely in coastal areas, temperatures falling to 8C (46F).

    Weather map for Essex at 00:00

    They'll be a few showers on Christmas Eve to start with, turning occasionally heavy with strong winds later in morning,  but clearing during early afternoon.

  3. How do I perfect the Christmas roast turkey?

    BBC iWonder

     We’ve been gobbling up turkeys at Christmas for hundreds of years. 

    A cooked turkey

    Yet surveys show that 60% of us would prefer to serve the roast turkey overcooked than risk opening the oven to find it still pink when the family sits down in two days time.

    Fear not, we've been looking at the best way to select and cook your Christmas turkey.

  4. Woman held as burglars raid home

    Essex Police is searching for two suspects after a woman was stopped from leaving her home as cash and jewellery were stolen in Waltham Abbey.

    Upshire Road, Waltham Abbey

    The incident took place in Upshire Road on 17 December, police said.

    The male suspects are described as white, aged between 17 and 25, around 5ft 8in (1.75m) tall and of thin athletic build. Anybody with information is asked to contact the police.

  5. Headlines: Zoo fire animals 'not in danger'... Mo Farah's cousin signs for Southend

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are your top stories for Essex:

    • Colchester Zoo says staff and animals were "not in danger" when a fire destroyed its miniature railway attraction this morning
    • About 41,000 passengers are expected to pass through Stansted Airport today in what the airport calls the "busiest day" of the festive period
    • Younis Farah, cousin of double Olympic and World champion Mo, has signed a contract with League One side Southend
  6. Southend United: Mo Farah's cousin Younis signs deal

    BBC Sport

    Younis Farah, cousin of double Olympic and World champion Mo, has signed a contract with League One side Southend.

    Younis Farah

    The 16-year-old left-back has agreed a two-year scholarship and made his under-18s debut in a recent 1-0 victory against Gillingham.

    "When I was under-13, I was number three in the country for 800m... It was always football that excited more, though," Younis Farah told The Echo.

    Farah's cousin signs Southend deal

    Younis Farah

    Younis Farah, cousin of double Olympic and World champion Mo, signs a contract with League One side Southend.

    Read more
  7. Colchester Zoo train fire: Staff and animals were 'not in danger'

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    Colchester Zoo says staff and animals were "not in danger" when a fire destroyed its "Lost Madagascar Express" train and station this morning.

    Lost Madagascar Express closed sign

    Essex Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police are currently trying to establish the cause of the blaze.

    In a statement the zoo said the fire has "not affected visitors' visibility of animals" and it will "endeavour to purchase a new train and reconstruct the station".

  8. Football: Michael Timlin ruled out of Essex derby

    Glenn Speller

    BBC Essex Sport

    Southend midfielder Michael Timlin has been ruled out of the Essex derby at Colchester.

    Michael Timlin

    Manager Phil Brown says the 30-year-old will be missing from the squad for "probably the next two games".

    Ben Coker is also a doubt for the Boxing Day fixture.

  9. Christmas getaway: About 41,000 passengers descend on Stansted

    Paul Joslin

    BBC Essex

    About 41,000 passengers are expected to pass through Stansted Airport today on what it has dubbed the "busiest day" of the great festive getaway.

    Stansted Airport

    Airport spokesman Chris Wiggan told BBC Essex that services, for the most part, have been running smoothly. 

    "So far so good, we had a few technical faults with a couple of check-in desks this morning, but passengers are now on their way," he said.

  10. Gordon Wilson: Family prepares for Christmas without their missing dad

    Charlotte Rose

    BBC Essex

    An Essex family will spend this Christmas wondering what has happened to their 82-year-old father who disappeared almost two months ago.

    Gordon Wilson

    Gordon Wilson was last seen at his home in Leaden Roding on 25 October, he has vascular dementia. His daughter's Gillian and Lesley say they will not give up their search.

    "We're optimistic he may come home, we've got a tree ready so it will be welcoming for him if he comes back", Gillian said.

  11. Ice rink closes after melting in warm weather

    After the Colchester Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink went into liquidation, we've found a video of the attraction's opening night back in November...

  12. Colchester binmen cannot get into the Christmas spirit due to health and safety

    Daily Gazette

    Refuse collectors have been ordered not to wear Santa hats or decorate their dustcarts with cards or lights – on ’elf and safety grounds.

  13. Man assaulted outside Harwich pub

    A man is now recovering at home after being assaulted in Harwich.

    Exterior of the Stingray pub

    The 31-year-old victim was attacked outside the Stingray pub in Church Street in the early hours of 5 December, police say. 

    He suffered five chipped teeth and other facial injuries.

  14. Thieves steal 168 bottles of wine in Basildon

    Laura Safe

    BBC Essex

    Thieves have stolen 168 bottles of wine as well as cosmetics worth a five figure sum from a lorry in Basildon.

    Courtauld Road

    The vehicle's curtain was slashed sometime between 15:30 on 30 November at 05:00 on 1 December in Courtauld Road, Essex Police said.

    Anybody who has been offered these products are asked to contact the force.

  15. Essex MP dismisses EU break-up fears

    Jack Warren

    BBC Local Live

    An Essex MP has dismissed suggestions from the former Foreign Secretary William Hague that leaving the European Union could result in the break up of the UK.

    Bernard Jenkin

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Hague said if Britain left the EU he believed Scottish nationalists would "jump at the chance" to re-open the independence debate.

    But Harwich and North Essex Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin told the BBC that an independent UK would make it "even harder" for Scottish nationalist to gain support.

  16. Home transformed by Christmas lights in bid to raise hospital funds

    Samantha Dalton

    BBC Essex

    This house in Chelmsford has been transformed into a festive wonderland to try and raise money for Broomfield Hospital.

    Exterior of a house with Christmas lights on

    Homeowner Paul Bibby says so far he has raised £50, but is hoping for more.

  17. Man has nose broken in Pitsea street robbery

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    A man has been left with a broken nose and facial bruising following an assault in Pitsea.

    Sandon Road, Pitsea

    The victim, who's in his 40's, was attacked on Sandon Road yesterday afternoon, police say.

    A three-figure sum of cash and his mobile phone were stolen.

  18. Headlines: Warm weather meltdown for Winter Wonderland... Miniature railway fire at Colchester Zoo

    Nick Alliker

    BBC Essex

    Here are the top stories for Essex this lunchtime: 

    • People who bought tickets for Colchester's Winter Wonderland are being advised to go through their credit card supplier to get a refund
    • Emergency services in Essex are investigating after Colchester Zoo's miniature railway station building and train were destroyed in a fire 
    • Thieves have stolen 168 bottles of wine and cosmetics worth thousands of pounds from a lorry in Basildon