THE bid to save Colchester’s Roman circus is to be featured on BBC TV’s the One Show.

Presenter Joe Crowley was in town, recording footage for the flagship BBC1 programme, fronted by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley.

He filmed an interview with Colchester Archaeological Trust director Philip Crummy on the site of the circus’s starting gates, before visiting several other historic locations in the town centre.

Volunteer re-enactors in Roman garb were invited along to take part in the recording and faced a chilly wait as they stood about for more than an hour in togas and sandals.

Finally, their chance came, however, in a sequence in which Mr Crowley was pulled along in a chariot.

The item is likely to be to be on the One Show, either tonight or tomorrow at 7pm. * Meanwhile, architecture expert and BBC presenter Dan Cruickshank is backing Colchester’s Roman circus appeal, because he’s “a huge fan” of the town.

The Around the World in Eighty Treasures presenter lived in Layer Breton about 20 years ago and he fell in love with Colchester then. He said he spent hours admiring its Roman, medieval and 18th-century architecture.

Mr Cruickshank, 60, said the discovery of the circus – Britain’s only-known Roman chariot-racing arena – was just one more reason for the town to start making more of its historical heritage.

The historian, who will be speaking in the One Show report on the Save the Circus campaign, said: “Colchester has an intensely interesting history and the discovery of the circus just adds to the fascination. It is the biggest Roman building so far discovered in Britain – really good news for the community and another good reason for people to come and visit.”

Mr Cruickshank, who made the BBC series, Britain’s Best Buildings, will give two talks next week, in support of the appeal. He said he was glad to do his bit to help fund a heritage centre for the site.

He added: “As there is nothing visible above ground, the challenge is how to present the circus in a way the public can appreciate.”

“What I’d like to know is who nicked the stones it was built with. I expect it was probably the Normans.”

Mr Cruickshank will be speaking at a £50-a-head lunch at the Sun Inn, Dedham, on Tuesday, from 1pm. Half the ticket money will go to the appeal.

That evening, he will give a lecture at Colchester Town Hall, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 each and all proceeds will be donated to the cause.