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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 February, 2004, 17:28 GMT
Oliver's scooter bids reach 45k
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver's restaurant trains disadvantaged youths
It is second-hand and has only a month left on its MOT - but bids for a chef's scooter have reached 45,400.

Even Jamie Oliver is said to be amazed at offers for his scooter which surged to 1m before dropping on Saturday.

He has put it up for auction to raise money to train disadvantaged youths at his restaurant Fifteen - a charity venture in Hackney, east London.

The Essex chef had put a reserve price of 3,000 on the scooter, which was given to him by manufacturers Aprilia.

A spokeswoman for eBay said she thought the 1m bid had been retracted after communication between the buyer and seller.

She said: "I presume that is what has happened, a bid retraction, and 45,000 plus is obviously still a fantastic sum.

We are staggered. None of us know where this is going to end up
Peter Berry, Jamie Oliver's publicist
"These things happen, it could have been an accident, I don't know why it was put on for that amount."

It is thought two of the bidders on auction website eBay are from the United States, leading to some speculation that they might be from Mr Oliver's celebrity fans.

The chef's publicist Peter Berry said: "We are staggered. None of us know where this is going to end up. They are apparently serious.

"We don't know the identity of who's bidding, and we wouldn't want to give them away anyway, but whoever they are they obviously have a few quid to spare."

Bidding for the bike, which has 841 miles on the clock and is three years old, closes on Wednesday - coinciding with a charity auction at the Babington House hotel in Somerset.

A warning to bidders on eBay's website reads: "eBay prohibits buyers from not following through with a buying obligation. We consider non-payment to be a serious violation of policy."

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