Page last updated at 17:33 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 18:33 UK

Arson attack on period costumes

Period costumes worth thousands have gone up in smoke in a suspected arson attack on the set of a BBC production of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Police are investigating the fire which started in the early hours of Tuesday in a lorry at Freezing Hill, near Bath.

The drama's producer said the blaze, near to where filming was taking place, had been a blow to the crew's morale.

Costume-makers are now working flat out to remake the outfits for the four-part adaptation of Hardy's novel.

Filming of Tess of the D'Urbervilles began in March and was due to finish in May.

It is thought that the driver of the lorry was sleeping in the cab and was treated for smoke inhalation after the blaze.

Producer David Snodin said: "The impact on the morale of the crew is enormous."

A BBC spokeswoman added: "A number of costumes were destroyed, which will give our costume design team a few headaches over the next few weeks, but filming will not be disrupted."

"It is too early to say how it was caused and the incident is currently in the hands of the local police and fire service.

"The costume designers are busy working around the clock to get the costumes made.

"They are up to their eyeballs."

Five people, aged between 17 and 20, have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.


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