Bill Heine, owner of the world famous rooftop Headington shark, has died of cancer aged 74. He was diagnosed with a terminal form of leukaemia in July 2017.
Bill was a well known and respected broadcaster also ran two independent cinemas, including the Penultimate Picture Palace.
Heine originally moved to the UK from the US in the 1960s to study at Oxford University.
Editor Tim Boswell said: "Bill was an integral part of BBC Radio Oxford for over 30 years. He was an outstanding broadcaster with the ability to connect with his listeners through his intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and above all, his passion for the city."
The 25ft shark sculpture was installed in the roof of Heine's then-house in 1986 without planning permission, prompting a six-year legal battle with the city council.
He successfully fought to keep the shark after Oxford City Council tried to remove it during the late-1980s.
The Headington shark first appeared on 9 August 1986. Heine said "The shark was to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of a sense of impotence and anger and desperation... It is saying something about CND, nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki"
Heine had been looking for a new tenant since before Christmas, but has yet to find the right person. “I’ve had a lot of inquiries but found no one right.
“I’m looking for somebody who will be willing to be part of the community, be able to take care of something that has a status well beyond the street,” he says. The Headington Shark is on Oxford’s tourist trail, despite being far from the city centre’s ancient colleges and cobbled streets, and visitors come from as far afield as South America and Japan.
If you’re up to the challenge, the “Tardis-like” house has three en-suite bedrooms, and is available for £2,300 per month with Chancellors (01865 763464; chancellors.co.uk).
Wonder if has a back garden or yahd? Rumours of a $10,000 deposit upfront are said to be untrue.
Learn more about the Headington Shark