Colourful portraits of Oxford author Philip Pullman and historian Bettany Hughes are being posted on London Espress buses to promote the Ashmolean Museum.

Last month, photographs of Morse author Colin Dexter, and Lewis actors Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox appeared on huge billboards outside the Beaumont Street museum, to remind visitors that the attraction will close due to a £61m renovation project.

The museum is closing on January 1 and will not reopen until autumn next year.

Six freshwater pike feature in the photo of Mr Pullman, who described the image as “sinister and surprising at the same time – very fishy”.

The London Espress service is run by the Oxford Bus Company, and managing director Philip Kirk said: “We may not have been around for quite as long as the Ashmolean but we have been at the heart of the community for 127 years. Our coaches travel thousands of miles every week and are seen by thousands of people, so we can play our part in spreading the news about the Ashmolean.”