LONDON Nov 15 The Olympic flame will pay
a visit to Britain's most famous launderette and pub next year
after London 2012 organisers announced that the torch relay
route would pass through the streets of one of the country's
most-watched soap operas.
Better-known for family feuds, dodgy business deals,
extra-marital affairs and occasional murders, the fictional
London borough of Walford, the focal point for the hugely
successful BBC drama EastEnders, will be one of the stop-off
points for the symbolic Olympic flame next July.
Later on Tuesday, viewers of the show will watch as
characters Fat Boy and Billy Mitchell are nominated as
torchbearers and in an episode to be screened on July 23 next
year the latter will carry the torch through Albert Square --
arguably the most famous "neighbourhood" in Britain.
The torch's appearance on the show backs up London 2012
chief Sebastian Coe's pledge to make the relay as "creative as
While the episode will be filmed in advance, organisers say
that several minutes of the Olympic procession will be beamed
live from the show's set as part of the torch relay that will
travel the length and breadth of the country.
"While this may be a fictional one-off for Billy Mitchell,
it's a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I'm
thrilled that Walford and Albert Square will be part of this
amazing event," Perry Fenwick, the actor who plays Billy
Mitchell, said in a statement from the London 2012 Organising
The 70-day torch relay will travel some 12,800 kms around
Britain, taking in 1,018 villages and the 1,085-metre summit of
Snowdon, before culminating with the lighting of the Olympic
cauldron on July 27.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon)