Olympic Flame to tour Albert Square
Published 15/11/2011 | 00:21
The Olympic Flame will stop off in Walford, the home of EastEnders, on its way to the London 2012 Games, it has been announced.
The luck of hapless character Billy Mitchell has finally changed as he will get to carry it past soap landmarks such as the market, the launderette and the Queen Vic as the Olympic Torch relay hits Albert Square on July 23, 2012.
The relay will pass through the fictional London borough of Walford ahead of the July 27 opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London 2012 said.
The Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will share Walford's E20 postcode after the Games.
Actor Perry Fenwick, who plays Mitchell, said: "When we first discussed the storyline, my initial thought was that I'll now have to get fit.
"While this may be a fictional one-off for Billy Mitchell, it's a real once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I am thrilled that Walford and Albert Square will be part of this amazing event."
Fenwick's character Mitchell and fellow EastEnders favourite Fatboy were nominated for one of the coveted spots to become a torchbearer - but Mitchell got the green light.
A total of 1,018 communities will be visited during the 70-day Torch relay, from Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, to St Helier on Jersey, and as far east as Lowestoft in Suffolk to Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, in the west.
It will travel about 8,000 miles and be carried by 8,000 inspirational torchbearers, London 2012 said.
It is designed to come within 10 miles of 95% of the population. It will go through every English county and every local authority area in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.