Part One London 2012: Countdown to the Olympics

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Hello and a very good afternoon, from Buckingham Palace. Welcome to


this BBC News Special, as we count down to the opening ceremony of


London 2012. I'm Jane Hill, it is seven years of course since London


was awarded the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Billions have been spent


on the preparations and there have of course been problems, perhaps


inevitably, initially around ticketing and then of course the


issues we all know so much about regarding security, but perhaps


those discussions are now to be resumed in a few weeks' time


because right here, right now, we are just 24 hours away from the


opening ceremony and now we are concentrating on the final stages


of the journey of the Olympic flame. It set off from Land's End 69 days


ago. It is due here at Buckingham Palace in about an hour from now.


Let's just take a look at the scene right now. The Olympic torch


travelling really through the heart of the capital, through the heart


of this host city. This the scene from our helicopter, through Oxford


Street, a mecca of shopping, but my goodness, look at it now, thousands


and thousands of people out on the streets to welcome the Olympic


torch. And we are also live in Trafalgar


Square. Again, I think - well we get the sense there, don't we -


outside the National Gallery, again the sheer numbers of people who are


out there on the most perfect London evening to greet the torch.


And we are out and about on the Mall as well. Because not too long


now until the torch ising brought up the Mall and through to


Buckingham Palace, here a little later this evening, where among


others, it will be greeted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And


the close of the day sees a concert in Hyde Park. If you are not there


already, I'm not sure how anyone is going to get a place. Every patch


of grass appears to be taken. A big concert there tonight. A capacity


of up to 80,000 people for that concert there in Hyde Park and that


is where the cauldron will be lit later this evening once it has


passed ugs here at Buckingham Palace. It'll stay there for the


night. -- passed us here. This is the last full day of the Torch


Relay. Also this evening, we are at Old Trafford. We have not yet seen


the Olympic ceremony but as you may well know, the Games are under way.


We have had football already. Team GB's football team will be playing


at Old Trafford, their first match in just a short while. Due to play


Senegal in just a short while. Let's just assess the latest on the


torch's progress. Let's look again at those scenes of Oxford Street.


It has truly been an advert for London today. This torch relay has


been three years in the planning and today I would think the


organisers would say and we will be talking to people over the course


of the next hour who are very much involved in this whole process,


this has been the trickiest day logisticically. 32 miles, can you


believe, around the capital, 123 torchbearers today in all alone. We


will find out more about how you go about planning something on that


scale and making sure it all works, over the course of the next hour.


Now the latest from our correspondents along the route. In


a moment we will cross to Philipa Thomas, she is out and about not


that far from me here on the Mall. Let's head first to Jon Brain in


Trafalgar Square. From that brief glimpse we just now a remarkable


turnout backsing in the evening sunshine.


-- basking. Yes and when London won the Olympic


bid in 2005, the announcements with relayed live on a big screen here


and there were thousands packing the square then to celebrate a


party atmosphere. If you look at the countdown clock you see how


quickly seven years have passed. One day, three hours and 55 minutes


to go before the opening ceremony. And as you can see a huge crowd has


built up once again for the torch as we have seen across the country


for the past 69 days and now of course for the past few days in the


capital. I think three million people alone have seen the torch in


London. It'll be carried here by 15-year-old Patrick Kane. He


scribed describes himself as bionic boy. He has the most advanced false


hand in the world. That's not yes has been given this honour. He is


someone who has not allowed his disability to define him and has


been described as an inspiration. He will be here shortly and the


torch will then head en route to Downing Street.


Jon mentioning the opening sermony. We will have a teaser, a flavour of


a few rehearsal pictures, which surprisingly have been released, of


the ceremony which so many people will be watching tomorrow night.


Let's go to Philipa Thomas, you are probably not too far away from me.


What have the crowds been telling me? The crowds have mostly been


asking me when it is going to get here. There is excitement about the


fact that the torch will come here, through this gate, not too long


from now. It will come up Bird Cage Walk go into Buckingham Palace,


it's fourth royal residence after Balmoral, sand drink ham and


Windsor Castle, it comes to Buckingham Palace and telelucky


torchbearers will bring the torch here and across the forecourt of


Buckingham Palace and then the torches kiss and the torch will


come out at the other end. Those three, a Special Constable,


somebody who works for an AIDS charity, and a mountain rescue


working from Wales. They will be introduced to the three senior


royals here here to welcome the torch to Buckingham Palace and that


is of course Kate and William and Harry. They will be here because


the Queen will be seeing the torch again at the Olympic opening


ceremony. When the torch exists again a short time after it comes


through, all carefully choreographed, it'll be accompanyed


by the Household Cavalry as it goes up constitution Hill. The


excitement here is building. Lovely, we will talk to you later, thank


you very much. Now, as I suggested, we can show you a few images


released by OBS, the Olympic broadcasting service, it has


surprisingly released a few pictures of the rehearsal of


tomorrow's opening ceremony. We will show you a little of what we


are allowed to show you. There were flavours there of the NHS. We know


there have been a couple of rehearsals at the Olympic Park in


east London over the course of the week. You might have followed it on


twitter, with the hashtag, keep the secret. Well the secret is out to


some degree. It is a very long ceremony. I think it is about three


hours' long. I think there is a lot more to see there. That is a little


flavour they have released to the media in the last hour or so.


The torch, I think, still making its way down Oxford Street. Slowly


making its way eventually to where our core respondents are --


correspondents. The torch is being carried on the


bus, make its way gingerly down Oxford Street. 32 miles across the


capital that it will have travelled by the end of the day, by the time


the cauldron is lit tonight in Hyde Park. So many famous places in


London have been passed through today. Shakespeare's globe, the


Millennium Bridge, Battersea dogs and cats home. Chelsea football


ground. There are so many more. It has been quite a spectacular day


visually and the organisers surely could not have been more delighted.


Not least with the weather because that has encouraged people to turn


out, but just the enthusiasm that has greeted the torch throughout


the host city. And it is, can you believe, 9 days since the torch


first set off from Land's End in Cornwall, 8,000 torchbearers in all


have carried it in that time. -- 69 days since the torch set off from


Land's End. Robert Hall has been taking a look


at the journey of the Olympic torch. # Today this could be


# The greatest day of our lives... # At the western tip of Cornwall,


an historic journey begins. 300 people, 20 vehicles and a flame


born on Mount Olympus, which would light up the lives of those who


carried it. As the convoy rolled on through the


south-west, news was spreading. Communities which had nominated


their own torchbearers turned out in their thousands. Mile by mile


the convoy's cameras captured personal stories which would move


us all. The story of this 12-year- old, battling a brain tumour but


determined to walk the last few steps. I was in tears, I know a lot


of my colleagues were in tears. His grandmother shook my hand. She said


"Thank you." I said "Don't thank me, it is down to your grandson."


the Avon Gorge a spectacular start to a day that ended at Cheltenham


racecourse. Zara Phillips cheered on by 30,000 people. I was out here


a bit earlier and there wasn't as many people. I came out and I was


like, "Oh, my God," it was unbelievable. Westwards to Wales


and upwards it the peak of Mount Snowdon where Chris Bodington


completed a climb he would never forget. I'm quite emotional about


it because I started climbing here in Snowdonia 50 years ago. To be


asked to carry this torch here in the Olympic relay means a lot.


In Shropshire, Ricky Fergusson stirred emotions in the tiny


village of Browsley. Badly injured in Afghanistan, Ricky's courage and


determination have made him a local legend. It was hard work, belief me.


On fake legs. But I done it. I thought I'm not going to stop until


I get to the top, and I did it. Across the Mersey to a packed


quayside, Liverpool proud to own the flame just for a night.


Olympic flame is Liverpool's flame. In Northern Ireland, burning above


a landscape 60 million years old, the torch was seen as a symbol of


unity. I think it means we can work and play and enjoy ourselves


together. And nearer to the Arctic Circle than to London, and a


reminder of Shetland's Viking past, the relay prepared to turn south


once more. It is just amazing. It is really getting everyone into the


spirit of the Olympics. Back over the border a Chief Scout was on a


zip wire. Torchbearers proposed marriage in


North Yorkshire. And summer vanished. Driving the


torch on to the dancefloor at Blackpool Tower.


The clouds did part in the Thames Valley to allow an Olympic rowing


icon to make a more sedate river trip. To cross that line and it was


very, very special. But by the afternoon, rain was pound on the


roof of Windsor Castle, why Gina McGregor presented the torch for


royal inspection. On day 63, the flame left the southern counties


and arrived in style at London's ancient fortress. It had travelled


over 7,000 miles and it had lit what London's mayor described as "a


bushfire of Olympic enthusiasm", bringing over 10 million people


that little bit closer to one of sport's great spectaculars.


And just a flavour of 69 days, as we watch the torch make its way


down Oxford Street right in the heart of London. It's going through


Regent Street, Soho, Number Ten Downing Street, so many famous


addresses, that it is making its way along over the course of the


day and what a logistical and planning and security operation


this is to take it through the capital. Let's talk to one man who


can shed a great deal of light as to how it has been managed,


Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, very glad to have you with


us. A huge relay, millions have seen the torch in London alone. You


only have to walk through the streets to see what an operation it


is. Phenomenal. Up until yesterday 3 million pem have been estimated


to see in lon n London. The roads have been crammed so God knows how


many have seen it today. When it arrived at the Tower of London last


week and you knew it was London's week it make this sing, do you


approach that with nervousness, excitement? What is the key


emotion? A combination of all. It had 63 fantastic days across the


country. It came to London, and since then we have had fantastic


crowds out. The torch security team have had a fantastic welcome and


have been allowed to do their job, to ensure the focus is on the torch


and torchbearer. With 24 hours to the opening sermony, you are


feeling confident? We are in a very good place, very good plans, very


good partnership, LOCOG the event organiser, the police service and


the military working closely together with G4S to make sure the


Games are safe and secure. We think we are in a good place. I know we


have to let you go, an exceptionally busy time for you and


the Assistant Commissioner was just reflecting a little earlier how he


was so proud as he put it to me, to run with members of the TST, the


Torch Security cap team who have familiar to us in those grey


uniforms. We will look at it again making its way through Oxford


It was running late a couple of hours ago.


Broadly, not too bad at all, given the sheer logistics of all of this.


Let's talk to one man, who I think it is fair to say n a nice way,


probably did slow down the progress of the torch earlier this afternoon,


because if you were watching you may have seen the one and only Sir


Bruce Forsyth with the torch at White City. That, because it is the


seat of the 1908 Olympics. He is there now. So lovely to talk to you.


My goodness, you looked as if you were really, really enjoying


yourself. Give me a crowd as big as that and I'd do anything. I wish it


had been 1500 metres. I could have gone on back to Land's End, where


it started. It was so warm, so friendly and so lovely.


What happened before people had phones and cameras? I don't know!


It was a wonderful experience. One of the best experiences of my life.


We are seeing your famous pose. The most enormous cheer went up. We


have not had an estimate of the numbers of people there. Did you


think that you would be received by quite that many people? I am used


to it now, because I did the Albert Hall a couple of months ago, to


5,000 people. Then I did the Hop Farm Festival, which had 30,000


people. I am getting used to big crowds. I think I'll end up being


an arena performer! Perhaps not in the Olympic Park.


What do the Olympics mean to you? What are you looking forward to


most about the Olympics? Well, I love sport. I will watch every


minute of it. The only trouble is, like when I watch the Open Golf, at


the end I will be exhausted, because I go through every event


there will be. I will go through it with them. So, at the end I will be


so exhausted I will probably have to go into a London clinic, because


I do get involved in it. I love the competitiveness, because I have


been in show business, it is competitive. I love seeing the way


they train, what it means to them, the way they have dedicated


probably two years, maybe even three years, dedicated to these


three weeks. So, I am fascinated and I love it.


I can't wait to watch it. Have you bfpb invited to the


Opening Ceremony? Do they sneak you a special ticket? No. I'm not going


to the Opening Ceremony. There again I will love to watch it on


television. Not that there'll be any retakes - I hope not - any


retakes of the opening ceremony. I won't be there because it is about


two-and-a-half, three hours from where I live, so it would be an


effort to get there. I will be there in spirit. As I said earlier


to somebody, I hope all our British athletes, rowers and all of the


cyclists, everybody - I hope they get that little bit of luck, which


you need, like in show business, you always need a bit of luck. With


sporting people like this, that little bit of luck can make all the


difference between winning and losing. I hope every one of them


has that little bit of luck. Bruce Forsyth, that is a lovely


note on which to end. I am sure there are a lot of people who echo


those sentiments. We so enjoyed his performance with the torch earlier.


It is worth watching on iPlayer if you did not see it. This runner is


with the torch at the moment. The kiss has just taken place, I am


told. That kiss we have become sofa mill yar with in the last 69 days,


where one torch lights the next. One of the key elements the torch


organisers have been keen to stress is the individual stories -


torchbearers, the reasons they have been chosen, nominated. Let's talk


to just two of those torchbearers. With me here at Buckingham Palace


is Ahmed Jalloh and Sharon Coleman. Lovely you have brought your torch


as well. Both in Southwark - a key element of the preparations. Where


did you run with it, or walk with it? What your your feeling? I ran


with it on old Kent Road from the Tesco around the corner. What did


you make of the crowds? That is one thing which has been consistent -


the huge turnout? We didn't think there were going to be that many


people. As we came through Old Kent Road we started to see the crowds.


It was fantastic to see huge crowds, which I didn't expect. They did a


piece on the Southwark Life Magazine about my story. People


were holding it up. It was amazing to see.


It was fantastic! And you sound a little bit emotional, in a good way.


Was it the same for you? It was amazing. I ran through Camberwell.


I have to say, last year London was in trouble, this year was London at


its best. It was amazing, absolutely amazing! I live and work


in Southwark. Southwark residents and the community did us proud


today. It was amazing, emotional and amazing. 24 hours from the


opening ceremony, what is your feeling? My feeling, as Sharon was


saying, is many different races, colours, creeds and.... Ages.


It was a United Kingdom, I would say. It was very, very.... Amazing.


We were so lucky. We are humbled and so proud.


Fantastic to talk to you! They have remarkable stories - so


much charity work. There are so many stories we could relate as we


continue to monitor the torch's progress, as it makes its way here


to us at Buckingham Palace. I think it is still heading down regent's


street at the moment. Something of a jog going on. The


torchbearers are given a choice, you can jog, walk or do what Sir


Forsyth did and have your picture taken many, many times. Actually


not progress very far at all. Wherever you go, just hearing those


stories of Ahmed and Sharon, it is so moving, the stories every


torchbearer has to tell and people so touched by the turnout.


Ultimately it is all heading to East London, to the Olympic Park.


That will be tomorrow. The torch will be moved to the Olympic Park


tomorrow evening for that Opening Ceremony. Of course, let's reflect


on what we might see there. Let's cross over to my colleague Jon


Sopel. I thought we will try and show you


what will happen when you arrive at the Olympic Park. You will come out


of Stratford station, through the shopping centre, behind me, and you


will see rows of white tents - that is for the skurt City. They have --


security. That is where all the soldiers are and the G4s guys. They


will try and get you through as quickly as possible, so you can get


in and see the sport. As I walk through this way, the first thing


you will come across is the Aquatic Centre here - it's fantastic roof.


It is the second building in the park. It is where Rebecca


Adlington's hopes will be. They will guide you through the park. If


we go the other way, that is where the water polo will be played.


There, this used to be an absolute dump. It was where people dumped


their fridges. It was known as "fridge mountain" when they started


to redevelop the park. Of course it was just a mess this place. One of


the things I think that will strike you when you come to the Olympic


Park is the sense that it is more than just sporting venues that you


are going to come across. Some of the landscaping, some of the


gardens which have been built here are truly magnificent. I want to


give you a flavour of what you will see. The waterways are crystal-


clear. Fish are swimming in them. You will see trees, wonderful lawns,


amazing flowers. They have done a stunning job on redeveloping this


particular piece of land. So, they have got an awful lot to show you


here. I think what we need to do is also just spin around a bit because


I want to show you the rest of the park. These are some of the iconic


buildings you will see. The tallest structure which has been built. If


you go up that way, that is where you will find the velodrome, you


will find the basketball, handball, you name it - it's all in this park.


Take sturdy shoes with you. This park is huge. You'll do a lot of


walking when you come here. I have packed my trainers already.


Well, we have been reflecting on the progress of the torch so far,


as we build up to that opening ceremony. Let's speak to the IOC


historian, David Miller, who is with me at the palace this evening.


What a lovely story we heard from the young man who carried the torch


through Southwark. He said he felt it was a United Kingdom. You have


followed 21 Olympics. What is your take on London? I think it has been


truly exceptional. My opinion will be that it has united the people of


Great Britain more than say even the World Cup in 1966. The mood has


been phenomenal. Not only that, I think it has created a great sense


of national pride. I had to see someone this afternoon, the Ritz


Hotel which is elegant and sober has hanging in its lob bia Union


Jack half the size of a tennis court. It is quite exceptional.


People have taken to it, even the minor little streets in relatively


insignificant towns have been packed wall-to-wall. To say it has


united the nation more than the '66 World Cup is a statement. I feel


there could be someone listening to you, who says I live in a town or


city a long way from London, I can not afford to get to the Olympic


Park, or cannot afford tickets, what does it mean to me? How does


it unite a nation when it is concentrated in the south-east.


mood in Liverpool, or the north- east was equally euphoric about,


we're hosting the World Cup and we're hosting the world. I think


people have taken to this that Britain is now a kind of Noah's Ark


of the human race. Everybody is here. It is truly exceptional.


difficulties? We know Boris Johnson has had a few things to say about


the cynicism of some people. Actually, as a historian at the


Olympics, is that to be expected? Is that something we see in the


run-up to every Games? It is in the Anglo-Saxon nature I suppose.


Sydney was bleak about their Games, but in the end Sydney was a joyous


time. People respond in a particular way to the Olympics,


because, and I think this is so exceptional, the Olympics involves


the great and the small. You have the little people liquefyy


alongside the United States. No other sport has this side by side


of the great and the small. That separates the Olympics from


everything else. David Miller, it has been a pleasure speaking to you.


Thank you for that perspective, a man who has seen 21 Olympics, and


written by og graphrys of -- biographys of people involved.


I have never seen so many bikes moving along with such ease. It is


a beautiful sight in itself. The torch sets off. The crowds are


undimmed, aren't they? No matter where you look, no matter which


camera angle we take, thousands and thousands of people are out on the


streets. As Lord Coe was saying this afternoon in a news conference,


three million people in London have seen the torch, that is up until


the end of yesterday, not including today's figures. It culminates


tonight in Hyde Park. Let's cross over to the park and speak to


Sophie Raworth. The gates opened at 2pm for the concert. I imagine it


is getting very, very full where It is getting very, very full. A


wonderful atmosphere. Up to 60,000 people are here. The big acts, like


Dizzee Rascal and The Wanted. But it is the Olympic flame we are


waiting to see. It is due to areef here about 7.15pm tonight and the


last torchbearer of the day will carry the torch through the gate


over there, along the front of the stage and on the stage. The young


man who has the honour of carrying the flame at the end of this last


full day of the relay, is a 19- year-old called Taylor cap Ricks.


He has been chosen because he has achieved a great deal. He has


played for his county, he is a saxophonist. He does a bit of


modelling, too, but it is all about inspirational people. This theme of


this torch relay, it is their moment to shine, and it'll be a


moment for Tiler Nicks. Once he gets on to the stage he will be


greeted by the Mayor of London Borris Johnson and a couple of


surprised guests. They are not telling us who they are and then he


will light the cauldron. Amazing to think, Jane, tomorrow night it will


be the cauldron at the Olympic stadium that will be burning very,


very brightly. Yes, indeed. Many thanks, not so


long to go. Tyler was looking relaxed but he said he was very


nervous. No I have seen the shots and you get the sense of how many


people are waiting to see him, I think I would be a little nervous


as well. As we mentioned, the Games are started in terms of football.


Football is under way even though the opening ceremony hasn't


happened yet. Let's cross to Old Trafford and join our sports


correspondent Dan Roan, what is happening where you are there


tonight? Well an equally warm atmosphere here in Manchester. This


of course is a football-mad city with a team that has dominated


English football, Manchester United and current Premier League


champions, Manchester City. So it is no surprise that tens of


thousands of fans have flocked to Old Trafford here today to see what


will become the first time that Britain has been represented in the


men's' ball competition for over half a century. 1960 was the last


time that Team GB took part in that competition. For the first time


that will be repeated here this evening and people who are based


here in the north-west of the country are taking the opportunity


to experience the Olympic atmosphere here this evening. There


is a good crowd already inside the stadium for the match currently


ongoing between the UAE and Uruguay and then Team GB will play Senegal


later on this evening. It is an opportunity of course for Stuart


Pearce and his squad to try to win over some of the hearts and minds


of what has been a somewhat sceptical public. Many sports fans


up and down the country don't know quite what to make of the


millionaire professional Premier League stars being part of these


Olympic Games and the build-up hasn't been without difficulty.


There was the controversy over the emission of David Beckham. And the


fact that the FAs of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland didn't


want their players to be part of this and then one of the bigger


stars potentially for Stuart Pearce, Gareth Bale who plays of course for


Wales ruled himself out through injury and two days ago he was on


tour with his club Spurs and scored a go. That was embarrassing for


Team GB. -- scored a goal. Team GB are trying to play that down. But


today's game is a sellout. It is a chance for Ryan Giggs to lay down a


marker, he is the Captain, and to try to capture the public's


imagination. The torch, as you might have caught


from that still winding its way through London. You are watching a


BBC News Special and the torch will be arriving here at Buckingham


Palace in less than an hour. So much talk as we have already


reflected on the stories of the torchbearers. Let's talk to another


young man who you may be familiar with, if you have been following


this whole story of the torch relay, Alexandros Loukos is here tonight.


Hello again. Yes. Because you and I met, it feels like a long time ago


in ancient Olympia in beautiful sunny Greece for the lighting of


the Olympic flame and you were right at the start at the heart of


this and now it's almost upon us. How are you feeming with just 24


hours to go? It's true. -- how are you feeling? It is true. I'm very


excited. I was involved since the bid seven years ago. It was strange


to think that so many thousands of people have run with the torch


after myself and only last week I saw it outside of my house. The


journey has been incredible. you mentioned winning the bid. You


were in Singapore, I think, when that bid announcement came through


so you truly have been involved with London's Olympic bid from an


early stage. Yet I look at you again, you are a lot younger than


me. How does someone so young feel so passionate about it from an


early age? It is something we have grown up with, especially living in


the Olympic borough. I have been involved with it since I was 11.


I'm 20 now it. Has been a long time. It is something we have anticipated


and are excited Bit is very, very close to being here. -- excited


about. People of your age, your borough, you are born and bred east


London, I think. Are they genuinely excited about the Olympics? We hear


about cynicism. Do you experience that or is it, you know what, it is


in our hood. It is for us. wouldn't go as far as saying "our


hood" but events in the last few weeks have proved the doubters


wrong. You only have to look at how many are turning up to see the


torch and relay and in my home borough of Newham, the thousands of


people who were in Central Park to see the torch there. I don't think


people can Ceylon doneers are not looking forward to it no more --


people can say Londoners are not looking forward to it when so many


people are turning up. Are you surprised by the figures. We have


not seen the official figures as to the numbers out on the streets


today but it is clearly many thousands? Yes, many thousands. I'm


not surprised so many people have come out. That's what the Olympics


is all about to be honest with you. It is about everybody coming


together. It is nice to see so many people out and supporting the one


cause. Well Alexandros Loukos thank you very much. Lovely to talk to


you again. What is your role during the Olympics? Do you have a


specific role or is it about watching it and enjoying it? I know


me and the Singapore Youth Ambassadors are going to the youth


ceremony tomorrow and we are going to be involved in other events.


Enjoy the two-and-a-half weeks. Good to see you again. Alexandros


Loukos there, who has been involved from a very early stage. Let's


assess again, and see whether my knowledge of the geography of


London is sufficient that I can work out where it is. It has been


down Regent's Street. I'm trying to work out where it might be pushing


through to now. It is coming down Charring Cross


Road and the torch now being carried by Charles Sale a marathon


runner. He has been nominated. Well there is a story behind everyone.


He has been nominated because he used to carry rather more weight


than he liked to. He was determined to get fit and lost five stone and


became something of a marathon addict and is now so keen thieves


nominated to run with the torch. And the kiss again, the familiar


symbol that we have become used to. 69 days ago I don't think we knew


what a kiss was in relation to the torch. But we certainly do now.


Thousands of people out, look how many people taking - just as Bruce


Forsyth said earlier, what did we do before we had phone that is took


pictures? I don't think there is anyone without outstretched arms


trying to capture that movement let's return to Philipa Thomas who


was surrounded by a huge number of people out on the Mall to see the


torch once it gets here to Buckingham Palace. What is


happening where you are? It is all building up. Not so long to go now


before the torch gets here. It will be the fourth royal residence the


torch has gone through, it has gone to Windsor, Balmoral and


Sandringham and now to Buckingham Palace. Among those queueing up we


have found this family. Where are you from? From West Hampstead in


north London. You are from north London and you are all very ready.


Tell me how old you are and what your name is? I'm Alex and I'm six.


Are you most excited about seeing the torch or about seeing the Royal


Family? Well kind of both. Have you seen the torch before?


Well, yes. No. This will be your chance to see


the torch. You came to camp out and you are excited about both,


presumably about seeing William, Kate and Harry as well. Yes. Have


you been watching the torch at all? Seeing pictures of it as it goes


around the country. Today we came across a runner and held the torch


and took photos. So you have had up-close physical contact with the


torch. Yes. Do you watch royal events? Were you watching Jubilee


events? Yes we woke up every morning early and got the TV on and


starting watching. This is a royal- watching family. You are so close


to the gates, you are going get a good view, aren't you? Yes, I am so


happy. Will you take lots of photos? I won't stop. It will be


fun. It will be nice. I hope you all have a lovely time. I saw you


sprucing everyone up for the camera. Enjoy your time. Just to say the


torch will come in at this gai. Everybody here is in a great


position to see the torch first come in: it will be carried by a


bearer from a charity who deals with disaster aid and as it goes


around it'll see William, Kate and Harry before leaving Buckingham


Palace. Back to you. Lovely, how nice to get a cheer for all your


work Philipa. Let's see whether Jon Brain has raise a cheer with the


crowds in Trafalgar Square. Jon, your attempt? Perfect timing. I


hope you can hear me over the BBC helicopter. But here is the torch


arriving in the heart of London, Trafalgar Square, in front of the


National Gallery and that's 15- year-old Patrick Kane, who has the


honour of carrying it... PROBLEMS WITH SOUND


Oh, I do apologise, I think we are clearly having a few problems with


the sound from Jon Brain but as he was suggesting incredibly noisy


there. He was starting to tell us about the young man carrying the


torch at the moment. As he said, just 15 years' old. His is a


remarkable story. He lost his right leg at a very young age. He


contracted meningococcal septicaemia before he was even one.


He had a whole series of operations. He had to have his right leg


amputated below the knee and also lost a number of fingers. A truly


inspirational young man. In fact, I believe, oh Jon is back with us.


But we were just reflecting on the remarkable nature of this young boy


and what he has had to put up with in his life but has achieved so


much in spite of him being the youngest person to be fitted with


prosthetics? Hello, Jane, yes. He is an


extraordinary story. He had meningitis as a child and had to


have a leg amputated and most of his right hand. He survived the


meningitis and has been fitted with the world's most advanced bionic


hand. He calls himself the Bionic Boy. He has been chosen to carry


the torch because he is someone who people say has never been defined


by his disability. He has always managed to rise above it. Really


cheerful. You can see him smiling away there as he totally takes part


in the whole range of life and its activities. He is said to be a real


inspiration to other people. Here he goes, he is walking threw the


huge crowds which have built up, as they have all over the country to


see the arrival of the torch, getting applauded as he walks down


through Trafalgar Square, heading down Downing Street. He will be


handing the torch over to Kate Nesbitt a servicewoman who won an


award for bravery for her actions in 2009. It is a remarkable story,


like so many people 9 torchbearers. It is not just about celebrities


and sports stars. So many of them aren't very well known outside


their own communities, but very special nonetheless. Well that's it


from Trafalgar Square. Now the torch is heading back your way and


towards Downing Street. Yes, making its way back here eventually to


Buckingham Palace. What a fabulous shot from the helicopter. It might


be noisy but I think the shots are worth it. What a stunning scene


when you look down on Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column and the


National Gallery and see the sea of people who are out in the beautiful,


beautiful London sunshine, gradually making its way to buck


become Palace. It will be here after 6 owe clkpm. It is also going


to -- 6 owe clkpm. It is also going to Number Ten Downing Street. Let's


head over to Carole Walker. I cannot get a sense of how many


people are out where you are. But It is untourbl find a scene like


this. We've -- unusual to find a scene like this. We have several


hundred children here from local schools. David Cameron is talking


to the school children. He's getting an awful lot of cheers and


applause - something which has been unusual over the last few days. All


the concerns about the safety, the transport, the weather and so on


for the Olympic Games. But he's out here now, talking to some of the


children who are here, with their parents, with their teachers, with


the Olympic Torch due to arrive here in the next 10-15 minutes. As


you heard there it will be Kate Nesbit bringing the torch into


Downing Street. She is the second woman in the military ever to have


won the Military Cross. She was out in Afghanistan, she was with a unit


which came under fire and she braved the bullets, literally, to


save the life of one of her colleagues who was Lance Corporal


List, who had been shot in the neck and undoubtedly saved his life.


David Cameron met her at a reception and decided that it


should be she who brought the flame here into Downing Street. There is


really an extraordinary sense of occasion here, as we have these


children here. Usually Downing Street is a very restricted zone.


Very few people are allowed up to the front door. There are hundreds


of school children, crowded in here, waiting for the big moment. David


Cameron is here. Samantha Cameron is there, alongside him, talking to


some of the children who are lucky enough to have been brought here


today. I should say, amongst the school children here is Logan


Macarrow, he is the young boy, only five years old, who made a replica


torch, as many of these school children have and when he heard


that some of the people who had held the real torch were selling


their on eBay for profit, he decided to do the same with his


replica and he has in fact raised over �15,000 for a charity for deaf


children. So an extraordinary feat for someone just five years old. He


is somewhere among the children. Some have been into the rose garden


at Number Ten. They have had squash, biscuits and sandwiches, after


their journey here. They are awaiting the arrival of theor nch


the next 10-15 minutes. -- the torch within the next 10-15 minutes.


No politicians are allowed to touch the torch, but he will be there to


see it as it nears the end of this extraordinary journey. Many thanks


for now. I have a feeling, looking at our images from our helicopter,


it may be closer to you in Downing Street than perhaps you realise,


but, it's always a tricky judgment call. There have been periods where


the torch has been travelling more slowly than the organisers might


like, and then it speeds up again. The point there made that


politicians absolutely not allowed to carry the torch. They are one


group of people who are not allowed to. We have seen a lot of sebreb


Brittys today. A -- celebrities today.


Most people have been members of the public, chosen for their


special contribution to their community.


David Miller, the IOC historian still watching these remarkable


images with us tonight as it approaches Downing Street and then


will make its way here to Buckingham Palace. Earlier you were


reflecting on, as we all have, the remarkable turnout. Is it possible


to assess whether it's better than perhaps the organisers might have


hoped? Do they give any sense of what the expectation is before the


torch relay actually gets under way? Are they reluctant to put


figures on it perhaps? It has exceeded everything. We are a world


nowadays of superstars and celebrities and it seems only the


important people feature in news items and so on. This has brought


out the anonymous. There was one particular girl and I don't


remember her name, who said "I don't know where I am. I am


surrounded by thousands of people and about to have the best day of


my life." So, then besides the injured, the maimed, the poor souls


who have given everything in Afghanistan and come back and still


want to run a leg to show their courage, their determination, you


have had elderly people. There was a lady of 90 who said "You just


have to keep at it." It has revealed, I think, so much about


the British nature and British character. There was the great


uncle of Chris Hoy, who is 95. Perhaps we will talk in a moment


more. Let's return now to Downing Street.


Kate Nesbit with the torch making her way along. Carole Walker, our


political correspondent there, as you were reflecting, this is a


scene we don't normally witness outside Number Ten. Extraordinary,


as all the school children, their parents, teachers, here in Downing


Street a plaud Kate arriving with the torch -- applauding Kate


arriving the torch. Meeting David Cameron, talking to him there.


Samantha Cameron is there. Kate Nesbit was chosen by the Prime


Minister as the person who should have the honour of bringing the


torch into Downing Street. They are having a quick chat here. They are


having a quick word. It is worth noting that the Prime Minister


himself is not going to be touching that torch. It is forbidden for


politicians to get their hand on it. However, she is there, out on the


streets, on the steps of Downing Street w the Prime Minister,


Samantha Cameron and, yes, Downing Street is usually a secure zone. Of


course people do visit, politicians visit, visiting heads of state,


diplomats, but it is very rare to see so many people here, in this


glorious sunshine, which we have been reflecting on, as the torch


nears the end of this epic journey. All the children here have had


their own Olympic projects. They have all got involved in one way or


another. Many have raised money for charity. There we go, the Prime


Minister is waving for the cameras. An extraordinary sense of


achievement. I am sure the Prime Minister will hope that after all


the concerns there have been, all the negative stories about the


preparations for the Olympics, the concerns about the security, the


need to call up extra troops, the concerns about the transport and


how difficult it might be to get around, the concerns about... There


we have the kiss, as they call it. The torch is about to be handed to


Florence Roe, who is 81 years old. As I was saying, David Cameron will


be hoping that the extraordinary mood of excitement and optimism


will now be maintained in the final preparations before the big opening


ceremony tomorrow night. Of course, it is important, not


just for the nation, but for the Government, that these Games are a


success. He made the point today that previous Governments had a big


hand in bringing the Olympics to London. There we have it. That is


81-year-old Florence Roe. She was 18 years old when the 1948 Olympic


Games were held here in London and remembers the excitement.


She remembers the excitement of coming along to see the Games.


She's a huge sports fan, a supporter of Wycombe Wanderers.


Extraordinary to see, as you have been reflecting, the variety of,


the 8,000, as there will be by the end of the journey, who have had


the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch on this 8,000-mile journey.


By yesterday evening, it was estimated that 12.5 million people


had actually seen the torch somewhere along the journey.


I think, at the beginning there was scepticism that people would


maintain their interest over this long journey around the country,


but it is extraordinary how different communities, towns,


villages, cities, throughout all the communitys have come out to see


the torch. I think we have hoping that the Prime Minister is going to


talk to us shortly. We hope that Kate, who had the honour of


bringing the torch up into Downing Street, will be with us shortly.


Thank you. A very quick final thought from David Miller, our


historian, because you yourself were nominated to carry the torch,


but you gave that honour to somebody else. I thought better


than a Gerry yachtic old guy it would be more appropriate to have


someone young and aspirational so I donated it to the City of Norwich


School. They choose a lovely young girl, Catherine Shayler. She ran in


Felixstowe, a small town in East Anglia, received the torch from


Adrian Moorhouse. The street was packed, wall-to-wall. She set off,


carrying this flame as though she was off to see The Wizard of Oz. It


was such a dramatic, lovely moment. I think it personifyed everything


that is best about the relay. David Miller, a lovely thought on


which to close our special coverage here tonight. Many thanks for being


with us. The IOC historian and the flame getting closer and closer to


Buckingham Palace, on a really quite stunning day for London. That


is just about it from this BBC News Special, on the last full day of


course of the torch relay around the UK. 8,000 miles, very nearly


8,000 torchbearers, to all corners of the nation. The Olympic flame


has lit up the lives of millions of people. From here, at Buckingham


Palace tonight, we will leave you with just a few of the memorable


images of its journey. Continuing coverage all night on BBC News.


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