Part Two London 2012: Countdown to the Olympics

Part Two

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Good afternoon, on this the day that the London 2012 Games


officially get under way. We are here at the heart of the Games, at


the Olympic Park in East London, where at 9.00pm this evening the


opening ceremony will begin, watched by hundreds of millions of


people across the globe. Welcome to this BBC News special,


as we countdown to the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Over the next hour,


we will be looking forward to that opening ceremony, the details of


which are still top secret, and we will be following the Olympic flame


as it makes its final journey towards the Olympic Stadium behind


me. Now this is the scene right now on the River Thames. The flame is


carried towards City Hall, near Tower Bridge where it's going to be


handed over and kept safe until the lighting ceremony tonight. It's


being transported on board the Gloriana, the Royal barge which


played such a prominent role in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. What


a team of rowers they have on board there. 29 Olympians, who have rowed


for Great Britain in Olympic Games, dating right back to 1948.


They set off from Hampton Court Palace at around 7.30am and it's


been a very long journey for them. But they are almost there. Out on


the river we will be sailing alongside the Gloriana, we will


hear from our correspondents there and also at Tower Bridge where the


flame will be transferred to another barge and then kept safe


until the beginning of that lighting ceremony this evening. We


will be talking to our correspondent Jane Hill, who will


be there. But first, let's show you the flame's journey, as it happened


this morning. It set off from Hampton Court Palace at 7.30am


after a quick visit to the famous Hampton Court maze.


Now, even though you can't see or, can just about see, I can tell that


you it was 19-year-old Klara Weaver carrying the torch, a double junior


European rowing champion. You will be pleased to She's A Character


obviously made it to the -- she obviously made it to the centre of


the maze and just out in time again to hand it to the next torchbearer,


a 13-year-old. Now, the Gloriana has now almost


reached her destination. She is are live images you can see. She's


being accompanied by a flotilla of boats and it's being carried in


three different sections. They started out from Hampton Court


Bridge, a host of vessels accompanying her as she goes. 450


rowers in total. They will be joining the Gloriana as she heads


towards Tower Bridge. Finally at her destination, and


this is where the flame will be handed over. They will give it -


they will be received by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who will


be there, to greet the flame when it arrives. Then the flame is going


to be transferred to another barge and taken under Tower Bridge to its


resting location, let's say, where it will wait until the lighting


ceremony at the Olympic Stadium this evening. What a sight on the


River Thames. There have been thousands and thousands of people


who have turned out to see her. There you are, some of the


Olympians who have taken part in Olympic Games dating back to 1948.


What a moment for them as they row the flame right up to Tower Bridge.


On board the Gloriana some of the torch security team who have


accompanied the flame on its 70-day journey since it set out in May


from Cornwall, from Land's End in Cornwall, extraordinary to think


that journey is finally coming to a close. 8,000 torchbearers, almost


8,000 miles. Only about a handful of miles left until the flame


reaches the Olympic Park this evening.


On board HMS Belfast with a wonderful view is Jane Hill.


Thank you, Sophie. I feel lucky to be standing here. I have to say


it's taken the spectators and everybody here somewhat by surprise,


you were talking about a long journey, and a tough row down the


Thames, but they've obviously done it in record time. They've made it


to Tower Bridge here, practically 15 or 20 minutes in advance of


their scheduled time, I think. With me, and he's been here on BBC News


all day, Jock, we have been following the progress of this


flotilla, the final stage of the torch. Here it is on board the


Gloriana. This really is a moment for the Thames. This is a moment


for the Thames. Remember that in years past the Thames was the


highway for the entrance into London. We are recreating that and


what better to bring in the Olympic flame than on board the Queen's row


barge itself, and I can see lots of enthusiasm down there, they don't


seem too tired from the trip. They're waving away. Isn't that


marvellous? They got a lot of waves from everybody here on board HMS


Belfast. They did indeed, as you suggest, look still very cheery. I


should say, the crowds just in the last hour, we have been here all


morning, both sides of the Thames absolutely packed. Thousands of


people out and Tower Bridge, a sea of people as well, grabbing the


very best vantage point in the capital to see this moment and to


see 22-year-old Amber Charles from Newham, who is the young girl, the


basketball player, who has been chosen, who will be handing over


the torch. And the Gloriana just remind us, because you were an


othersman, you have broken records, there is nothing you don't know


about vessels on this river. Totally unique. 14 tonnes. One of


the things I wouldn't want to do is be stuck, we would quickly go


overboard. They're raising their oars to the flame. All coming


alongside. A little secret is on board we actually got, because it's


difficult to control, we have a couple of thrusters, and they can


control the boat quite precisely where she is going. Noisy here on


board, lots of klaxons and cheering and the helicopters up above. A


really glorious moment. Remind us, the crew on board, jock, because


they've assembled a fantastic mixture of Britain's best. I made a


comment, they're golden Goldies, from 1948. All the way through to


the Sydney Olympics, all there. Steve Williams, part of that


amazing gold medal-winning four from Beijing.


Even Johnnie Searle there. We are hoping and expecting that his


brother, Greg, will come back with a gold medal this time. 20 years on,


after his last gold medal. Mike Hart. Who really started it in 1976


and re-energising of British rowing, getting their silver medal. Sarah,


now head of the Olympic athletes commission in the UK, up waving


away there. Gwen, I am trying to get them all in. We will talk much


more about all of that, a huge cheer just went up from the crowds,


particularly at the base of City Hall, they really have the best


vantage point right now, because they're in full sight of the


Gloriana and that cauldron burning bright there.


Also, watching all of this with us today, the historian of the flame,


Philip Barker, we have spoken many times through this torch relay and


this is quite some fashion in which to end the relay, isn't it? This is


arguably the most dramatic fashion. They had a boat in Sydney, but


nothing as stylish as this. It began in the ancient Olympic ruins


at the temple when the flame was lit on May 10th, came to Land's End


and it was Ben aeubsly -- Ainsley, a sailor, who carried the flame and


arriving here is important, because 1894 is when Tower Bridge was built,


that was the year they decided to revive the Olympic Games and,


therefore, it's an appropriate place. City Hall is where they're


stowing the ceremony flag that Boris Johnson collected in Beijing


and will be handed over to Rio after these Games. Over the road,


the Tower of London where medals are kept for all the competitions


of the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Kept very safe in the Tower of


London. As indeed the flame was one week ago when it was brought to the


Tower of London and that's where it was kept safe overnight for its


first night in the host city. Jock, explain, because we are so


lucky standing here on HMS Belfast, a flotilla that we are looking out


at. This has been a three-stage flotilla today. Explain the other


craft that have been involved. a three-stage flotilla, from


Hampton Court. First of all, accompanied by the - - there are


five skip rowing clubs. You have doubles with one cox. They're not


sliding seats. They're flat seats. All can be a bit painful at times.


Then as soon as we got down to the tideway, accompanied by members of


London Youth Rowing and today the watermans cutters, which came about


as a result of the great river race. A means of trying to introduce


traditional rowing back on the river. The cutters there, normally


rowed by some six people and you can either skull, one person, two


two oars. There are 28 of these now. There's regular racing schedule for


all these boats. Even there we have former Olympians, we have former


record-breakers, people who have rowed oceans all taking part, all


becoming part of this scene. This is what is so great about this, we


are all part of this. 13 million people have watched the torch and


seen and been part of the torch around. Here we have culminating in


this incredible scene with the Queen's row barge.


We will talk more over the course of the hour, thank you very much,


for now. We will be keeping an eye on the Gloriana, of course.


Sophie, we will head back east and rejoin you at the Olympic Park.


Thank you very much. We will stay with those pictures, with me here


is Jeremy Hunt, of course the Culture Secretary. Twoufl see those


image -- wonderful to see those images of the Gloriana with the


Olympic flame. Absolutely fantastic. The thing about that torch is it's


really shown Britain at its best. On Friday, I was in the village I


grew up in, in Surrey and the torch came through and it was like our


own special Royal wedding moment happening in that village. It's


done that in communities up and down the country. We think by the


end of this perhaps a quarter of the population have lined the


streets at some stage or another to see the torch. Incredible. Until


even before yesterday it was millions, I think three million


people according to Lord Coe who turned out in London alone to see


the flame. Scotland, Wales, I think the thing about that torch and in


fact the whole Olympics project is that it's bringing out the best in


people and the best in the country and you see it in the 70,000


volunteers involved in the project. The people who made that torch


relay project such a success. The police, armed services, the


thousands of people working for different companies and


organisations. Everybody has a smile on their face. It feels like


a magic has arrived in London. And indeed in the country, which is


just a very, very special moment. was in Hyde Park last night when it


arrived and the flame was run in there and some of the torch


security team have accompanied it since it left Athens, were rather


emotional. This evening, however, it arrives here at the stadium


behind us, we are not sure where the cauldron will be, but that's


going to be a huge moment for Britain, isn't it? That's an image


that will be pronged around the -- projected around the world, up to a


billion people could be watching. Or even more T will be the biggest


single ad for Britain in our history. It's an incredible moment.


We have a sort of national virtue of being modest sometimes, but this


will not be a moment for modesty. This is going to be a moment when


we have to bang the drum for all the things that we are proud of,


the fact that we are the home of culture and literature from


Shakespeare to Dickens, to Harry Potter. The fact that eight of the


world's top ten sports are either invented or co-defied in Britain.


The contribution we have made to democracy and freedom through the


ages. So many of the big battles happened here and I know Danny


Boyle will want to celebrate all of that and it's going to be a moment


we can all feel in that quiet What a way to upon Danny Boyle's


shoulders. Because this is the defining image? It is a big


responsibility, but I think he will do it in a quirky, British way.


There will be a lot of humour and a lot of fun. The world will see us


as we are. But there will be those things we are proud of, the things


Britain has done to shape the modern world, the big changes that


have made the world what it is today. Sometimes we forget how much


of a role Britain played. Thousands of people turning out along the


riverside and the Thames watching the flame and right now. Britain,


we are told is ready for these Games. Mitt Romney, the


presidential hopeful yesterday expressed out. Are we ready?


absolutely ready. A project of this Gail, you are going to have a few


hitches, but we are over them now. He Jack Rudd, the President of the


IOC said London is more ready than any other city he has seen before.


We will prove Mitt Romney wrong. do have some hard acts to follow,


Beijing being one of them? They have been many previous successful


Olympics, but London is the only city in the world to host the


Olympics three-times. We don't just have incredible sport, but


incredible culture and we are one of the most cosmopolitan and


exciting cities in the world. lot of people heard Big Ben ringing


out this morning just after 8am to mark the official start of the


Games. You were on board hate to miss Belfast and had a bit of an


incident? I was ringing a bell in an excited way, and the bell


collapsed in my hand and went flying off! I have always been a


big fan of Hugh Donna Gill, and it was my own 2012 moment. It was a


clanger, if you will excuse the pun. Let's go back to Jayne Hill who is


by the river and watching proceedings.


Even since we last spoke, I feel the crowds are swelling. We look


down both sides of the Thames from our vantage point on board HMS


Belfast, thousands and thousands of people really crowding every


section of the water from so that you can see. This is the image from


the lucky people who got here early enough to be on Tower Bridge itself.


Still open to traffic, as you can see. But lining Tower Bridge right


across its ban. What have you they have of the Gloriana, Gloriana and


these final moments for the Olympic torch. The 17th day of the torch


relay. Our guests are watching all of these proceedings. Just another


word about Gloriana, a magnificent vessel, to the uninitiated such as


myself. You think very beautiful, very majestic, but there is more to


it than that? Unique, and British- built. Rediscovering the traditions


of hundreds of years ago. That a vessel is actually based on an 18th


century design. So going back to nobility when the royals were taken


up and down the Thames. This was a highway. Here she is, through the


efforts have of a few good people, we now eventually have a Royal


barge once again, which will go on to do lots of charitable functions


with the Royal Family. Something we should be intensely proud of. We


have the national flags on board. Inside, on the panels inside we


have 16 facts of the realms of the Commonwealth. A stunning example of


Britain. I think we should all be taken aback about the speed with


which these guys have got down here? Much earlier and much faster


than expected. This is the crucial moments as we watch. That is 22-


year-old Amber Charles. A beaming smile, as well she might. 22 years


old from Newham in London, one of the Olympic boroughs. She is a


basketball player. As we have seen, with a few torch-bearer has over


the last 70 days, she has been involved with London's before the


Olympics from the start. She has been involved from Singapore, that


moment we remember at which it was revealed London had one false start


she was one of the young ambassadors involved. In fact, she


presented the IOC proposal, the British proposal, I should say, two


members of the IOC back into 1004. Big cheers as she waves to the


crowd. -- 2004. There is the Olympic torch lit from the cauldron.


She is standing by the green ring, one of the five Olympic rings. At


the base of city hall. Thousands and thousands of people watching,


lining the route to on the South Bank of the Thames. No of course,


over the last 70 days, and certainly the organisers of the


torch relay have been keen to tell us one of the key elements of this


relay was of course about getting everyone in Britain to have a


chance to see the torch, but also they wanted to pick out inspiring


individuals, what ever their age to be a torch-bearer. Amber Charles


has been chosen in this instance as just one such. The youngest torch-


bearer was just 12 years old. The oldest had turned 100 by the time


she carried the flame. Amber Charles has been chosen because it


is said she inspires young people to play sport and take up sport.


Philip Barker, you have written about so many a Olympic Jenny's.


Here we are, finally at the end of the 70 days, which started with the


lighting of the flame in ancient Olympia in Greece. One assumes the


organisers of this relay must be delighted with the last few weeks?


They must be delighted. They are not revealing he will be the final


court run there. It seemed such a long time ago she took a bit to the


headquarters of the International Olympic Committee. And on that


famous day in July 2005, when Shacklock announced London will


have the Games, and it is worth remembering the Queen is the patron


of the British Olympic Association's. -- he Jacques Rogge.


She has connections through the Olympics with her family as well.


We have seen the Royal seal of if approval because the flame went


through Buckingham Palace yesterday. Windsor Castle a few weeks ago when


the Queen had bad luck with the weather. But the Queen will become


the first head of state to open two summer Olympic Games. She opened


the 1976 Games in Montreal and did it in French. She will do it in her


own country, her father did the last one. Jock Wisheart, a man who


has spent his life to being on the water, how is it before you it is


ending on the River Thames? It is a magic moment, it is such a


privilege to be here on what is a bit of history happening. It is


truly a unique occasion. To see them all standing there, saluting


the flame. It will now go into city hall and sometime tonight we will


find out - there has been a lot of things of course - if you ask me,


you would have to kill me false start do you know more than you can


let on? I do no more. But there is a lot of money riding on it from


the bookies will stop to try to give you a sense, a little earlier


this morning I was talking to the bridge master from Tower Bridge.


Talking about his pride in having the Olympic rings hanging from


Tower Bridge, as they have been for the last few months. He gave us a


small clue, and he said Tower Bridge will be playing, as he put


it, a small, but spectacular role in tonight's celebrations. The


flame will be hidden away for a few hours this afternoon, and tonight,


you are smiling, you know more than ideas. At some point tonight it


will lead Tower Bridge and make its way East and will end up at the


Olympic Park for the Opening Ceremony. So for the next few


minutes, this is the last we will see of the flame until the key


Opening Ceremony tonight. From our vantage point, I can see from


another camera, and the Charles, not being let go by the crowds,


still waving and cheering. People taking photographs. Thousands and


thousands of people lining the banks of the Thames this lunchtime,


to mark the very last stage of the Olympic torch relay. And a


reflection of England's Maritime heritage, the fact we are an island


nation, that is one of the reasons that drove these final stages. But


is it being not about some of the sports to come? We do have lots of


almost bankers, in terms of bringing home the gold medal.


cannot use that word about medals. What delighted me today, is not


only this historic journey recreating the past of going from


hand and caught, the same passage royalty had taken years ago, but it


passed by so many famous clubs who were the origins of some of the


sports. Went back the Royal canoe Club. I am sure Tim Brabants and


would have been there this morning. We went back the Thames Sailing


Club -- went past the Thames Sailing Club. It was not only


rowing, but all sailing sports false start this is as big as a


pageant for the finish. Lovely to have you with us. Let's return to


the Olympic Park. Sophie, for now on the River Thames, back to you.


We will stay with those pictures, but the chief executive officer of


the British Olympic Association, Andy Hunt joins me. The focus is on


the Opening Ceremony, tomorrow it is all down to you? You are right,


this is it, the end of the journey. But the rubber hits the road


tomorrow, with the road cycle race. The athletes are really, really


excited about tonight. But to be the home team at a Home Games in


that Opening Ceremony, marching out last is something incredibly


special. A lot of them will get on and compete. How are they? You have


been at the athlete's village for two weeks, and a lot have been


arriving over the past few days, what kind of spirit of a in?


mood in the camp is fantastic. It is a united team. We had brought


together 39 different sports to work together as one team. The


feeling is fantastic. Everybody's plans have come together, they know


what they need to do and now it is a case of getting out there and


scoring goals, winning races, what ever they need to do. I believe we


are ready to do that. The pressure is on their soldiers, not least


because they did so well in Beijing? You are absolutely right,


47 medals, 19 gold, 4th place in the medal table in Beijing was


extraordinary. We shouldn't underestimate how difficult it will


be to beat that. I do believe we will deliver more medals from all


sports in over a century. I believe we will get more than 48 medals and


we will do what ever we can to retain our place in the medal table.


More gold medals amazing? I know every athlete in the team will give


it their best shot. -- Beijing's. So many of them shooting for gold.


If we focus on every day of competition, each athlete is


focused on that race, that match they are participating in an the


medal table will take care of itself. What about Phillips Idowu,


do you think he will be taking part? Lots of confusion, but we


really wants him to be back and fully fit and able to compete. He


is a fantastic medal hope for us. He has a few more days to get fit.


We are in discussions with his team to make sure we can provide any


medical support we can. We have probably the top sports medical


experts in the village with us. Have you spoken to him yourself?


chief medical officer is in discussions with his team. You are


confident he will be here? Injuries are difficult things, you never


know how long. But everyone in the country would like to see him


It's been a huge turnaround from Atlanta when we came home with one


gold medal. 36th place in the table was a low point. I remember some


historic comments by Matthew Pinsent about, we can't go on like


this any more and we didn't. It changed. We won the Games. The


investment that's gone into sport in this country is fantastic.


Winning gold medals is not just about incredibly talented athletes,


and we have lots of those, it's about the incredible coaches that


we have and the whole system that supports them out there. I think


sport's in a good place right now. Thank you very much for joining us.


Let's go back to the River Thames now and Jane Hill on HMS Belfast.


Thank you, Sophie. I am joined by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,


who has run over to HMS Belfast. Welcome. Hello. From City Hall,


where you were just watching. watching the torch, it's about to


come in to City Hall. Then we are going to have a brief ceremony of


some kind and we are then going to send it down river again, to a


place that used to be an industrial wasteland and it's now the Olympic


Park, it's an incredible moment for lots of people who have been


working hard on this for a long time. On the scale of nervousness


to excitement, where are you right now? Well, the sort of - it's


creaking towards the red zone now. There's no doubt. But it's an


extraordinary thing to watch. The torch seems to have this benign


contagion in people and it gets people. It moves them in ways that


you simply don't expect. Some people remain immune, I mean, a


famous broadcaster from Sky News, I won't embarrass by mentioning by


name, tells me he is invulnerable to this. But most people I meet


they get caught up in it and it's quite primitive. Just one week ago


we were there over at the Tower of London, we saw the flame arrive,


abseil down from the helicopter. I wonder what your thoughts have been


as the Mayor of London, just in the last week, purely in in terms of


the way people in the capital n the host city, have turned out as


indeed they have today? Shall I give you the figures, we are


talking so far until the crack of dawn this morning, 3.9 million


people who had already come to watch the torch with their own eyes.


So, probably looking at the crowds today, we must be up at 4.5 million.


Five million at least by the time the thing is over. That is a


substantial proportion, more than half the population of the city.


London is seven, eight million. A big, big thing is happening. I


think future socialologists will want to get what feelings are


evoked by this flickering burning gas. Some cynics you mentioned


might say but a lot of those are tourists, London is always


attractive to tourists, you don't have to stage an Olympics at this


time of year. Let's hope so. We obviously are hoping to benefit


from tourist revenue, and also the objective of this exercise is not


just to throw a great party and have a great Games, which is tral


to it -- central to it, tpwou get investment in our city and it mean


that is the world looks at London and forms a favourable impression,


I am all for it. The next two weeks are crucial to forming that


impression as well? If it all goes smoothly and we are discussing this


after the closing ceremony then you will be a happy man? I am not going


to claim there there won't be imperfections problems, of course


there are going to be things that, you know, the media will rightly


want to pick up on, but overall, I hope it will go very well indeed


and we are going to use City Hall as a continuous kind of you - we


have created lots of wonderful models of parts of London that are


now very, very attractive for investment. We had a thing in


Lancaster House yesterday with all those global titans, they need no


persuading that London is the greatest city on earth and has an


amazing future. We are located between the great Asian growing


economies, and North America. We have the right time zone, the right


language, a young, dynamic population. We are unlike any other


city in Europe in that we have a growing population. We have several


parts of the London economy that are showing amazing dine


dineamicism. For someone listening to you, for the sake of argument in


Aberdeen, Belfast, how does that benefit them? It does, and I don't


want to sound manically, London- centric. The evidence is if you get


London working and moving you thoep drive the rest of the UK. We export


about �29 billion of -- �19 billion of tax a year to the rest of the


country. I hope that people understand that


argument. All right, as we watch the Gloriana


move away, a cracking opening ceremony tonight, have you been


privy to the dress rehearsals? haven't seen the rehearsals. I did


see rushes ages ago. I can't tell you what's going to happen t would


be wrong. You would be sacked! Exactly right, but it's going to be


fantastic. Enjoy the opening ceremony, Mayor of London, thank


you very much for joining us here on board HMS Belfast.


Gloriana pulls away from the Olympic rings. Cheers from the many,


We will stay with these pictures of this fabulous vessel, if we


possibly can. Let's also talk Olympic matters,


tickets, let's head to our sports correspondent Joe Wilson, because


he is at Lord's. Terribly hard to hear myself think here on the


Thames, perhaps easier where you are.


It is a little quieter, because this is the first example of London


Olympic sport. This is a preliminary round of the archery


competition. You can maybe make out the world's best female Archers


behind me. There have been problems outside. To be clear, a lot of


archery authorities made it absolutely clear that today's


action was not open to the public. But, it was widely advertised as


unticketed. That's an interesting word to interpret. A lot of people,


I would say hundreds, interpreted unticketed as meaning it was


basically a free for all. That they could arrive at their leisure with


families and come and watch. There were dozens of really quite


disgruntled Archery fans outside this morning. For example, the


Gibson family from Oregon in the United States and were left feeling


Thank you very much for now, Joe Wilson at Lord's cricket ground. We


will assess that and see how that goes over the course of the day.


Back here on the River Thames it is the very closing elements of a 70-


day torch relay. This, if you are just joining us,


is the Gloriana. Her Majesty's row barge, it has just delivered the


last torchbearer of the 70-day relay, a 22-year-old young


basketball player, Amber Charles from Newham, east London. Now the


flame is kept hidden effectively for a few hours, and it will be


taken from Tower Bridge to the opening ceremony tonight for the


last 70 days we have focused so much on the torchbearers, their


stories, but also the torch itself. I am delighted that the designers


of said torch are with us here on board HMS Belfast. Gentlemen,


lovely to have you with us, Jay and Edward, thank you very much for


being here. It was your studio that won the commission. The torch that


you are holding that we have become familiar with and I should say


congratulations, because it's the design museum's design of the year,


I think I am right in saying. That's correct, yeah. When you were


first asked or first won the commission, goodness, where were


you on the scale of excitement versus anxiety? Amazing. They did a


bit of an X Factor on us and lulled us - they made us believe we hadn't


won it and revealed it to us. We incredibly excited and jumping in


the air. You were on a flight at the time. I missed that X Factor


moment. I was on a flight to New York. I had a text from Jay saying


we have got it. Incredible. actual design process, the meetings


with people who I assume within the authorities gave you a sense of


weight, price, what they wanted to transmit. The project, when we were


asked to do the project, we were given a massive briefing document


which had everything from all the previous weights and sizes t had


weather conditions that you would expect to see in England or Britain


in the summer. We had rain, high wind speeds. It was a very


comprehensive document. We had a good starting point. It was really


important to us that the design somehow captured something of the


history of the Games and something of the history of the Games in the


UK and also referred directly to the relay itself and captured -


somehow had a narrative behind it. That's what is informed the design


of the torch. Remind us, some people may know the story, but


there is relevance to the number of holes. On the body of the torch


there are 8,000, and they relate to one for each runner, 8,000 runners


and 8,000 miles. The other distinctive, I suppose, part of the


design, is this triangular shape and that relates to the three times


the Games has been in London. 1908, 1948 and 2012. The holes, as well


as representing the torchbearers, it also makes the torch light and


transparent so that you can see everything going on inside. If you


hold it up to the light. One final thing is the colour. We decided on


gold, because obviously gold is the colour of attainment for the games


and we felt all the torch relay participants should have their


moment to carry gold. We were surprised there wasn't a torch


previously that was gold T seemed like the obvious colour to us.


final thought, I have lost count of the number of people I have


interviewed in the last 70 days who have had the honour of carrying one


of these and they use that word, honour and pride. I wonder whether


you have had feedback individually from torchbearers, what do people


say to you? We had e-mails even today, people saying it's been a


privilege, good job. Also e-mails from abroad. People who haven't


seen it in the flesh, and seen it on television, said fantastic


design, we love it. We were slightly lucky that we designed


something that's been well received. We weren't given that long, we gave


us ten days originally. That's nothing! A bit of luck there, I


think. Edward and Jay, good to have you with us, thank you very much.


The designers of the Olympic torch. Let's head to the Olympic Park.


Let's cross to my colleague Jon Sopel.


Jane, thank you very much. It feels like the atmosphere has changed in


the Olympic Park. It's twitchy, a little bit nervy. We have had


security checking our passes, in the broadcast centre lots of people


scurrying around. Lots of testing, testing, one, two going on behind


us in the stadium which will open the doors at 5.00pm so the public


can stream in, 80,000 of them, to watch the opening ceremony. What an


evening it promises to be. What a lot of responsibility on the


shoulders of those behind it, well, we got a little taste last night of


what might be in it. It's worth having a look at those pictures


again. We have seen, for example, the resurrection of the pop band


Mud, from the 1970s. Here is a little bit where they're


celebrating the National Health Service and it's going to be a


celebration of this island's story, if you like. The history of Britain


but with contemporary music, classical music, with dance, and


all the rest. It's not going to be Beijing four years ago. It's going


to be a very British take. And those wonderful pictures of


cyclists going around with wings on their shoulders. I have spoken to


people who have seen the rehearsals and they've all said it's great,


but it doesn't quite make sense. Why? Because there is still lots of


unknowns. Still all sorts of rumours about the surprises that


might yet be to come. Well, Danny Boyle when he spoke a short time


ago wasn't revealing what the surprises might be but he was


looking forward to this evening's event.


It's been a long road and we are almost there. I mean, what you


think about really is you think about the volunteers really,


because the thing about directors is that they just sit at the back


in the end, you know. This is a live performance. It's the actors


and in our case they're volunteers, and have to get up there and do it.


Any kind of nervousness I feel for them, it's for them really. Because


my nerves are not important. The excitement I feel about it is


obviously the excitement I think they feel. Yeah, looking forward to


it really. Whatever comes our way comes our way, because it's live


and it's a one time only. I will never do one again. It is


extraordinary to be involved in one. I saw Danny Boyle earlier this week


with Steven Daldry, they were coming to the rehearsals, and they


looked the most relaxed men you could think of. They are projecting,


not just to the audience, but around the world, to this sort of


billion-plus audience that will be watching, what Britain is. How


Britain sees itself, how Britain would like to be seen. We are


hearing a fantastic selection of music from the stadium now. We have


had everything from Elgar and the variations which you associate with


Remembrance Sunday, to The Who, and everything in between. So, it


promises to be a spect spectacle tonight. As I have been saying,


there are surprises, things we do not know about what's going to


happen this evening, who might be appearing and where. I think that


will add to the sense of excitement. Of course, the other big thing we


don't know about, even though you have been struggling to find out


determinedly this morning, Jane, who is going to be lighting the


cauldron? We have no idea. But here in the Olympic Park everyone is


scurrying around. The atmosphere has changed totally. People just


want to get on with it and there is that anxious feeling that something


We still do not know. We are just hearing the Prime Minister has


announced that there will be 17 tickets to the Opening Ceremony


tonight which will be donated to people who have been selected,


being described as people who have contributed particularly to their


community. Again it takes us back to everything we have heard, all of


the stories we have heard about torchbearers. 17 tickets to be


given away. That leaves a few spare, we were talking yesterday there are


tickets available at the top two prices. Some tickets will be given


away. As they left, the lovely designers of the Olympic torch were


just telling me they have just been told they will be going to


tonight's Opening Ceremony. I would imagine they would be going anyway,


but apparently not. But they have just found out they are. A few


formalities to go through this afternoon before we go to the


Opening Ceremony. There will be a reception at Buckingham Palace for


heads of states and governments and probably a few others besides.


Let's cross to Philippa Thomas with more on that.


We are expecting 95 heads of state, or at least heads of delegation,


monarchs, presidents and prime ministers. Migrate deal of planning


goes into these things, as you would expect. -- a great deal. We


were both he yesterday for part of the torch relay where the torch was


run in behind the railings of Buckingham Palace and we saw Kate,


William and Harry as GB -- Team GB ambassadors welcomes the torch to


Buckingham Palace. Members of the Royal family will be at the Opening


Ceremony. Let's get a bit more on the roles the royals are playing,


and the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace is always part of the


package. I'll Royal Correspondent is with me now. They have been


important to Britain hosting Games? She is the most senior State in the


world. -- head of state in the world. Everyone is keen to meet


Queen Elizabeth in this diamond jubilee year. The fact they can


come and have his reception at Buckingham Palace and make the key


-- Queen will be memorable. 95 people, with their partners. The


Prime Minister of France. But it will be a bitter sweet occasion on


him, because this could have happened in Paris. The President of


France will be coming later during the Games. The Prime Minister of


Russia, the President will be coming later. He is particularly


interested in the weight lifting. There will be a speech by the Queen,


a speech by Jacques Rogge, of course. Most of them will be taken


by coach to the Olympic Park. it is interesting, you would expect


there would be a motorcade, with bodyguards, but you cannot have all


of those limousines crossing London on this night? It is not unusual


for them to go on a coach. The regular thing at these Olympic


occasions. Very often there were a family travelled by coach, we did


have coach loads of them travelling for the Royal Family. It is not


exceptional. He would love to over here some of those conversations?


don't think there is a seating plan, so it is whoever you find yourself


next to. All sorts of diplomatic possibilities and diplomatic


conversations taking place. That is one of the things of the Games, you


have the secretary general of the United Nations, big world players


coming together, almost without exception. All sorts of


conversations can be taking place within the context of a relaxed


atmosphere such as this. Who knows, perhaps a bit of serious business


being done as well as the entertainment. Be to is about sport


and politics, but business behind the scenes. And at a Lancaster


House, there will be a series of summits and convinces to welcome


Investment? Everyone would yards away, the United Kingdom taking


advantage of the fact there are so many diplomatic and business


players, chief executive, chairman of major corporations here. And the


Prime Minister making a very big effort to take advantage of the


situation to encourage inward investment into the United Kingdom.


A very important by-products Games are here in London. As we look at


the part being played, especially by the younger roles, the Duke and


Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, they were very prominent yesterday


as the torch came in and they will be under the spotlight? It comes


back to what you said earlier, the world family are unimportant


element within the UK propositions. Not just the Queen herself, but the


younger members, the more glamourous members of the Royal


Family. We will wait for the limousines to come in and the


coaches to go out. That's all for now at Buckingham Palace.


Philippa Thomas. Let's reflect for a moment on the other way in which


the day began, not just on the water, but it with a national bell


ringing. 12 minutes past eight this morning, the bell ringing began,


part of an idea from an artist to celebrate the day of the Opening


Ceremony. Let's take a look at what that meant.


On the Thames, a special Olympic day dawned.


And at 8:12am, Big Ben chimed and began and Nationwide cacophony of


Belz. -- Belz. From Wales, to Edinburgh. East


Yorkshire. Ring are Mary Bell's. Weymouth in Dorset. The instruction


was to ring all the bells as quickly and loudly as possible for


three minutes. It was very tiring because they are quite heavy.


little noisy overture to the Games. The Olympic minister was there to


tell us. When things don't go according to plan, London will cope.


My goodness me! No one was hurt. Everyone was smiling about it.


Closing thoughts from the River Thames because we have witnessed a


remarkable pageants down the river, ending here at Tower Bridge just in


the last half-an-hour. Let's get a final thought with Jock Wisheart,


who has been with us all morning. A man who has devoted his life to the


water, and this river. What a way to end this relay? I am gobsmacked.


Watching the Gloriana paddle off. But an idea of Lord Sterling to


have that here. Everything is about Britain. We are Maritime nations


will stop in London we have this amazing link with the river. We


brought this altogether in this final moments, culminating in the


torch being given over with this amazing spectacle. And the crowd,


they must rivalled the pageant. was amazing. And also, this


opportunity for some of our past and very deserving Olympic


medalists to have their little moment. They will say, I was here.


Does it sound special? Just remarkable. And there are still


thousands of people lining the banks of the Thames. The Gloriana


has gone. They will be staying here because they will be expecting


something else to happen. We know Tower Bridge will be playing a role


in tonight ceremony. There is a little secret to be unveiled.


won't say any more! You have been very discreet. There is a key,


final element. We have watched the torch for 70 days are from Lands


End, to Tower Bridge this lunchtime. All will be revealed in a few hours.


We know Tower Bridge will be playing a role in some way for


start the Olympic torch is hidden away for the next few hours. And


according to the bridge master of Tower Bridge, he said the bridge


will be playing a small but spectacular and significant role in


tonight's ceremony. Spectacular was the word he used. It will make its


way the East to the Olympic Park in Stretford for Danny Boyle's Opening


Ceremony, which begins and we can all watch from 9pm this evening on


BBC One. What a 70 day relay it has been. Thousands of people lining


the banks of the Thames. Organisers estimating 12 million people at


least have seen the Olympic flame on it 70 day journey. Let us remind


you of the final few scenes of this Olympic journey. We can reflect on


this journey. From the River Thames, It is not a bag gold medals, racing


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