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The 5 live torch relay

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Will Cooper Will Cooper | 12:58 UK time, Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The 5 live torch at Bow Street, Wales

To mark the announcement of the London 2012 torch relay route, 5 live tasked reporters Mark Hutchings and Andrew Fletcher to relay our very own torch from Cardiff to the 5 live studios in Salford. On the way they visited places on next year's official Olympic torch route to see whether locals were getting excited ahead of London 2012.
 

Mark Hutchings: Want the Olympics on a budget? I can help. I've hand-made 5live's Olympic-style torch, using, er, a torch, mic cube and - for the wow factor - a plastic tealight, stuck on with tape.

From Cardiff , I then head west to Aberaeron, where in darknesss, the glow of my torch (ahem) looks mightily impressive.

Former Olympian, Andres Jones, who ran the 10,000 metres in Sydney, is more excited about the news that the real thing will pass through his home-town on horseback next May. "Once the flame comes here, people will start to get more enthusiastic," he tells me.

I speed, legally, north to the village of Bow Street. The Rhyd-y-pennau Inn is on the route and landlord, Danny Whiteway, agrees that taking the official torch round the country will engender greater goodwill for the London games. That's not a view shared by all, though. He concedes my own procession has a cheap-and-cheerful quality. Well cheap anyway.

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Mark Hutchings hands the torch over to Andrew Fletcher

 

I then reach the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. The Llangollen canal passes over it and so too will the Olympic flame. It's shut for my visit (word hadn't got round) so I meet Peter Jones, of Jones the Boats, at his mooring. He believes this part of North Wales is a well-kept secret, which a torch procession will help illuminate.

Peter watches on in awe/disbelief as I ceremonially hand over the 5live flame to fellow reporter Andrew Fletcher...

Andrew Fletcher: ....so the pressure is on. Not only do I have to get from North Wales to Salford via Chester, Stoke on Trent and Jodrell Bank, I have also been entrusted with Mark's hand-crafted 5 live Olympic torch. Like the real one, it goes out if you drop it.

I cross the border following the route of the real torch relay (for this stretch at least) and park up in Chester. There I meet the town crier of Chester, David Mitchell, in all his finery and with a specially-written proclamation on his scroll. Blimey, that man's got a loud voice.

The town crier of Chester, David Mitchell

 

His announcement of the Chester leg of the relay takes us right up to the end of Shelagh's programme, so there's no time to get his thoughts on the Olympics. Off air, he confides that he's not a big sports fan, but welcomes the opportunities the relay may bring for speaking loudly while wearing a frilly shirt.

On to Stoke-on-Trent, behind a tractor. I arrive an hour late. I can advise those planning next summer's relay to avoid the A50. Councillor Mark Meredith has, remarkably, not given up and gone home. He tells me the relay will be good for the city, and make the people of Stoke on Trent feel part of the Games.

Another mad dash and I'm at the foot of Jodrell Bank's extraordinary telescope, which looms eerily above the trees in the dimming light. Dr Tim O'Brien, an astrophysicist at the observatory, explains plans for the torchbearer to climb to the top of the telescope next Summer.

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By now, darkness has fallen, and the 5 live torch, with its flickering tea light flame, looks quite magnificent. I place it carefully on the passenger seat and head for home, arriving at 5 live's Salford studios with 5 minutes of Drive remaining. Just enough time for Ranvir to knock its top off.

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I do hope that's not an omen for the real torch relay.

Andrew Fletcher and the broken 5 live torch

 

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Who is Will Cooper?
    Who is Ranvir?

    Don't worry about the listeners, just assume everyone knows or is related to everyone else.

    This is fairly typical of the lame attempt to engage people you haven't attempted to communicate properly with for years.

    As ever - so what, spend your time making intelligent programmes people want.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think is that it is fantastic that 5North is continuing to come up with so many novel ways of entertaining us listeners and how although some may call this infantile, it is nothing of the kind. Blue Peter is produced from Salford as well, right?

  • Comment number 3.

    I think you're right, Carrie. I really can't see the point of either the stunt or the blog....Come on 5 Live, you can do better than this!

  • Comment number 4.

    Who is Will Cooper??? Who is Will Cooper???

    When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Will Cooper.

    Will Cooper donated his heart to a hospital.....twice.

    Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Will Cooper is called Logic

    Will Cooper doesn't call the wrong number. You answer the wrong phone.

  • Comment number 5.

    Never mind this blog on coverage of such a puerile joke, I think it is appalling that coverage of feedback to PMQs has to come from - Millbank in London! (Doesn't the government know the heart of BBC news broadcasting is in Media City?) For goodness sake. Why can't Shelagh be in Salford and talk down the line to the MPs, it isn't as if she is in the House of Commons.

  • Comment number 6.

    Fogarty was well of the pace today - either technical problems, badly briefed ... whatever, but a bad day at the office. We all have them. Phil Williams so much more enjoyable than Bacon. When will someone listen and give Phil the regular gig. Can only be a matter of time before Bacon gets fed up. He's a star after all. Let us not forget.

  • Comment number 7.

    Who has got the Radio rights to the Republic of Ireland,Euro 2012 play of game? Its not listed on either talkSPORTs or the 5lives Website.

  • Comment number 8.

    I managed to hear a bit of Talksport late last night - it was virtually the same as the Tony Livesey one on 5live = dumbed down.

  • Comment number 9.

    Can I please remind you all to keep your comments to the subject of each blog post. The moderators may consider speculation and off-topic comments in breach of the 'house rules'.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Who has got the Radio rights to the Republic of Ireland,Euro 2012 play of game? Its not listed on either talkSPORTs or the 5lives Website."

    Radio ROI?

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi all. To answer Welcome To The Machine: I'm on the 5 live interactive team and help manage and maintain this blog.

  • Comment number 12.

    Pleased to meet you Will, nice to meet some of the Names behind the Blog,hopefully we will see some more of you in the future.

 

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