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Firestarter! Who will light the Olympic flame?

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John Beattie | 14:17 UK time, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Welcome to my first Olympic blog. I'll be writing one every day during the Games.

I wonder who will light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony on Friday night here in London?

In fact, who do you think should light it?

I reckon they should get Mick Jagger and Keith Richard to team up with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney and have a band called the Bones.

Keith could flick his ash spectacularly into the piping gas and whoosh, it could be "All over now" or "Help!"

And Mick must be one of the fittest pensioners in the whole of the UK.

Seriously though, there is nobody smoother than Sean Connery and he'd be my selection.

My guess? Royalty.


Sport Nation presenters John Beattie (right) and Rhona McLeod

John (right) soaks up the Olympic atmosphere with Sport Nation co-presenter Rhona McLeod

We've been here two days now and, whisper it, but I heard somebody singing "Hey Jude" incredibly loudly in the stadium the other day as we were filming outside.

He was backed by a band and he sounded just like Sir Paul.

I just heard him above the sound of helicopters swooshing overhead, the army boots crashing past me, and the last minute noises which assail you as a building site becomes a games venue.

So far things are going like clockwork.

The army in the shape of 5 Scots search our bags at the airline style security, and, if it's not them, it's lads from the Paratroop Regiment.

They chat, and I asked one of them where he had come from. "Afghanistan" is all he said.

Oh, by the way, if you are coming here bring hiking boots. Everything is a long, long walk.

Helpfully, signs remind you as to just how tired you will be: "Velodrome, 20 minutes walk."

You walk for ten minutes and then there's another sign: "Velodrome, 20 minutes walk."

Or perhaps I was suffering from sunstroke by that time.

As far as travel is concerned outside the Olympic park, it's just London. There are no real travel dramas.

Aside from being startled by the voice of London Mayor, Boris Johnson, booming from speakers on railway platforms, urging everyone to be patient as these are a busy few weeks.

Billy Connolly for travel directions from massive speaker systems in Glasgow in 2014?

However, bring your karate outfit because the police have warned of pickpockets operating at the principal access to the park which is through a shopping centre.

I said it was all going smoothly - if you count taking an hour to get from outside the park and into a venue.

But I can't buy anything on site as I don't have a certain credit card, I can only buy one brand of cola, and a certain burger manufacturer is the only outlet for chips.

Not that any of us are buying chips you understand.

There are only six of us from BBC Scotland accredited with access inside the Olympic park.

So, for the Olympic Special Sport Nation that's on Thursday on BBC2 at 7pm we have filmed opening and closing links from the top of a building near the stadium, but then the rest were from the aquatics centre and various other locations within the park itself.

It's beautiful. In fact, it's immaculate.

Pallets of grass and plants are stacked outside. I searched everywhere for thistles as these must be for the opening ceremony.

I couldn't find any. The place, though, is spotless.

There was a moment of panic as Hannah Miley didn't come to the swimming media conference today, but we were told it was just a clash with training times.

Robbie Renwick talked of the swimmers missing the opening ceremony, and when open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne said she was trying to get used to the cold water I reminded her that she was engaged to fellow swimmer David Carry, from Aberdeen, and she could jump into the harbour.

She said she'd already done it. Sploosh, back in my place.

Hannah will be in the pool when we are on air on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday morning and we will bring that live.

Someone's just told me that my BBC Olympics badge could fetch £100 on ebay! Wait, correction, I'm told that's for the gold one, mine's silver.

Perhaps the story of my life. I will never sell it anyway.

Anyway, does anyone out there have any idea who might be lighting the Olympic flame on Friday night? Someone must know, or have a good idea for an iconic and startling candidate?

Sport Nation's Olympic preview programme will be on BBC Two Scotland on Thursday at 1900 BST.

Sport Nation will be on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday from 1100 BST

Follow John Beattie on Twitter @bbcjohnbeattie

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