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Olympic Torch coming to Walford

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Roger Mosey | 00:00 UK time, Tuesday, 15 November 2011

On the day that Locog have announced the Olympic Torch is going to the London Borough of Walford, we've the latest in an occasional series of guest blogs. This is from my colleague Carl Doran, who's the creative head of the Torch coverage across the BBC.

Last week London Games organisers Locog announced 1,018 places that the Olympic Torch Relay will pass through when it is carried around the UK next summer. We've already announced some pretty special places that the torch will visit like zip wiring the Tyne Bridge, reaching the summit of Mount Snowdon and crossing Loch Ness.

However, there was one more very special and rather unlikely place that wasn't mentioned... that is, until today. Regular fans of EastEnders may well have seen it coming from the clues in the recent storyline, but in tonight's episode (Tuesday 7.30pm, BBC One) it will be revealed that the 1,019th stop that was missing from the list is Albert Square in Walford!

For the first time ever in the history of soaps the Olympic Torch Relay will pass through LIVE during an EastEnders episode on the Monday evening before the Olympic opening ceremony in July.

The flame will pass iconic landmarks like the Queen Vic pub, the market and the launderette. We have been working very closely with Locog and the EastEnders production team on this for the past two years and we're absolutely delighted that it is now going to happen.

We've been looking into the practicalities and many challenges of getting the torch to Walford in time for an EastEnders slot while it makes a whistle-stop tour through London's 32 boroughs in the final week of the 70-day journey around the UK.

We also discussed the idea of trying to record it on tape like a traditional EastEnders episode as well, but we always wanted it to be as authentic as possible and so it will be the real torch and flame and it will happen live. It's very exciting, and even more so because live broadcasting adds an extra set of challenges to a top drama.

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We've had some great fun with the EastEnders team discussing potential storylines, believe me. I always joked with the EastEnders executive producer that I'm sure Ian Beale would be after making some money out of the torch being in Albert Square!

EastEnders viewers will already have seen characters Fat Boy and Billy Mitchell discover they've been nominated as Torchbearers.

In tonight's episode regulars in The Queen Vic will find out that the Olympic Flame will be passing through Walford and Billy will discover he's the chosen one on screen in December.

I still don't know how the storyline will develop and who knows what the writers secretly have in store for the Torch and for Billy. You can be sure that in true EastEnders style that all may not go according to plan for the characters involved. And that's what makes it even more exciting and unpredictable.

The storyline is just one a number of ways that the BBC will be covering the Torch's adventure and in the coming months we'll be announcing more of our exciting plans.


  • Comment number 1.

    I thought the Olympics were supposed to be about Happiness, Bringing people together,Building Bridges between Communities,Making people more active,Inspring people,Making Minority Sports more popular, Creating Jobs, Boosting the Economy, yet you are linking all that to EASTENDERS, which is full of Death,Depression, Destruction,Fornication, Adultery, Thuggish Behaviour..................................... a bit of a Contradiciton me thinks!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    With no offence intended, is this really worthy of writing a blog on?

    Maybe in the Radio Times or in a Sunday Suppliment about what's on TV, but I fail to see how this is worthy of a story and a blog on the BBC Sport website.

    In hindsight, probably should have done a blog on the claims that team GB will increase their medal haul from Beijing. This would be far more cultured than writing a blog about fictional characters in a fictional place.

    I appreciate that the torch will be on the One Show and lots of other shows closer to the time, but being on Eastenders is one thing, commissioning a blog on it seems like time well wasted.

  • Comment number 3.

    @SirAdam: Carl and I work across the BBC - and EastEnders is one of our biggest programmes, which is why we want to include it in the Olympic story. It will be the real Torch going to Albert Square.

    Blogs are extras we offer for those who like them - or, judging by your reaction, those who don't too!

  • Comment number 4.

    @Sir Adam Spot on sir!! I have put my tuppenceworth on Rogers other blog and by agreeing with you ,have put you one post ahead. More like a private conversation though this seems like just another waste of space and money . At least 606 got more contributors than Roger . According to the Beeb,s mandarins it should be adios Roger,cant see that cut being made any time soon


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