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Monday 8th July 2002
Stars come out for the Baton

Peter Ebdon

Stars of sport, stage and screen are lining up to carry the Baton as the Relay continues its journey around the UK.

The baton is currently touring the north east and over the past few days has been carried by opera singer Lesley Garrett, snooker hero and world champion Peter Ebdon, the irrepressible Sir Jimmy Saville and world record breaking athlete Steve Cram.

Cram, who is Chairman of the English Institute of Sport, said ďThe relay is a part of that inspirational experience and itís fantastic to see the crowds greeting the Baton around the country - particularly the young people. Iíve had lots of success as an athlete but itís enormously rewarding to be amongst these people and to feel the publicís energy and excitement about the Relay and the Games - itís a real buzz.Ē

Other big names who are carrying the Baton later this week include including Ian Botham, Barry Sheene, Tracey Edwards, Tessa Sanderson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Phil Greening, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Sally Gunnell and Floella Benjamin.

And while the celebrities naturally attract attention, cricketing legend Ian Botham paid his own tribute to the many thousands of runners who will also be carrying the Baton: "The Queenís Jubilee Baton Relay is a fitting tribute to the unsung heroes in our communities. Thousands of people who devote their lives to making other people's lives that much better, for no reward. This is their moment to shine and I am pleased to be involved because of this."

Click here for the full UK route or read Harriet's Diary as she follows the baton.

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