BBC goes global with the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay

As I follow the Queen’s Baton Relay, with each new place I’ll have a chance to learn about the lifestyle of the Commonwealth’s people and share that – every step of the way – on the BBC."Mark Beaumont, Presenter
Date: 16.08.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.59
The Queen’s Baton Relay – one of the great traditions of the Commonwealth Games – will for the first time be covered by the BBC across its entire journey in all 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Presented by adventurer and broadcaster Mark Beaumont, coverage will be provided across the baton’s epic global journey, on The One Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland, along with BBC News outlets, and online.

From 9 October 2013, when the Queen places her message within the baton to launch it on its special international tour, Mark and the team will be producing documentaries, features and news updates – with online users able to chart the baton’s progress at bbc.co.uk.

Spanning timelines, diverse cultures and peoples, Mark will provide a picture of the modern Commonwealth ahead of the Commonwealth Games in July 2014.

Mark, who has previously cycled the world as well as traversed the Americas and rowed the Arctic, said: “No matter where I have travelled in the world or what I have been doing there, it is always the people I meet who make it special for me. I am particularly looking forward to following the Queen’s Baton as it travels around the globe giving me a chance to meet some of the two billion people who make up the Commonwealth.

"It is such a privilege to be part of one of the greatest traditions of the Commonwealth Games and to be able to immerse myself in the diversity of the cultures which form this unique group of interconnected nations. I am really looking forward to setting off on this journey and reporting back via the BBC.”

As well as a diverse range of broadcast activity, video updates on the journey will be available online with a further range of online and broadcast activity as the baton reaches the UK, with events across the country, and into the home straight in Scotland. There will also be a monthly documentary produced for BBC Scotland, the BBC News Channel and BBC World News, which will start in November.

Bruce Malcolm, BBC’s Head of Commonwealth Games, said: “It is very exciting to see the wide variety of programmes that will be covering the Queen’s Baton Relay, making sure everyone across the UK can be kept up to date with the journey. I am sure this will build excitement over the next year, and particularly when the baton arrives back on home turf.”

Mark added: “I may have broken the record for cycling the world and rowed to the Arctic, but this is a whole new type of journey for me. As I follow the Queen’s Baton Relay, with each new place I’ll have a chance to learn about the lifestyle of the Commonwealth’s people and share that – every step of the way – on the BBC.”

As well as following the baton, the BBC are already involved in a year-long learning project with the British Council and Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Class, which is a special initiative that provides teaching resources, online debates and interactive activities for schools to mark the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The project gives 7-14 year-olds the opportunity to hold fortnightly worldwide online debates as well as share educational resources while celebrating the values of the Commonwealth by connecting its schools and young people to learn together about how to be active, responsible global citizens as part of the Commonwealth family.

Notes to Editors

Mark Beaumont cycled the world in 2008 with his record-beating adventure charted for the BBC in The Man Who Cycled The World. Other BBC projects have included The Man Who Cycled The Americas (2010) and Rowing The Arctic (2011).

A picture of Mark Beaumont, attached, will also be available at bbcpictures.co.uk, embargoed until Friday 16 August 2013 at 19:30hrs

The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and 1 million spectators with the event aided by an army of up to 15,000 local volunteers.

The first Queen’s Baton Relay was staged for the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff and has been the curtain raiser to the Games ever since.

For more information on the Queen’s Baton Relay visit www.glasgow2014.com/batonrelay

KH