Olympic flame to visit Exeter and Plymouth in 2012

Olympic diver Tom Daley hopes to have the honour of carrying the torch through his home town of Plymouth

The Olympic flame is to pass through two Devon cities in the first stage of the 2012 Olympic Games torch relay.

On Saturday 19 May 2012 Plymouth will stage the first evening celebration in the country when the torch arrives from Land's End.

And on Sunday 20 May there will be carnival-style festivities when the flame reaches Exeter.

The relay will tour the UK before arriving in London ahead of the opening ceremony on 27 July.

Plymouth City Council said it hoped thousands of spectators would turn out to see the Olympic flame arrive in the city.

A special show is being planned, culminating with a cauldron being lit from the flame.

Councillor Vivien Pengelly, council leader, said: "It will be a wonderful opportunity for people in Plymouth to be part of the Olympic experience.

"People will be able to line the route as the torch arrives in Plymouth and then enjoy an evening of entertainment and witness the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

"I know that Plymouth will give the relay team a very warm welcome."

A spokesman for Exeter City Council said plans for the event there were still being worked on but it was likely to feature a "carnival atmosphere", a giant city-centre stage and involvement from local sports stars.

Exeter school children, Mayor, Stephen Jehu and others Gymnast Stephen Jehu (centre right) was in Exeter to help announce the Olympic evening celebration
'Olympic legacy'

Pete Edwards, the council leader, said: "This is an incredible boost for Exeter and a chance for the people of the city to get involved with a once-in-a-lifetime event.

"The London 2012 Olympic Games will leave a legacy for generations to come and we can be proud of the fact that Exeter has played its part."

A nomination process will be used to pick the 8,000 torch-bearers for the relay.

London 2012 organisers have said they want to torch to visit different communities and cultures and draw people into the Games.

It will also be used to showcase Britain's towns, areas of outstanding natural beauty and sporting and cultural landmarks.

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