Olympic torch made a live appearance on Eastenders

  • 24 July 2012

The residents of Walford welcomed the Olympic flame as part of a special live programme on Monday night.

The flame reached Albert Square where Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, carried it during the latest leg of the relay.

The torch travelled past some of the soap's most famous landmarks, including The Queen Vic.

Nineteen cameras were on Albert Square to capture the 31 regular cast members and 11 children involved in the live segment.

And there were at least 450 extras cheering Billy on for his Olympic moment.

Clive Arnold, the show's director, said, "As the only drama asked to be involved with the Olympic torch relay, it is a huge honour for EastEnders and for everyone involved. A truly once in a lifetime opportunity."

Normally the soap opera is pre-recorded but the moment when Billy Mitchell ran around the square was live on BBC One.

The people running next to him were the real torch protection team - not actors like the rest of the cast.