As it happened: Olympic flame arrives

Key points

  • The flame for the London 2012 torch relay has arrived in the UK from Greece
  • The 70-day, 8,000-mile Olympic torch relay starts at Land's End on Saturday morning
  • The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games takes place on 27 July

Join the discussion

  1.  
    1630:

    Welcome to our live text coverage of the arrival of the Olympic flame in the UK.

     
  2.  
    British Airways plane Firefly The Olympic flame is on board flight BA2012
     
  3.  
    1631:

    The Olympic flame is on board a gold-coloured British Airways plane headed for Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall.

     
  4.  
    1632:

    Flight BA2012 left Athens just after 15:20 BST with a party of dignitaries on board.

     
  5.  
    1633:

    Accompanying the flame is Locog chairman Seb Coe, the Princess Royal, David Beckham, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson, London Mayor Boris Johnson and five young people from the UK.

     
  6.  
    1635:

    The flame was handed over to Princess Anne, who is president of the British Olympic Association, in the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, on 17 May in an hour-long ceremony.

     
  7.  
    1639:

    The flame's arrival heralds the start of a 70-day torch relay which kicks off tomorrow morning.

     
  8.  
    1640:

    A welcoming party, led by Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, will greet the delegation as they disembark the aircraft, before a ceremonial cauldron is lit on the airfield to celebrate the flame arriving in the UK.

     
  9.  
    1643:

    The event will be attended by more than 500 invited public and dignitaries from the local area.

     
  10.  
    1645:

    Senior representatives from the Armed Forces, the Ministry Of Defence and Captain William Entwisle, Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose will also attend.

     
  11.  
    1648:

    As the crowds await the flame's arrival they will be entertained by a Royal Navy flying display and a Royal Marines band.

     
  12.  
    1650:

    The 70-day torch relay will travel to 1,018 places around the UK, also visiting Dublin, and be carried by 8,000 torchbearers.

     
  13.  
    1655:

    Live text commentary on each of the 70 days, starting on Saturday, can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/2012.

     
  14.  
    1659:

    Let us know how you are going to get involved in the torch relay. Tweet us at @BBC2012 and visit our Facebook page at BBC London 2012.

     
  15.  
    1701:

    The flame for the London 2012 torch relay and Olympic Games was lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece, on 10 May.

     
  16.  
    1703:
    The flame in Olympia The flame was lit in Olympia
     
  17.  
    1705:

    Actress Ino Menegaki, playing a high priestess, used a parabolic mirror - and a little olive oil - to catch the sun's rays and ignite the flame.

     
  18.  
    1708:

    The freshly kindled flame was used to light the first torch carried by Liverpool-born Greek world champion 10km swimmer Spyros Gianniotis.

     
  19.  
    1713:

    The flame's arrival will feature in an hour-long The One Show special programme on BBC One.

     
  20.  
    1718:

    Chris Evans and Alex Jones are hosting an hour-long special broadcast as the Olympic flame arrives into the country from Athens.

     
  21.  
    1726:

    Olympian Jonathan Edwards, waiting for the flame at RNAS Culdrose, said: "The flame is really important. It does signal the final countdown to our Games. It's been in the planning for so long."

     
  22.  
    1725:

    Three-time sailing champion Ben Ainslie will carry the torch on the first leg of the relay from Land's End on Saturday morning.

     
  23.  
    1726:

    Ainslie, who is targeting his fourth Olympic gold, won his sixth world title at the Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth Bay today.

     
  24.  
    1727:

    Torchbearer Tassy Swallow, also awaiting the flame, said: "It's really important for kids at a young age to get into sport. I hope they get the same opportunities I have."

     
  25.  
    1738:

    Torch fact: The torch's triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 torchbearers.

    The torch The torch is three sided, coated with a gold finish
     
  26.  
    1742:

    The torch has to work in all weathers, including temperatures of -5C to 40C, as well as in 95% humidity.

     
  27.  
    1745:

    BBC Spotlight and The One show tweet a picture: "Getting ready for the arrival of the Olympic flame."

     
  28.  
    1752:
    Jane Hill The BBC's Jane Hill is waiting for the flame
     
  29.  
    1753:

    Tomorrow, BBC Breakfast and 5 live Breakfast will be live from Land's End and there will be the first of 70 days live text commentary.

     
  30.  
    1754:

    Check out our torch relay pages to see maps showing the torch's location and route, street-by-street lists, weather and travel for places the torch will visit.

     
  31.  
    1759:

    David Thomas tweets: "Ben Ainslie has just arrived at Culdrose."

     
  32.  
    1800:

    For 70 days the relay will be streamed online with continuous coverage via #bbctorchcam from the media vehicle in the torch relay convoy.

     
  33.  
    1802:

    David Beckham will light the cauldron when he gets off the plane at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall.

     
  34.  
    1805:

    GB Kayaker Jenna Hawkey tweets: "In the VIP area at RNAS Culdrose waiting for the Olympic flame to arrive. Feeling hugely underdressed."

     
  35.  
    1807:

    On Saturday, BBC Radio 1 will be hosting an event from Paignton Green, Torbay, to celebrate the arrival of the torch on English soil.

     
  36.  
    1807:

    DJs Chris Moyles and Fearne Cotton will be celebrating the beginning of the summer season with a live broadcast featuring Example, Jaguar Skills and Eric Prydz.

     
  37.  
    1808:

    If you want to know where BA Flight 2012 is right now, you can track it here .

     
  38.  
    1815:

    Tonight the torch will spend the night at the Cornish air base, looked after by its own security team

     
  39.  
    1817:

    Tomorrow morning it will be flown by Sea King helicopter 25 miles to Land's End for the start of the relay.

     
  40.  
    1818:

    Craig H tweets while he waits for The One Show to start at RNAS Culdrose.

    The One Show The One Show will be broadcast from RNAS Culdrose
     
  41.  
    1825:

    RNAS Culdrose is a search and rescue helicopter base and is where Prince William did his helicopter training.

     
  42.  
    1826:

    It is the largest helicopter base in Europe with 75 aircraft and 3,000 personnel.

     
  43.  
    1827:

    BBC School Report youngsters had an exclusive visit to the Culdrose air base ahead of the torch's arrival.

     
  44.  
    1832:

    Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP is at the air base waiting to welcome the flame and the delegation.

     
  45.  
    1834:

    Olympian Ben Ainslie said: "It's a fantastic moment for the country. It gives everyone a chance to feel close to the Olympics and build up the atmosphere."

     
  46.  
    1835:

    Mr Clegg said to first torchbearer and Olympian Ben Ainslie: "Don't drop it."

     
  47.  
    1837:

    Helicopter pilots are entertaining the waiting crowds with their flying skills above the ground at Culdrose.

     
  48.  
    1838:

    Remember you can see our torch relay pages on your mobile.

     
  49.  
    1839:

    Mr Clegg said: "It's a fantastic moment particularly when there's so much anxiety about the economy."

     
  50.  
    1845:

    British Olympic Association CEO Andy Hunt tweets a picture of "Ben Ainslie and the Deputy Prime Minister chatting at Culdrose."

     
  51.  
    1849:

    Today The One Show comes live from RNAS Culdrose for an hour-long special at 7pm.

     
  52.  
    1855:

    You can use our torch relay pages to check the weather forecast on the route, up to three days ahead of the current day.

     
  53.  
    1859:

    Shadow Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell said: "It's quite overwhelming and the atmosphere is just infectious."

     
  54.  
    1902:

    Air controllers at Culdrose have made contact with the flight deck of BA2012 where there is a "great atmosphere" on board.

     
  55.  
    1904:

    "Everyone feels affected by the power of this moment. For me it's been 10 years and already in Falmouth people are hanging out the flags," Ms Jowell added.

     
  56.  
    1904:

    Ms Jowell also said: "Talking to Locog this evening, there is tremendous confidence about the turnout."

     
  57.  
    1905:

    Talking about the investment which has been made in the Olympics, Ms Jowell said: "The money which has been spent has created jobs and kept order books busy. So there is a very strong economic legacy and public money well spent."

     
  58.  
    1907:

    Sadie Brown tweets: "Treated to a show whilst waiting for BA2012 at Culdrose."

     
  59.  
    1912:

    On The One Show torchbearer Lionel, 85, who played basketball for Britain in the 1948 Games, said it was an honour to be involved.

     
  60.  
    1913:
    Flame on board BA2012 The flame in protective lanterns on flight BA2012
     
  61.  
    1922:
    Staff and British Airways staff wait for the flame Staff and British Airways stairs wait for the flame
     
  62.  
    1924:

    Olympian Joanathan Edwards said: "It's right that Ben Ainslie is the first person to lead it off. But it's also a moment for ordinary people to shine."

     
  63.  
    1925: Breaking News

    It's here. The plane carrying the Olympic flame has touched down at RNAS Culdrose.

     
  64.  
    1926:

    The waiting crowd cheers as flight BA2012 makes its way down the runway.

     
  65.  
    1927:

    Tessa Jowell and Jonathan Edwards hugged as the plane hit the ground.

     
  66.  
    1928:

    Ms Jowell said: "People have painted the plane so it's part of the celebrations and everywhere you look people have given time to be part of this - that's the point of the Olympics."

     
  67.  
    1931:
    Flight BA2012 lands Flight BA2012 lands
     
  68.  
    1934:

    Five young children from the UK are the first off the plane.

     
  69.  
    1934:

    First sight of the Olympic flame as Princess Anne stands at the top of the stairs.

     
  70.  
    1935:

    The dignitaries are greeted by the welcoming party as they step on to the tarmac.

     
  71.  
    1937:

    Crowds cheers as Princess Anne hands the flame to the torch security team.

     
  72.  
    1938:

    Princess Anne said: "It comes home to you just how important people regard the torch. When you're concentrated on the Stadium and facilities - it's only really when the torch comes into your possession that you realise. This is it."

     
  73.  
    1939:

    David Beckham said: "It's been a incredible week to be with the team and bring the flame home. It's a very proud moment for everyone."

     
  74.  
    1940:

    David Beckham lights the cauldron with the Olympic flame.

     
  75.  
    1941:

    Asked whether he hopes to play for Team GB Beckham said: "I hope so, but I'm proud to be part of it and at the Games, whether playing or as a fan."

     
  76.  
    1943:

    Andrew Ferris, torchbearer: "It's amazing. There are so many people that are so proud it's here and started."

     
  77.  
    1944:
    David Beckham carries the torch David Beckham carries the torch
     
  78.  
    1944:

    The 70-day torch relay will travel to 1,018 places around the UK, also visiting Dublin, and be carried by 8,000 torchbearers.

     
  79.  
    1945:

    The relay will come within 10 miles of 95% of the UK population and travel about 8,000 miles.

     
  80.  
    1945:
    Beckham lit the cauldron with the torch Beckham lit the cauldron with the torch
     
  81.  
    1946:

    The torch security team will look after the flame overnight before it is flown to Land's End in the morning.

     
  82.  
    1949:

    Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, who was on board the gold plane, said: "It's really the end of quite a journey".

     
  83.  
    1949:

    He also said: "It's very exciting and a great opportunity for this country."

     
  84.  
    1952:

    "I think we're going to find the demand outruns expectations," he added. "People are suddenly going to realise it's here and it's coming to them. We've just got to make it work now"

     
  85.  
    1954:

    Captain David Thomas, who flew the plane, said: "It's been amazing. It's been a wonderful day. They wanted us to get here at 19.25 and thirty seconds - we made it with plus or minus 10 seconds."

     
  86.  
    1956:

    "I haven't got a ticket for the Games so I'm hoping someone will take pity on me," Mr Thomas added.

     
  87.  
    1957:

    Jonathan Edwards said: "It was nearly a tear-fest. To be alongside Tessa [Jowell] was perfect."

     
  88.  
    1958:

    "Then we hoped it would light, because the important thing is about operational excellence," he added. "We need to make sure everything is right for the 70 days and then the 17 days of competition."

     
  89.  
    1959:

    There will be live coverage on the BBC throughout the morning of the start of the torch relay at Land's End.

     
  90.  
    2000:

    You'll also be able to follow the first of 70 days live text commentary as the Olympic torch begins its historic journey around the British Isles.

     

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