Tyne & Wear

Olympic rings launched on Tyne Bridge

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Media captionEach ring is 72cm (2.4ft) wide and 37.5cm (1.2ft) deep

The Olympic rings on Newcastle's Tyne Bridge have been officially launched.

The aluminium rings are about 25m (80ft) wide and 12m (40ft) high, making them the largest set of metal Olympic rings in the UK.

The launch coincides with the arrival of the Olympic flame in the north-east of England and begins Newcastle and Gateshead's London 2012 celebrations.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said the council was proud to have the rings.

"Having the two together is a fantastic celebration of the Olympic spirit," he said.

'Symbol of Tyneside'

"We're really proud here that that's the symbol of Tyneside that's going to be broadcast around the world."

Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry said: "They're going to be wonderful. They're a really good example of what the Olympics is all about."

Adventurer Bear Grylls will carry the Olympic flame down a zip wire from the Tyne Bridge as part of the torch relay.

The relay will make its way from Alnwick, Northumberland to Newcastle on Friday 15 June.

It will move from Gateshead to Durham the following day.

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