Billy Mitchell out of Eastenders to carry Olympic torch

'Now I'll have to get fit,' says actor Perry Fenwick
Billy Mitchell out of Eastenders to carry Olympic torch

EastEnders' Billy Mitchell is to carry the Olympic torch on the BBC One soap.

The hapless video shop worker - played by Perry Fenwick - will find out on tonight's (15.11.11) show that he has been successful in his application to carry the flame for the London 2012 games in a storyline that will see the soap merge with reality.

On July 23 next year, live footage will show Billy carrying the flame through the fictional London borough of Walford - on its way to the real Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, for the opening ceremony of the summer games on July 27.

Perry said: "When we first discussed the storyline, my initial thought was that I'll now have to get fit.

"While this may be a fictional one-off for Billy Mitchell, it's a real once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I am thrilled that Walford and Albert Square will be part of this amazing event."

Perry, 49, will be one of 8,000 people from the UK to carry the iconic torch, as it crosses all over the country, visiting over 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the UK, starting on May 19, 2012 at Land's End in Cornwall.

Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: "The announcement is a great addition to the Olympic Torch Relay Route. I'm sure the people of Walford will now start planning their celebrations.

"Along with people right round the UK, the residents of Albert Square will be getting involved to make this their moment to shine."

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