Flaming: the Olympic torch whizzes around London

Paralympic medalist Ade Adepitan, (L), lights the torch of the next bearer, a South London school girl

The Olympic torch whizzed across London’s once-wobbly Millenium bridge on Thurdsay morning, carried by Paralympic medallist Ade Adepitan who moved so fast, he had to reverse to give the photographers their shot.

Office workers – who had been worrying about being late to work – joined with school kids on their summer holidays to screech and squeal as the flame made the journey between two of the capital’s most famous landmarks: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern.

The torch has traveled through more than a thousand villages and towns across the four nations of the United Kingdom and will have journeyed for 70 days when it reaches the Olympic stadium on Friday.

A child shows off her homemade torch

On the penultimate day, it will be carried by 173 torchbearers, both athletes and ordinary people from Camden to Hyde Park. The route zigzags between the icons of the City ofLondonand Shakespeare’s  Globe Theatre and less salubrious neighbourhoods, like the Old Kent Road, best to known to foreigners for being the cheapest square on the Monopoly board.

Designed in London and made in the Midlands, the gold perforated aluminium torch has been used to build excitement in some of the UK’s regions which would otherwise have been barely touched by the Olympics.  Now it has finally made it to the capital – where the games have so far been seen as a nuisance by many Londoners - they are finally getting the thrill.