olympic torch

Helen Warrell

Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Boris Johnson probably put it best when he said this morning that the geiger-counter of Olympo-mania was “creeping towards the red zone”. The UK is abuzz and senior politicians – already relieved that the Olympics are finally distracting from Britain’s economic woes – have entered fully into the manic spirit.

First off, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt provided some unexpected entertainment when he waved a hand bell rather too enthusiastically during the “all the bells” celebration on HMS Belfast to mark the start of the games. The bell flew off its handle, narrowly missing the crowds on deck. “Oh, oh dear! Are you all right? Health and safety!”, Mr Hunt cried, in a very British way. He later recovered enough to laugh off the incident with a humour rare among politicians who have suffered televised mishap. “I was ringing a bell in a very excited way and the bell actually collapsed in my hand and went flying off,” he told the BBC. “It was a clanger, if you’ll forgive the awful pun.” Read more

Hannah Kuchler

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. Read more