Torch stars as EastEnders goes live

Salisbury Journal: A live sequence in EastEnders will show Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, carrying the Olympic Torch A live sequence in EastEnders will show Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, carrying the Olympic Torch

The cast and crew of EastEnders are preparing for Monday night's Olympic Torch episode.

An eight-minute live insert will focus on Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, as he carries the Olympic torch live through Walford, E20.

After weeks of planning, EastEnders will welcome the torch at its home in Elstree, Hertfordshire, where it will then be passed to Billy, who will continue its journey past some of the most famous landmarks, including The Queen Vic.

Not only will this episode feature the Olympic torch relay but also Billy's granddaughter Lola Pearce will give birth during this live part of the soap.

The BBC said all the stops were being pulled out for the live broadcast and to make sure the event reflected every other torch run throughout the UK.

There will be 31 regular cast members involved, many of which have lines, and 11 children who regularly feature.

There will be at least 450 supporting artists taking part, who will all be cheering Billy on during his big Olympic moment, plus nineteen cameras on Albert Square to capture every memorable historic moment.

The rehearsals for the live episode started on Saturday with full dress rehearsals starting on Sunday.

Perry said: "Summer arrives just in time for me to complete my 24th circuit of Albert Square and I'm sweltering. On the plus side, I'm starting to see abs, have buns of steel and the show is looking good too!"

Clive Arnold, Director, added: "As the only drama asked to be involved with the Olympic Torch Relay, it is a huge honour for EastEnders and for everyone involved - a truly once in a lifetime opportunity."

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