Here comes the Olympic torch – and Lineker to carry it in Leicester
The Olympic torch will start its journey through Leicestershire today and Gary Lineker will be among those helping it on its way.
The torch is due to arrive in Market Harborough shortly after 3pm and will then wind its way through Foxton, Kibworth and Oadby before arriving in Leicester, where a party will be held in Abbey Park.
It will be carried by former Leicester City striker and BBC pundit Lineker tomorrow, between 7am and 8am, as it continues its journey through the city.
Carla Smith, 39, from Oadby, will be starting the stage of the relay which begins at Sainsbury's, in Oadby, today.
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"I'm very excited and I'm determined to enjoy every metre of the 300 I'm doing," she said.
"I can't wait to see all my family and friends at the side of the road."
Aarti Thobhani, 26, from the West End, Leicester, will carry the torch in St George Street, in the city centre.
She said: "My family are all psyching me up but it still hasn't sunk in. It should be really exciting."
Phil Fuller, 20, of Aylestone, Leicester, has been chosen for the final stretch of the day and will be lighting the cauldron in Abbey Park.
"I'm really excited about it," he said. "I've got 300m to run and I'm just going to take it slow and soak up the atmosphere."
Lineker will carry the torch for a stretch between the National Space Centre and Red Hill Roundabout.
When news of his involvement was announced on Saturday, celebrities took to Twitter.
Lord Alan Sugar wrote: "Gary Lineker will be carrying Olympic torch through Leicester. Will you have a bag of cheese and onion in the other hand?"
Fellow former City player Robbie Savage wrote: "Watch the flame doesn't singe your ear hair Gareth!"
Anick Soni, 17, from Hamilton, Leicester, said: "I'm running at 7.22am tomorrow near the space centre and I hope I'm going to be handing it on to Gary Lineker.
"It's going to be a great day whatever happens and I can't believe I'm taking part."
More than 20,000 people are expected in Abbey Park. A limited number of tickets will be issued tonight at the park.
A highlight of tomorrow will be the flame being carried into the sky by Jet Pack Man – stuntman Eric Scott – at the space centre.
There will be other activities at the attraction, but people arriving by car will need to be there before 6.30am, when the A6 is closed.
The torch will go on to Great Central Railway, Quorn, Loughborough, Wymeswold, Asfordby, Melton and Rutland tomorrow
Adrian Russell, Leicester City Council's environmental services director, urged people to join in the fun.
He said: "It's a wonderful route into the city and we've got lots going on along the way at Curve and in Humberstone Gate."
"Gary Lineker is Leicester's finest and he's the best local celebrity we could have asked for."
Tracy Croft, the London 2012 East Midlands co-ordinator, said: "It's going to be amazing.
"The relay is doing a wonderful job of highlighting not just the places along the route, but the people."