Big Ben to ring in Olympics for record attempt

PLANNING to bask in the evening sunshine with a few post-work drinks tonight? You might want to think twice before turning it into a serious session as the hungover will be in for the mother of all rude awakenings tomorrow morning.

To mark the official start of the London 2012 Olympics Big Ben wil ring constantly for three minutes from 8:12am – and thousands more bells across the capital and beyond are set to join in as loudly as possible for a world record attempt.

Indeed, members of the public are also being encouraged to ring their own bells – bicycle, hand bells and door bells all acceptable – for those three minutes, and can even download the free London 2012 JoinIn smartphone app to do so.

Mayor Boris Johnson, no stranger to embracing the Olympic spirit with extra gusto, the Archbishop of Westminster and the Whitechapel Bell Foundry are among those to have registered their participation in All The Bells, as the chiming extravaganza is known – artist Martin Creed’s brainchild for the London 2012 Festival.

The racket will be “a sign of how special this summer is”, according to House of Commons’ speaker John Bercow.

THE Olympic torch will today weave its way through the streets of the City of London, passing many of the Square Mile’s most iconic landmarks as it works its way towards Hyde Park on the penultimate day of the torch relay.

Setting off from Camden at 6.48am the torch will reach Farringdon Road at around 8.50am, before taking a lengthy detour through the City that will see it pop up on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, the entrance to the Museum of London and the Guildhall, before making its way across the Millennium Bridge and onwards into Southwark.

HE may have had a whiter-than-white image when he carried the nation’s tennis hopes, but there was more than a hint of mischief in Tim Henman’s eye when he piped up at a press conference for Adidas yesterday.

Team GB doubles pairing Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins were being quizzed on just how vital it is for a duo to get on away from the court when former British No1 Henman decided to commandeer the microphone: “I played with Greg Rusedski for 10 years, so the relationship isn't that important,” said the 37-year-old, the sportswear giant's tennis ambassador.

Home Counties man Henman and the comparatively flashy Canada-born Rusedski were known to have their differences when they dominated British tennis, without any rancour emerging in public, so there was some surprise and a touch of nervous laughter when Tiger Tim bared his claws.