Olympic torch honour for TV’s Matt

Matt Baker
Matt Baker

COUNCIL chiefs have revealed that Easington-born TV presenter Matt Baker will be one of the lucky Olympic torch-bearers nominated to carry the flame as it passes through County Durham.

The former Blue Peter presenter and current One Show host (pictured above) will join 102 extraordinary people as the flame passes through the area and east Durham and Hartlepool from June 16 to June 20, say Durham County Council bosses.

Speaking after hearing of his successful council nomination Matt, a former British Junior Gymnastics Champion, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be carrying the Olympic Flame in my home county.

“The Olympic Torch Relay will bring the 2012 Games to the heart of communities.

“This may well produce future Olympians and I hope I can play some part, however small, in inspiring young people in County Durham to follow their dreams.

“It will be an honour and a privilege to be part of such a once in a generation moment.”

Among those joining Matt in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be 85-year-old Larry Smith, from the Durham City area, who still keeps fit and will be the oldest torchbearer in the county.

Larry, who as a serving soldier in the British Army was called up to help cross country runners during the last London Games in 1948, will be among the lucky flame-carriers passing through Blackhall on June 17.