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Britain's Andy Murray poses with the Olympic Torch on Murray Mound (also known as Henman Hill) at the All England Lawn Tennis Club before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London July 23, 2012. (Stefan Wermuth/REUTERS)

Britain's Andy Murray poses with the Olympic Torch on Murray Mound (also known as Henman Hill) at the All England Lawn Tennis Club before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London July 23, 2012.

(Stefan Wermuth/REUTERS)

Torch relay appears in UK soap opera East Enders Add to ...

The London Games torch relay appeared on Monday in one of Britain's most popular TV soap operas EastEnders, which is set in a fictional square just a stone's throw away from the Olympic Park in east London.

Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the show's perennial underdog overcome a series of mishaps to carry the Olympic torch around Albert Square during a live shoot.

Earlier in the day, it had travelled with Patrick Stewart, the actor who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the sci-fi TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It was also carried by tennis champion Venus Williams around Wimbledon's famous grass courts.

"I don't want it to catch my hair", Williams, who wore long braids, was reported to have said on the BBC website as she accepted the flame from Britain's number one tennis player Andy Murray.

An estimated one million people have watched the torch relay since its arrival in the capital on Friday when it dramatically dropped into the historic Tower of London in the hands of a Royal Marine commando descending from a helicopter.

On Thursday, it will take in Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth, and Downing Street, where the prime minister lives.

The following day, it will light the cauldron in the main stadium to mark the official start of the 2012 Olympics.

"Nothing compared to this," Stewart was quoted in London's Evening Standard as saying.

"I think the excitement is growing every day."

An estimated 10-million people turned out to see the flame make its away around the country, visiting cities, towns and villages and scaling some of the highest peaks, and occasionally being carried across water and on horseback.

Celebrities, athletes, servicemen and people chosen for their community work have been among the near 8,000 who have so far carried the flame.

Organisers will be hoping sport will soon takeover the spotlight after recent headlines have been dominated by a private security botch-up, poor weather and transport confusion.

At Wimbledon, this year's men's singles runner-up Murray held the flame on Centre Court.

"It's great to be part of it," he told BBC television.

"When I went over to the village... the other day that really got me pumped up for it, so very excited. I've had some good practise during the past few days and can't wait."