Stars carry Olympic Torch around the capital

Sir Patrick as he poses with the torch at St Andrew's School Photo:

In a star-studded day for the Olympic flame, Sir Patrick Stewart, who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek, boldly carried the torch at a school in Croydon in south London.

Sir Patrick told ITV London that he will "never forget today", after carrying the Olympic Torch through Croydon. Sir Patrick said that even world film premieres "did not have the excitement" that the Olympic Torch relay had.

This afternoon, former England footballer Michael Owen bought the Olympic flame to the Battersea Dogs and Cats home today, where he was honoured by 50 canine residents at the famous rescue centre.

Torchbearer Michael Owen carries the Olympic Flame at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

And he was not the only sports personality to bear the flame. The torch was carried around the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon by Venus Williams and Andy Murray, who was recently defeated by Roger Federer on Centre Court.

Venus Williams said she was honoured to have been given the chance to carry the flame through Wimbledon. She said:

It was so much fun. I would just say a feeling of pure joy, running and looking at the flame. I'm so honoured to have been selected and to run through Wimbledon as well. It was perfect.

Andy Murray and Venus Williams of the U.S. pose with the Olympic Torch on Murray Mound. Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

Murray said winning gold at the Olympics was his focus at the moment, ahead of a first Grand Slam event victory. He said:

Right now it's Olympic gold - that's what we're preparing for. In general in sport it's the pinnacle and everyone understands how much it means. The Grand Slams are more individual and you're playing for yourself a little bit more.

Murray was among a volley of tennis stars to take the torch in Wimbledon. Others included sports presenter Sue Barker and former British number one Tim Henman, who lit the cauldron in Tooting.

ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent said today that there is "growing confidence" that the London 2012 Games will overcome any issue.

Tonight, the symbolic flame was taken into the homes of millions of viewers as EastEnder Billy Mitchell carries the torch through fictional Walford, E20.

Perry Fenwick carrying the Olympic flame during an episode of EastEnders. Credit: Kieron McCarron/BBC/PA Wire

After weeks of planning, the soap welcomed the torch at its home in Elstree, Herts, where it was then passed to Billy, who continued its journey past some of the most famous landmarks, including The Queen Vic, in a live special.