Olympic torch goes out at Lee Valley

Day 50 of Olympic torch relay
Jamie Oliver carrying the torch through Newport Photo: PA

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver smiled through the rain as he helped the Olympic torch on its way today.

The 37-year-old champion of healthy eating for children carried the flame through Newport - the Essex village where he went to school - on day 50 of the relay.

Watched by his wife Jools and family, he said: "I can't believe how much it's raining but it's great to be here in my old town and this is a real privilege.

"I'll run past my old school and finish at the pub where, to be honest, I'd like to be right now."

Oliver lives in nearby Clavering with his wife Jules, daughters Poppy, Daisy and Petal, and son Buddy, while his parents own a pub and restaurant nearby.

He studied at Newport Free Grammar School.

The Olympic torch was behind schedule after being delayed by a road accident.

The relay convoy was delayed by about 15 minutes after a crash between two motorbikes which were travelling in the opposite direction as the convoy passed Chelmsford.

A spokesman for Essex Police said the torch was continuing on its journey following the accident on the A414 near Hylands Park, Writtle, at 7.40am.

The man and woman involved in the crash were taken to hospital with suspected broken bones.

The delay caused the torch to arrive late at Waltham Cross where it then took to the water on a white water raft at the Lee Valley Games Venue.

There was nevertheless a slight hiccup with proceedings as the torch ended up going out after being swamped by a wave as it headed through the rapids.

Despite being kept well away from the water, the flame went out briefly before being re-lit again a short time later.

Zac Franklin was holding the torch when it went out. He spoke to our reporter about amazing crowds, Olympic shame, and that minor technical hitch.

Later, the relay will take a more sedate punt ride as it winds its way to its last stop of the day in Cambridge.