The rehearsal kicked off from the National Space Center in Leicester just after 7am this morning, carried by Jasmine Vanmali, one of the local people selected as torch bearer.
The actual Olympic flame will pass through 1,018 places in the UK, as well as visiting Dublin, arriving in London for the Olympic Games opening ceremony on July 27.
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The endangered species have become status symbols in the Middle East, where they are paraded on social media.
Disney is to remake its animated classic, The Lion King as a live action film.
The winds also remain strong with gales on exposed western coasts of Scotland.