23/07/2012 11:06 BST | Updated 23/07/2012 12:24 BST

London 2012: Doreen Lawrence Carries Olympic Torch Through Lewisham

Doreen Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, proudly carried the Olympic Torch through Lewisham on Monday.

She described the experience as an emotional one.

In January Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of murdering her son and during the trial Mrs Lawrence looked understandably drawn and tired.

While carrying the flame, however, she looked like a new woman and beamed with happiness.


Proud: Doreen Lawrence beams as she carries the Torch through Lewisham

Mrs Lawrence fought for years for justice for Stephen, who was murdered in a racist attack in Eltham, south-east London in 1993.

Her campaign, for which she received an OBE, helped sparked the Macpherson Inquiry, which found the Metropolitan Police to be "insitutionally racist".

Monday was a day of celebration, though.

The campaigner took the flame to the learning centre she set up in her son's memory in Deptford, south-east London.

Mrs Lawrence, 59, said the Olympic Flame symbolises many things in common with the Stephen Lawrence Charity Trust, such as strength, unity and diversity.

She said: "It was amazing to be part of the relay this morning, quite an emotional experience to run in to the Stephen Lawrence Centre.

"The torch represents the community and it is fantastic for the torch to be part of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and centre."

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Doreen Lawrence talks the media at the Stephen Lawrence Centre following her run with the Torch

On Monday evening the torch will make a guest-appearance on EastEnders, during a special live segment of the soap.

The eight-minute slot will focus on Billy Mitchell, played by Perry Fenwick, as he carries the Olympic torch live through Walford, E20.

After weeks of planning, EastEnders will welcome the torch at its home in Elstree, Herts, where it will then be passed to Billy Mitchell who will continue its journey past some of the most famous landmarks, including The Queen Vic.

Not only will this episode feature the Olympic torch relay but also Billy's granddaughter Lola Pearce will give birth during this live part of the soap.

The BBC said all the stops were being pulled out for the live broadcast and to make sure the event reflected every other torch run throughout the UK.


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There will be 31 regular cast members involved, many of which have lines, and 11 children who regularly feature.

There will be at least 450 supporting artists taking part, who will all be cheering Billy on during his big Olympic moment, plus nineteen cameras on Albert Square to capture every memorable historic moment.

The rehearsals for the live episode started on Saturday with full dress rehearsals starting yesterday.

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Doreen Lawrence pictured during the murder trial in January

Perry Fenwick said: "Summer arrives just in time for me to complete my 24th circuit of Albert Square and I'm sweltering. On the plus side, I'm starting to see abs, have buns of steel and the show is looking good too!"

Clive Arnold, director, added: "As the only drama asked to be involved with the Olympic Torch Relay, it is a huge honour for EastEnders and for everyone involved - a truly once in a lifetime opportunity."

Monday will see 187 torchbearers in action altogether, including tennis ace Andy Murray, who will carry the flame 36.88 miles through the London boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

The Olympic Torch Continues Its Journey Around The UK