The extravagant opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympic Games, has inspired the organisers of the London 2012 Games, to ask Dot Cotton of the BBC1 soap EastEnders, to light the 2012 Olympic flame with one of her tab ends.
After the organisers witnessed the dramatic torch-lighting prowess of the Spanish bowman in Barcelona, and the Chinese gymnast who 'ran' around the roof of the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, they decided on a more homely, traditional and down-to-earth solution for the London event.
Dot, who smokes 150 cigarettes a day, including 20 per episode, will ignite the Olympic torch with the burning embers of one of her cigarette stubs, in what is thought to be the first Olympic Ignition of its kind, in the Modern Era.
Cotton is played by aging actress June Brown, 84. Dot has a son, Nick, who spends much of his time weedling money out of his "Ma", and commits the occasional murder. He is also a heroin addict, and lives in prison.
Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and non-smoker, Baron Sebastian & Co., said:
"We want to project an image to the world of modern-day Britain - an all-empowering place where there is equality for all, where nobody is excluded, and where a wrinkled old woman from a TV soap can light the symbol of the Olympics with a fag-end."