Kylie Minogue, Will Smith, Pele and Jackie Chan have been lined up to run with the London Olympic Flame, the Mirror can reveal.SOURCE: MIRROR.CO.UK
The A-listers have been identified by organisers as the ideal celebrities to raise the profile of the UK abroad by taking part in the hugely popular relay, which starts in May.
Tourism chiefs sent out invites to carry the Flame in the last few weeks as they bid to capitalise on worldwide interest in Britain during the Games.
A source said: “This is one of the biggest events that Britain will ever host, and only the biggest stars in the world will do.
“We need people who are cultural icons in their own country to really make an impression - and who better than these ambassadors?
“They are loved in their home countries for all the right reasons, and that is exactly what is needed.
“The Torch Relay will be a real highlight of the whole Olympic campaign and with the calibre of people expected to run, it will be an amazing spectacle.”
Tourist board bosses know the eyes of the world will be on the Flame as it makes the 8,000-mile journey around Britain to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.
And they are determined to make the most of the occasion by recruiting A-list stars from the worlds of sport and showbiz to run across the UK with the Flame.
Today marks just 150 days until the Opening Ceremony on Friday 27 July. The 70-day Torch Relay begins on May 19 and will take in 1,019 places and be carried by 8,000 Torchbearers.
Pop queen Kylie, 43, is considered the ideal Australian to carry the Flame and will be cheered on her way by her thousands of dedicated fans.
US actor and rapper Smith, 43, is best known for his roles in blockbusters such as Independence Day, Men In Black and Bad Boys.
Brazilian Pele, 71, is widely considered to be the best footballer in history and won the World Cup for his country three times.
And action man Chan, 57, started his career as a martial arts expert but has forged a role as one of Hollywood’s highest-earning action men, starring in hit movie series Rush Hour.
London 2012 organisers have planned the route to allow the Flame to come within 10 miles of 95% of the population.
It will pass through every English county and every local authority area in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and even visit Dublin on a unique one-day trip.