Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Sunday, 6 April 2008 15:34 UK

Huq tells of torch grab 'shock'

Protester tries to grab torch from Konnie Huq
Ms Huq said carrying the torch was a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity

Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq has spoken of her shock after a protester tried to snatch the torch from her during the Olympic relay.

A man was wrestled to the ground by police and arrested after trying to take the torch in Ladbroke Grove.

She said the incident was a shock and she was "a bit bashed about".

Ms Huq said she took part because she believed in the Olympic values but she did not condone China's human rights record "in any way".

'Surreal'

She told BBC News 24 the relay parade had seemed quite protest-free at first.

She said: "But then as I was running with the torch a guy broke out from the crowd and wrestled the torch, or tried to wrestle the torch off me.

I always said my taking part in the procession didn't mean I condone China in any way
Konnie Huq

"I was determined to hang on, it was all a bit of a shock, for a while I was wrestling with it, then they wrestled him to the ground. There were so many people and everyone was shouting 'just keep going'. It was a bit surreal."

"I was a bit bashed about but I guess that's par for the course in such a little brawl."

Ms Huq had previously said she considered dropping out of the role but believed she could make an impact by taking part and comment about China.

She said: "I always said my taking part in the procession didn't mean I condone China in any way. And I think a lot of the torch bearers and the athletes feel the same way.

"I did the procession because I believe in the Olympic values, the ideals, I think sport on a global scale is a brilliant thing, it transcends culture, race, money.

"The Olympic ethos is a great thing, it's just a shame China has such a terrible track record when it comes to human rights."

The Olympics was an opportunity for change, she added.

"I understand the cause completely, but this is the platform on which change can occur, all eyes will be on the Olympics, media from all across the world so if any good can come out of it, that's a really great thing," she said.



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