London 2012 organisers have begun the search for a designer to create the Olympic and Paralympic torches.

London Organising Committee chief executive Paul Deighton says it is a “unique opportunity for London 2012 to literally shine a light on the U.K.’s best design, engineering and manufacturing talent.”

At least 8,000 torches will be required during the 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, which will make its way through towns and cities across Britain from May 18.

The winning designs will be unveiled in 2011 as part of the celebrations to mark one year until the start of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays.

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