Should Will.i.am have carried Olympic Torch through Taunton? The debate rumbles on...
Three weeks on from 'that' appearance in Taunton, the debate about rapper Will.i.am's credentials for carrying the Olympic Torch still rumbles on.
The Black Eyed Peas star was a special guest torchbearer when the Olympic Torch Relay arrived in the Somerset town last month, and was cheered on by thousands as carried the flame through the town centre.
At the time, the American's involvement was criticised in the national media - because he isn't British, and also because he was using Twitter on his mobile phone while running with the torch.
This week his Taunton appearance has been brought back into the spotlight amid a row over the number of foreign torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Torch on its route across the whole of the UK.
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This week, The Sun criticised Olympic chiefs by reporting that 485 foreigners have been invited to carry the flame and that, on some legs, as many as 20 per cent of torchbearers are from overseas.
Lib Dem MP Tom Brake was quoted in the article as saying: “It is astonishing that after UK taxpayers have contributed so much, so few local people have been rewarded with the chance to bear the torch.”
Last week, Will.i.am also appeared at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert, which was questioned by this Daily Mail article.
"Quite why he was chosen for the task (carrying the Olympic Torch) is something of a mystery," the Daily Mail reported.
"What’s more, he spent much of his 300m run with the flame staring at his phone as he sent out messages on Twitter to his fans — one of which thanked Coca-Cola. Another misspelled the Somerset town ‘Taurton’."
The rapper's Taunton appearance has been defended by at least one high-profile fan this morning.
Singer Cheryl Cole told Capitalfm.com today that the Black Eyed Peas star was 'an honorary Brit'.
She said: "I heard a couple of people say, 'He's not British', but it's not about that.
"The Olympics, we're inviting people from all over the world to come and race or do whatever their part is in the Olympics in our country, everybody is welcome, so that's (the criticism) not right."
She continued: "He thoroughly enjoyed it. He carried that torch everywhere – he had it on The Voice. He's obsessed with it. I think he's an honorary Brit."
What do you think? Should Will.i.am have been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through Taunton? Have your say by registering and leaving a comment below, or by voting in our poll at the top right of the screen.
The following video of Will.i.am carrying the Olympic Torch through Taunton was shared on YouTube by itnnews...