CELEBRITY chef Raymond Blanc and two Oxford University academics are set to carry the Olympic Torch next week.

Mr Blanc, 62, from Oxford, will carry the Olympic flame when it arrives in Wallingford on Tuesday morning after being carried through Abingdon.

The torch is expected to arrive in Wallingford at about 8.20am, with shops and cafes opening early.

The owner of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons hotel and restaurant in Great Milton, near Thame, said he was looking forward to taking part.

The French chef and father-of-two, a keen rugby fan, loves using the social networking site Twitter to update his fans about his latest projects and yesterday he tweeted: “Hello friends. I’m happy and very proud to say that I shall carrying the Olympic Torch next Tuesday 10 July in Wallingford at about 08.30 RB.”

University academic Prof Richard Cooper and post-graduate student Nicola Byrom were nominated as part of a programme to find people within the country’s universities who reflect the values of the Olympics and their institution.

Prof Cooper will be carrying the torch in Oxford on Monday afternoon and Ms Byrom will be running on Tuesday morning as the torch leaves Oxford.

Wallingford town clerk Andrew Rogers said: “We are absolutely delighted that Raymond Blanc is to carry the torch through Wallingford.

“Raymond is a good bloke and I’m sure he will get a big cheer from the crowd as he heads through the town.

“We only found out a few days ago that his name had been added to the list of torch bearers.”

Prof Cooper, 65, who teaches French at Brasenose College, has been involved in sport at Oxford University for more than 40 years. Until recently, he was chairman of the university sports committee, having served in the role for 15 years.

Prof Cooper said: “I am delighted that Oxford University, with its outstanding tradition of Olympic sportsmen and women, has been chosen to participate.

Ms Byrom, 25, who is studying for a doctorate in experimental psychology at Brasenose College, set up the Student Run Self Help project in 2009, a volunteer-run organisation to provide help for students with eating disorders across the country. Since it was launched three years ago, Ms Byrom has raised more than £60,000 towards her project.

Both she and Prof Cooper were nominated by Samsung which teamed up with 31 universities across the UK to put forward runners.