THE mascots for the 2012 Olympic games have been unveiled - in Bolton.

Wenlock and Mandeville will be the most hardworking mascots around, if plans for the high-tech duo are to be believed.

They were announced to the world from Bolton Arena at 7.30pm today.

Grant Hunter, creative director of the south London design team Iris, which created the mascot described them as "bold striking".

He said: "They are a unique mascot. They are a first."

Apart from earning their keep as a key marketing tool for London 2012, Wenlock and Mandeville will also be used as part of the 2012 education programme to help draw children in to the Olympics and sport.

The story created for them says their shiny surfaces are created from the last two drops of steel used to make the Olympic Stadium by a Bolton company.

They also have a range of design features to try to help make them fit for children living in the digital age, according to Hunter.

Wenlock's head shape is like an Olympic podium, representing the three medals won in each Olympic event.

Wenlock also sports friendship wristbands in the five Olympic colours.

His pal Mandeville's head is shaped like a helmet. It is aerodynamic and features the three Paralympic colours.

Mandeville also has a personal best timer to let him keep track of performance.

Both mascots have a black taxi light, like the world-famous London taxis, in their heads. "This was to make it a little bit more London so that the children get it. A taxi is a London icon," London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said.

Both mascots' also have a single eye which is a camera. The idea is that this can capture the people they meet, the places they go and the sports they try on their journey to 2012.

Children will also be able to change their appearance online.

Later this year an online tool will enable people to create their own version of Wenlock and Mandeville.

Over the next two and a half years further versions inspired and created by sportspeople, celebrities and the British public will be regularly featured on the London 2012 website and special edition collectables and toys will be made available for sale.

Both Wenlock and Mandeville try to achieve their personal best and encourage others to follow them.

The public will be able to choose which sports Wenlock and Mandeville experience first on the mascot website.

London 2012 has also been working with deaf people in London to develop new sign names for Wenlock and Mandeville which can easily be adopted by British and international sign language users.

Creating the mascots was a 20 month process, according to Hunter.

He said: "I love them but more importantly the kids love them. They are bold and striking and this is just the start of the journey.

"They have the wow factor. The reflective material will help people engage with them.

"Mandeville has a timer which is all about determination and the Olympic ideals.

"Universally when we did the research having a single eye was found to be the most striking feature. It is also about focus.

"We wanted to create something that was multi-dimensional, something that could be a first in this area, something the public could customise and make special."