A NEW competition is due to be launched today, giving viewers of BBC TV's children's programme, Blue Peter, the opportunity to design a 50p piece to mark the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The winner of the competition, open to those aged between six and 12, will be the first child to see their work featured on a UK coin in circulation.
The athletics-themed coin will be issued by the Royal Mint in 2010.
Blue Peter editor Tim Levell said: "This is the first time the Royal Mint has given a child the guaranteed chance to design a circulation coin, so this really is making history."
The winner, who will be notified in October 2009, will also receive a gold version of their design and an invitation to see it being turned into coins at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant.
The Blue Peter competition is open to UK residents aged between six and 12 at midnight on the closing date of March 2 2009.
The "tails" side design cannot feature an image of a recognisable real person, whether alive or dead, or the Olympic rings.
The entries will be seen by a panel of judges made up of independent experts, and representatives of the Royal Mint, the BBC, London 2012 and the International Olympics Committee.
They will be split into three age groups and a top entry selected from each.
A winning selection will then be made before being passed on to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, the Treasury and the Queen for formal approval.
Full details will be unveiled on Blue Peter on BBC One at 1635 GMT today