I loved it! I thought it was quirky, funny, touching and very British.
Can we put on a show?!
Some of the highlights:
- Changing the stage setting from rural to industrial Britain, with Kenneth Branagh as Isambard Kingdom Brunel quoting from The Tempest in the middle of it all.
- Dizzy Rascal singing Bonkers.
- The tributes to those who died in both World Wars, and the 7/7 victims.
- Mr Bean playing with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Music through the decades that have passed since London last hosted the Olympics.
- Moths on bikes.
- David Beckham having the time of his life driving a speed boat up a canal.
- The Hill of Flags.
- The Queen parachuting from a helicopter with James Bond, into the Olympic Stadium.
Only in Britain could such an eclectic mix work so brilliantly.
My favourite part, however, was the amazing cauldron. Each child mascot who accompanied one of the 204 participating countries carried a copper (I think) bowl. When the flame was lit, the bowls lifted into the air to make one giant flame. Absolutely fabulous.
It was inspired not to use a famous athlete to light the final flame; but seven future Olympians: young people who show promise and who were nominated by older athletes such as Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Steve Redgrave. It embodied the spirit of the intended legacy of these games: to nurture the young people of our country who hope to become athletes.
It made me proud and I might have wept a little if I hadn’t been so British. Fortunately, my disgust at the chavvy Team GB outfits with their gold collars overcame any uncharacteristic sensibility I might have had.
Here is a slideshow of scenes snapped from my television. I didn’t think of taking pictures until two and a half hours into the ceremony. If there was an Olympic event for Great Ideas At The Last Minute, I’d have taken Gold and Silver yesterday; and Bronze for the Having The Brass Neck To Share Bad Photographs On A Blog event: