British / English Countryside (Opening Ceremony)
A lovely pastoral vista with May Poles, Water Mill, Livestock, Thatched Cottages and the like - typical of this green and pleasant land!
Isambard Branagh! (Opening Ceremony)
Kenneth Branagh appears as Victorian Pioneer Engineer - Isambard Kingdom Brunel, reading aloud Caliban’s Speech from Shakespeare’s ’The Tempest’.
The Industrial Revolution (Opening Ceremony)
Victorian Britain was the Industrial Powerhouse of the World - Danny Boyle represents the Industrial Revolution with giant smoke stacks (fan assisted fabric chimneys) and hydraulic pumps.
Olympic Ring Forge (Opening Ceremony)
Ingenious combination of special lighting and pyrotechnics sees the simulated forging of the 5th Olympic Ring.
Olympic Rings Assembly (Opening Ceremony)
5 Olympic Rings assemble - including the newly forged one - and sparks fly!
007 meets EII (Opening Ceremony)
Wonderful moment when Queen Elizabeth turns around to Daniel Craig and jaws drop as she is revealed to be the genuine article - Her Majesty is certainly a good sport!
The Queen and James Bond drop in on the Games (Opening Ceremony)
Fun interlude of low-level parachute jump into the venue, would have been even better if Daniel Craig had accompanied The Queen to her seat.
British Children’s Books (Opening Ceremony)
J.K. Rowling read excerpts from British Children’s Books, accompanied by characters including the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hook from Peter Pan, Voldemort from Harry Potter, and a whole squadron of flying Mary Poppinses.
Tribute to Great Ormond Street Hospital (Opening Ceremony)
The wrap-up of the storybook / NHS homage segment included a moving tribute to the world’s most famous Children’s Hospital - abbreviated to GOSH
Mr Bean plays Chariots of Fire Theme (Opening Ceremony)
Another great interlude sees Rowan Atkinson hijack the Chariots of Fire Orchestral Theme
Mr Bean Chariots of Fire Sequence (Opening Ceremony)
In a remake of the famous beach scene from the Chariots of Fire movie, Mr Bean needs mechanical assistance and other tactics to win the race!
House Party Musical Medley (Opening Ceremony)
A Suburban House Party serves as the setting for a journey through 5 decades of British Pop - above image shows 70’s Peace Sign, but personal favourite was ’Radish Head’ Punks pogoing to ’Pretty Vacant’. Bizarre end of segment sees Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee emerge from within house as shell is winched up.
Beckham Boat (Opening Ceremony)
David Beckham brings in flame along Thames River in a James Bond-esque sequence.
Dove Bikes (Opening Ceremony)
Instead of risking live doves for the traditional peace symbol (several perished in the flame of the 1988 Seoul Olympics) Danny Boyle elected to go with 75 Dove Bikes - kitted out with LEDs and fibre optic filaments to look truly out of this world.
The Olympic Flame Cauldron (Opening Ceremony)
Each competing country carried a copper petal into the stadium with them. These 204 petals assembled into the most magnificent Olympic Cauldron - where each arm rose from floor-level to produce the Olympic Flame. This Thomas Heatherwick -designed materpiece has been one of the key symbols of these Olympics.
Damien Hirst Union Jack (Closing Ceremony)
Damien Hirst designed wonderful abstract Union Jack artwork to act as floorspace for Closing Ceremony. Union Jack flooring was overlaid with a series of ramps - looks amazing from every angle.
Miniature London Skyline (Closing Ceremony)
Kim Gavin’s centrepiece for the closing ceremony was a Miniature London Skyline - composed of newspaper-wrapped famous landmarks, comprising - Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Gherkin, The London Eye, Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben Tower), Royal Albert Hall and Battersea Power Station.
Skyline in Lights (Closing Ceremony)
Miniature London Skyline now illuminated is viewed from the opposite side.
Skyline Cross-Section (Closing Ceremony)
Side-view exposes ’waffer-thin’ nature of building structures.
Timothy Churchill! (Closing Ceremony)
Timothy Spall emerges from Big Ben Clock Tower (Elizabeth Tower) to render same speech as Kenneth Branagh in the Opening Ceremony - Caliban’s Speech from William Shakespeare’s ’The Tempest’.
Delboy and Rodney emerge in costume (Closing Ceremony)
Still not read any commentaries in the International press about the inclusion of a famous ’Only Fools and Horses’ sketch with the usually unreliably Robin Reliant breaking down again and Delboy and Rodney left stranded sporting Batman and Robin fancy dress. Wonder what the International audience made of it!
Street Party! (Closing Ceremony)
Several articulated lorries which had been circling the perimeter finally came to a halt at conveniently spaced junctures - the side panels swung down to reveal a street party in full swing - with revellers all similarly colour-coordinated in various primary hues - just shortly before Madness emerged on an open deck lorry of their own.
Pet Shop Boys (Closing Ceremony)
Pet Shop Boys entered to the strains of ’West End Girls’ in their typically uniquely designed rickshaws and costumes.
Sexy Flag Bearers (Closing Ceremony)
Another successful costume in my opinion - red pleather biker jackets with red and silver-union-jack-accented trousers. I loved the pony-tail hair too - altogether looked really striking and smart.
John Lennon Face Jigsaw (Closing Ceremony)
Another neat segment to accompany ’Imagine’ song has performers assemble giant 3D jigsaw of John Lennon’s face from 101 pieces.
Pinball Wizard! (Closing Ceremony)
Kaiser Chief singer Ricky Wilson celebrates Mod (Modernist) culture with rousing rendition of The Who’s ’Pinball Wizard’ whilst being ferried in on classic Mod-styled Vespa.
Pixel Power! (Closing Ceremony)
70,500 Pixel Paddles were attached to spectator seats, each one with a cluster of 3 x 3 LEDs which could be activated in pretty much any colour. The Pixels provided an amazing light show throughout the ceremony, including these graphics during the Pinball Wizard / Mod segment.
British Fashion Pt1 (Closing Ceremony)
In Britain, Fashion goes hand-in-hand with Music, Arts, Culture, and even Sports! 8 articulated lorries entered the stadium with massive billboard posters on their sides - featuring the cream of Britain’s Fashion Industry - in terms of leading current models wearing the designs of Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Victoria Beckham. Accompanying Kate Moss (second from right) are Lily Cole, Karen Elson, Stella Tennant and Lily Donaldson.
British Fashion Pt2 (Closing Ceremony)
Accompanying Naomi Campbell are Jourdan Dunn, Georgia Jagger and David Gandy
Gothic Annie Lennox (Closing Ceremony)
Annie Lennox belts out rendition of ’Little Bird’ from ’Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ soundtrack - accompanied by ghostly ship and suitably Gothic-attired dancers. Very interesting staging, would have preferred a rendition of ’Sweet Dreams’ though in same setting!
Russell Brand is the Walrus (Closing Ceremony)
Fun Beatles homage featuring Russell Brand with a cast of trippy hippies - lip-syncing a touch poor for the latter-half of the Beatles’ classic.
Fat Boy Slim Inflatable Octopus (Closing Ceremony)
The Myster Tour Bus magically transforms into a writhing inflatable octopus - to accompany a medley of Fat Boy Slim’s Hits (Norman Cook).
Jessie Tinie Taio Dancing Cover (Closing Ceremony)
Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz do a pretty cool contemporary update of the Bee Gee’s classic - You Should be Dancing - Pixel Paddle graphics for this segment are amazing.
Spice Up Your Life (Closing Ceremony)
5 become 1 again at long last. Even though a little stilted and all lip-synced, still good to see the Spice Girls back together - all in pretty fine condition.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Closing Ceremony)
Failed Human Cannonball Eric Idle strikes up theme from ’Life of Brian’ - accompanied by some heavenly angels and harrowing Morris Dancers.
Darcey Bussell with the Royal and English National Ballet (Closing Ceremony)
Darcey Bussell flew in as a flaming Phoenix, and then danced to David Arnold’s ’Sprit of the Flame’ as choreographed by Christopher Weeldon, and accompanied by 4 male dancers - Gary Avis, Jonathan Cope, Edward Watson and Nehemiah Kish, alongside more than 200 dancers from the combine companies of the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet.
Union Jack Stadium (Closing Ceremony)
Olympic Stadium fully lit up with Pixel Paddle power as well as lighting in cover lining - looking resplendent in full Union Jack regalia.
Olympic Phoenix (Closing Ceremony)
Symbolic of the regeneration of the Olympic Games every 4 years - London Games are over - Long Live the 2016 Rio Games therefore.
Phoenix in Flames (Closing Ceremony)
Amazing pyrotechnics on the Phoenix as the Olympic Flame gets slowly extinguished.
Closing Fireworks (Closing Ceremony)
The Closing Fireworks start during the Rio introduction show, and peak as a cascading crescendo with circular wave after wave of showering sparks.