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27th Jul 2012 1:30pm | By Frankie Mullin
Welcome to TNT's live blog of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
00:49 Well hats off to Danny Boyle. Whoever wins medals in the running and jumping and diving into pools and stuff, Britain's Olympic opening ceremony rocked. Mind-blowing. GOOD NIGHT!
00:44 What do you think of Macca as the finale? Mixed opinions on t'internet.
“Does anyone actually want Macca to play tonight? It's like your great granddad turning up at a foam party,” tweeted Nick Canham.
But Piers Morgan is happy: “Can't beat Macca for the finale - greatest living British composer.”
At least everyone knows the words.
00:39 And Macca.
00:38 BOOM! SCREAM! APPLAUSE!
00:34 And there's THE CALDRON. Majestic.
00:32 It's like some bizarre Pagan ritual with the flaming torches and the circles and the chanting. Feel as though something from another realm is about to be conjured out of the darkness. But maybe I've just eaten too many biscuits.
00:26 David Beckham is back in his speedboat and has passed the Olympic torch to Britain’s greatest ever Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave (five Gold medals).
00:20 Beautiful but sad to see Muhammad Ali, who is battling Parkinson's. Huge support for the legend.
00:18 The Games are open says the Queen!
00:12 Naughty Team GB - shot of them talking through the IMPORTANT SPEECH by IOC president Jacques Rogge. Which of course, we are listening to with close attention.
00:05 Ooh amazing Cirque du Soleil-esque performers. Flying bikes! Wish the whole of the Olympics could be like this.
00:01 Jubilee, joy and elation from the crowd as Arctic Monkeys hit the stage amid fireworks and pyrotechnics.
23:57 Some consternation that Tom Daley is fully dressed.
23:55 TEAM GB!!!! Loving the Gary Glitter costume on Chris Hoy.
Eek, a shot of the Queen picking her nails. Bad timing!
23:45 OK here's a picture of people watching the opening ceremony in India. To HELP US BRACE UP.
23:45 Announcer just told us, "Only 15 minutes to go until Team GB arrive." Is that supposed to be encouraging?
23:37 Here are some Aussies watching the Olympic opening ceremony in Federation Square, Melbourne. They got up at the crack of dawn for this, you lightweights! But let's be honest, not many of them.
There’s been a bit of brou-haha from some quarters about the fact that Opening Ceremony announcements were made in French before English.
Apparently, this is because French is the official language of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A document obtained under freedom of information laws by The Spectator magazine and the Games Monitor website after a two-year battle stipulated that Olympic ceremonies "must be presented in English and French" and that the English version "should be read after the French"
23:06 Usain Bolt has got the spectators waking up from their forty winks. Massive applause. Here's what the man himself had to say yesterday.
22:58 Some opinions coming our way via Twitter:
Germany = worst dressed
Finland = Hottest
Fiji = Best flag-bearer
Guatemala = "quite glee"
Agree? Disagree? Tweet @tntmagazine
22:53 Just did some scientific research on Twitter and suspicions were confirmed. TEA BREAK TIME.
Here's what the kids are saying:
“Twitter has suddenly gone very quiet, suspect a lot of people are having a loo & tea break,” tweeted Mike Turner.
“And this part is like the points being given during Eurovision... Pee and tea break!” said Mike Driesen.
“While this is a fun world geography lesson, might be time to take a quick tea break,” Piya Sinha-Roy.
“Does anyone know - are we under G for Great Britain or U for United Kingdom? Just trying to time my tea break..." tweeted Giselle Cassallas.
22:49 God help us, are we still only at 'D'??
22:47 Yikes, some terrifying tweets from Tory MP Aiden Burley: "The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen - more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?"
And: "Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!"
Is this a joke??
22:38 OK this is important: for the first time ever, every country competing in the Olympics will have women on their teams. This is a first for Brunei, Quatar, Saudia Arabia. About bloody time!
22:34 The athletes are being paraded out. But you're going to see plenty of them, right. So here are some more pictures of the fun part.
22:23 We still don’t know who will light the Olympic flame tonight, but earlier today bookmakers stopped taking bets on Sir Roger Bannister, the 83-year-old who became the first man to run a four-minute mile.
22:19 Emeli Sande singing Abide With Me. Beautiful. So impressed with the dancers. Not seen a foot out of place.
22:15 The torch is going to be lit soon! David Beckham is en route in speedboat. Clearly uncomfortable in the limelight as always.
22:11 We'll take this minute to show you a couple of pictures that have just come in from earlier on in the ceremony...
22:07 Full on party time in the stadium now. Hope the Queen's enjoying. Wish they'd pan camera in on her face for this part.
21:58 Some amazing dancing from Danny Boyle's army of Olympic opening ceremony volunteers. I'm sure this lot don't hang out in my local disco.
Danny's certainly not letting down the lefties tonight. Dancers just formed a CND sign.
"Olympic ceremony dancers now forming a CND peace symbol on stage. Expect some trainee teachers to form a hammer and sickle next," tweeted Tim Stanley.
21:54 Quick celebration of, er, the phone.
21:50 Nice bit of British silliness with the Mr Bean sketch. Have to wonder what the rest of the world is thinking about this part. And that's part of what makes it so funny!
21:46 Crowd is going mad for the opening ceremony NHS tribute. And of course the tripped-out Mary Poppinses. Everyone on Twitter seeing this as big political statement. The NHS not Mary Poppins.
21:39 Dancing nurses! Glad Danny Boyle's giving a shout out to the NHS.
"Any second now, David Cameron will appear to sack all those NHSpeople," tweeted (not the real) Elizabeth Windsor.
21:28 Go on The Queen! She's hanging out with 007! And we thought joining Lady Gaga on tour would have been epic. To be honest, seeing her Maj chatting to James Bond pisses over all other opening ceremonies. Everywhere.
21:24 Spectators are spellbound as Olympic rings are 'forged' in the sky above them. Really incredibly dramatic.
21:19 Here come the 60s. Bet those volunteers liked their costumes. Whole show is actually pretty dark and intense though. Wouldn't actually want to be on any 60s drugs.
21:14 Some giant chimneys puffing black smoke. Have you TURNED YOUR TV UP as instructed? Don't worry, your neighbours have too.
Pretty amazing transformation there Danny...
21:10 Kenneth Branagh is giving us some potted history backed up by 1000 volunteer drummers. The chick on the main drums looks a bit like Lady Gaga but isn’t!
21:05 Bradley Wiggins rang the big bell. He won the Tour de France. Children singing Jerusalem. It's all very surreal.
20:57 Only minutes to go! Orchestra building up over emotional stadium. Anyone feel like sobbing already?
20:46 Frank Tuner just performed on 'Glastonbury Tor'. Mixed reactions on Twitter.
"GO ON FRANK TURNER! What a gig to get! Imagine this was it. Ceremony over. Goodnight," tweeted a fan.
Less flattering: "Was surprised to see Frank Turner performing, but then remembered he went to school with Cameron, Boris and all those chums"
Anyway, here's a picture of him:
20:35 Less than half an hour to go... Hopefully you're not burning out what with the Red Arrows and the horses and fake clouds and everything.
Here are some pretty pictures.
Red Arrows fly over the Olympic stadium (Getty Images)
The stars make their entrance (Getty Images)
20:27 It's raining. But chin up, apparently 250,000 ponchos are on hand in the stadium should the predictable happen.
20:24 If you’re wondering what’s going to happen to the12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheepdogs appearing in the Olympic opening ceremony tonight, they’re expected to continue life in the limelight.
In a letter to the Captive Animals Protection Society, the Olympics committee's director of ceremonies Bill Morris said: "Because the animals come from a specialist supplier we understand that none of them are intended for the food chain.
"Indeed it is expected that they will return to natural surroundings and any future roles in movies and theatre."
Outrageous? Could't give a Nando's wing? Tweet us @tntmagazine
20:17 Ooh good, Boris Johnson has been asked about Jeremy Hunt's bell end!
20:12 Red arrows flying in formation across London to reach stadium for start of pre-show. Pretty epic sight.
Here's where else they've been today: London 2012 Live Sites, including Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, before a flypast of the Olympic Stadium and the Central London Live Sites in Victoria Park and Hyde Park to mark the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony pre-show at 20:12hrs.
20:04 First glimpse of animals in the stadium. Horses. Geese. Beat that Beijing!
19:58 And David Walliams tweeted "Walliams Stone Bish". And yes, there they are.
Pic: Twitpic David Walliams
19:50 Professional gob Jeremy Clarkson just tweeted: "My ideas for the opening ceremony were rejected. I suggested we should crash a burning Jag into Mitt Romney." OK then.
19:38 Loving the Beeb's soundtrack to Team GB rundown. It's Real Hero, by College. You know it from the movie Drive.
19:32 Another update from our spy in the Stratford stadium changing rooms. TNT reader Lesley, who will be performing in the opening ceremony, just told us:
"All a bit mad now. We have a half hour walk down to the stadium so we all wear trainers and carry our high heels! Lots of frantic last-minute costume and make-up checks... OK.. getting called out in stages. Lots of cheering!"
19:25 If you want to rant, rave or add a pithy comment, tweet us @tntmagazine
19:21 Some sort of giant balloon just floated out over the stadium and spectators screamed. Er, we'll need a bit more than this to be impressed!
19:11 Steve Redgrave and Michael Johnson being interviewed by Gary Linekar. Will either of them be lighting the flame? We still don't know. We're really very sorry if you're chewing your fingernails off with suspense.
19:06 Getting a look at Danny Boyle's set on the Beeb. Quite Teletubbies but we're expecting some twists.
18:56 Oh dear, BBC weather man is telling us it's going to rain from Sunday onwards. We suggest you get yourself to one of the London parks that will be showing the opening ceremony on a big screen.
18:49 Nothing says you heart your country like squeezing yourself into a Union Jack tea-towel.
18:36 It's time to get your dinner on and make sure the beer's in the fridge. The opening ceremony proper starts at 9pm and will go on until midnight so brace up!
The whole shebang will be shown live on BBC1, with free 3D coverage on the BBC HD channel.
While you wait, here's a remix of the moment when Jeremy Hunt's bell end blew off into a group of women. Watch it on loop.
18:29 Just had another update from TNT reader Lesley who's performing in the opening ceremony tonight:
"Just queued up for one and a half hours for hair do! In costume now feeling very stressed. Different atmosphere in changing rooms tonight, everyone a bit more edgy than previously. Just been told we have to remove eyeliner!"
18:20 Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini will celebrate the start of the Olympics at a concert in Hyde Park this evening.
When asked what their Olympic sport would be in an interview today, Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor, told ABC News: “Cross-dressing. Is than event?”
Here's some classic Duran Duran:
18.10: What did we just tell you? The BBC are interviewing schoolchildren who will be performing tonight. Will they give anything away? Not a chance. OFFER THEM SWEETS!
18:06 There’s been an impressive conspiracy of silence around the opening ceremony with reports of volunteer performers refusing to give away secrets about the show, even when plied with alcohol.
We know that the ‘Isles of Wonder’ show will celebrate Britain and how it has changed over the last two centuries and sneak peeks reveals exuberant costumes and elaborate lighting. It’s also known that live farm animals will be involved.
Other stuff we’re expecting to see: Nurses, maypoles, plows, green and pleasant fields; Paul McCartney.
Things it’s rumoured we might see: a pre-recorded segment filmed inside Buckingham Palace, Daniel Craig as James Bond, a 007 stunt man who will parachute into the stadium.
And possibly: The show may take a dark turn as green idyll is replaced by soot, chimneys and a stream of soldiers who will emerge from the top of the Tor in a salute to Britain's armed forces.
Here's what Danny Boy has to beat:
17: 40 Opening Ceremony mastermind Danny Boyle has confessed to slight jitters for his 15,000 performers ahead of tonight's show.
No pressure Danny - only 80,000 people in the audience, including the Queen and a load of celebs. Oh, and everyone in the world who owns a TV.
Speaking at a press conference, Boyle said: "It has been a long road and we are almost there. I mean, what you think about really, is the volunteers. The thing is with directors they just sit at the back in the end, you know, this is a live performance and in this case they are volunteers, and they have to get up there and do it.
"Any nervousness I feel is for them, really. My nerves are not important. And the excitement I feel about it is the same excitement they feel.
"So yeah, I am looking forward to it. Whatever comes our way, comes our way because it is live and it's a one-time only. I will never do one again, but it is extraordinary to be involved in one."
Outside the Olympic Park this afternoon (Getty Images)
17:30 Spectators are arriving at Stratford in their droves, ready to get into place for the opening ceremony. The gate opened several hours ahead of the ceremony touted as being so exciting even sports-haters will be glued to their TVs.
TNT reader Lesley Morris, who is performing in the opening ceremony told us the atmosphere in Stratford is "buzzing".
Boris Johnson has been ramping up the hysteria today, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "What's so amazing is just the wave of excitement seems to pass from person to person like some benign form of contagion. Everybody is getting it."