The theme for the big event, which will kick off the 2012 Games in exactly six months, was inspired by a passage from The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

The ceremony’s artistic director, Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle, said the title “allows us to celebrate the rich heritage, diversity, energy, inventiveness, wit and creativity that truly defines the British Isles”.

Organisers have already recruited 10,000 volunteers, 900 of them children, to perform in the ceremony.

Boyle said the ceremony would reflect that the idea that it is “the people’s Games”.

There will be a whole sequence dedicated to the achievements of the NHS performed by nurses and other healthcare staff, revealed Boyle.

Boyle said he had commissioned the biggest ringing bell in Europe to hang at one end of the Olympic Stadium – to be rung at the start of the ceremony.

Boyle said: “We want people to be able to hear this bell for hundreds of years.”

But the Slumdog Millionaire director said the event wouldn’t rival the stunning opening ceremony that took place at the start of the Beijing Olympics four years ago, because of the tough economic times.

He said: “You are standing on the shoulder of giants when you do this kind of job because you cannot but live in the shadow of your predecessors.”

He added that the event “will be spectacular but the reduction in scale will be inevitable”.