For three minutes, Big Ben will toll from within London's famous Clock Tower as seven years of waiting gives way to a late-night celebration of all things British, and there may be very little rain to fall on this almighty parade.

After several days of blazing hot sun and temperatures reaching the high twenties, Londoners woke up on the morning of the Olympic Games' opening ceremony to 17 degrees and 84 per cent humidity. Here's hoping James Bond's suit is fashioned from one of those clever cooling fabrics.

Though many of the ceremony's details have already been leaked to the public through various means, people on Twitter have been dreaming up surprise participants of their own.

The best suggestion, for pure Britishness and synchronicity, came from Australian author Michael Pryor (@MichaelJPryor), who would like to see hundreds of bowler hatted, umbrellaed gents from the Ministry of Silly Walks.


Across the Atlantic, young American tweeters don't seem to be all that enticed by a rumoured showdown between Harry Potter nemesis Lord Voldemort and flying nanny Mary Poppins, with both literary heavyweights pushed away from their affections by the Hunger Games' fan-favourites, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark.

If the Olympic opening ceremony doesn't have Katniss and Peeta on a blazing chariot, I won't be happy said Colleen Geraghty. (@CollyFlowerrrr).

Her compatriot Madison Bucher (@mbuch23) said the opening ceremony is so similar to the Hunger Games, if you think about it.

For the uninitiated, the Hunger Games is a post-apocalyptic novel in which eligible adolescents are taken from their homes by government forces, and sent to an arena to fight to the death until one final victor remains. Since nobody is expecting Usain Bolt to stalk and kill his rival Yohan Blake (one should hope not, anyway) the similarities begin and end with the marching.

Other luminaries on the opening night wishlist include Irish pop stars One Direction, and the most beloved Doctor Who of modern times, Scottish actor David Tennant.

Closer to home, New Zealanders are all abuzz about an athlete, which might strike star-spotters as a bit of a departure, but this is sporting event after all. Yesterday, middle-distance runner Nick Willis was confirmed as the nation's flagbearer, and the tweets have been almost unanimous in support of his selection.

The opening ceremony has succeeded in capturing imaginations before it starts. Very soon, we will know if it has met our expectations.

The stage is set. The time is now. London, show us what you've got.

Tweet of the day

Extraordinary that London mayor Boris Johnson invoked Obama's 'yes we can' slogan to mock Romney in front of Hyde Park crowd #mitthitsthefan @jameschappers