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Olympics: Top 10 moments of the Opening Ceremony

Nick Willis leads the New Zealand team into Olympic Stadium during the spectacular London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Nick Willis leads the New Zealand team into Olympic Stadium during the spectacular London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Herald on Sunday's Andrew Alderson provides his 10 favourite moments live at the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The choreography
Artistic director Danny Boyle is a genius. Getting 10,000 people to interact and take a global audience through the gamut of British history with wit and poignancy is a tall order. This was a masterpiece in direction. Shame he can't win a gold medal for it.

The inclusivity
Catered to all walks of British life from the National Health Service to trade unionists to cricketers to rap artists. Seven billion bits of paper were distributed to represent every person in the world and there was even a memorial wall for loved ones who couldn't be there. Up there for empathy with the decision to relocate 4000 smooth newts during the stadium construction.

The flame
A bold touch to hand it to the next generation to light the flame but fits with the Games theme "to inspire a generation".

Sir Steven Redgrave put in a solid anchor leg running from the river and there appeared to be smooth ignition on all torches. Logistical perfection.

The shipping forecast
The sound of this British broadcasting icon cranking up proceedings was a treat, even for those of us who couldn't normally give a hoot about maritime weather. It's just such an soothing, repetitive patter, especially if you're a landlubber snug under a warm duvet in the heart of winter.

The soundtrack
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Who, Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, The Bee Gees, Blur, Coldplay, Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys... the list was never ending.

The national anthem was also a treat from the Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf Hearing children in their pyjamas. They sang their lungs out.

Mr Bean and Chariots of Fire
Rowan Atkinson had lost none of his class reprising the role, especially the facials when he had to reach for an umbrella to give his finger a rest on the piano playing some of Vangelis' finest work. The dream sequence running along the foreshore at St Andrews had the crowd roaring.

Tribute to Sir Tim Berners-Lee
How appropriate for the inventor of the World Wide Web, given the number of computers, smart phones and general gadgetry getting used in the stadium, piggy-backing on his genius. Berners-Lee's creation has changed the world irrevocably. Arguably this generation's Einstein.

James Bond and the Queen
Reassuring to see her majesty showing self-deprecation in her acting debut. Loved how she made 007 wait for her. Made a refreshing change from the measured Christmas Day message. The Royals are on a roll at the moment. Understated cameo from corgis Monty, Willow and Holly and a stern countenance from personal footman, Paul.

Bradley Wiggins ringing the bell
Gave the ceremony a contemporary touch after his achievement over 3500km during the last month to become the first Brit to win le Tour de France. At 23 tonnes it is the largest harmonically tuned bell in the world and has already been booked into the foundry (in 200 years time) for retuning.

The fashion stakes
Most teams looked resplendent but Belarus, Bulgaria and Cameroon were a notch up. The Belarussians went for beige summer suits and boater hats at rakish angles. The Bulgarians opted for blue and white check blazers and cheesecutters. The Cameroonians came out in a blaze of colour. Looked like orange, red and black peacocks when they spread their robes. Sprinter Kim Collins' shades were sharp leading out St Kitts and Nevis, too.

- Herald on Sunday

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