TV audience of one billion watch Olympics Opening Ceremony

An estimated worldwide audience of over one billion watched the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony last night (27.07.12) which has received universal praise

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Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle

An estimated worldwide audience of over one billion watched the London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony last night (27.07.12).

The spectacular event - masterminded by director Danny Boyle with help from thousands of volunteers - was brought to a rousing an emotional finale with a performance of Beatles classic 'Hey Jude' by Sir Paul McCartney.

However, the worldwide audience had plenty to keep them entertained earlier as a host of celebrities and members of the public came together to put on the spectacular show.

From Queen Elizabeth pretending to jump out of a helicopter with Daniel Craig, in character as James Bond, to Rowan Atkinson making a star turn as Mr. Bean and David Beckham bringing the Olympic torch to the stadium in Stratford on a speedboat on the Thames, viewers were enthralled.

Boyle has received universal praise with The Hollywood Reporter stating "The ballsy choice of Danny Boyle to oversee the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony yielded a unique take on large-canvas nation-themed spectacle that is likely to go down as one of the more eccentric and memorable kickoffs in the Games' history."

Dancer Sarah Lane, who performed in the ceremony, added: "The whole experience has been great. "Even when we were rehearsing in a car park for five hours in the rain, everyone's spirit was really high.

"Danny Boyle was really approachable, which made such a difference. He made everyone feel part of the team and he thanked us all personally during rehearsals.

"I think Danny really captured the spirit of Britain, and everyone was part of the show.

"It was truly magical."

A fireworks display closed the ceremony as despite the speculation that a celebrity or former Olympian would light the torch, the organisers surprised everyone by choosing seven teenage athletes to light copper petals - brought in by each of the 204 countries - which converged in spectacular fashion to form the cauldron in the middle of the Olympic Stadium.

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