What a wonderful opening ceremony! Danny Boyle did us all proud. It was great to see the Queen joining in with some lovely scenes with Daniel Craig. “Good evening, Mr Bond” – for a moment I thought Boyle was going to use a double for the Queen but he managed to get the real thing and with the corgis included.
Favourite bit? Hmmm, there were so many nice moments to choose from. I think the Arctic Monkeys may have edged it with a superb performance of I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor and a cover version of the Beatles’ Come Together.
The only downside to the Opening Ceremony was the very irritating commentary (if you can describe it as such) from Trevor Nelson. At least Huw and Hazel seemed to have done some research and were providing the viewers with some interesting facts about the various countries that were participating. But Trevor Nelson? The Guardian’s Sam Wollaston has written up a fine piece about him today:
“Then, for the ceremony itself, it’s over to the commentary team – Huw Edwards and Hazel Irvine. Oh, and Trevor Nelson; they have brought in another radio DJ. Well, Trevor knows his music, the difference between garage and grime – that’s probably why he’s there. Plus he’s an east London lad.
“He doesn’t say much at all to begin with, apart from telling us this is his kind of history lesson, and that we should turn it up. It’s left to Hazel and Huw, and they have done their homework. Hazel knows her Milton and Blake. Huw his industrial revolution. You can hear Huw swelling with pride, puffed up with the pomp of the occasion, enunciating every syllable, rhythmically, as if he’s reciting Milton or Blake himself. “Rising dramatically from the ground, the smoking stacks and chimneys …”
“To be fair, Huw doesn’t say too much – he lets the show speak for itself – but when he does, it’s almost as if if he thinks he’s part of the performance, rather than commentating on it.
“Trevor finally pipes up, in the section on the NHS. There’s a contradiction, he says – between the dark experience of a child going to hospital and the light on the hospital beds. Hmm, interesting. And his cousin’s in there somewhere. Less interesting. And “most of the dancers are actually health workers, doctors, nurses. So they’ve done very well to choreograph this with people who don’t have natural rhythm, I’m sure.” What’s he saying? Medical people have no natural rhythm? Ha!
“Ah, here’s the reason for Trevor: a montage, four decades of British music. “How you doing so far Hazel, naming every song?” says Trevor, halfway through. No! it’s not a competition between you two, or a quiz. And do you actually realise that you’re on TV, not just on the phone to your mate, and that quite a lot of people are watching and this is quite a big occasion?
“Then he goes and tells us it’s not the last time we’ll be hearing from a Beatle tonight, giving away the end (he doesn’t say which one, but I’m guessing it’s not Ringo). And that Team GB won’t be out until 12 – we may as well all go to bed, then. And that Dominica is a lovely, unspoilt island. Shut up!”
Here are some highlights: