Along with about 40 million other people across the planet I tuned in to the Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday night. It definitely aroused a wide variety of reactions, if not universal critical aclaim.The Daily Mail described it as ‘unconventional’ and ‘original’ but was concerned that large swathes of our history in particular, that of the British Empire, had been left out. Tory MP Adain Burley, called it ‘leftie multicultural crap’ although he quickly asserted that he was taken ‘out of context’ after a stern talking to from David Cameron. Boris Johnson on the other hand, as Mayor of London opined ‘I’m a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray.’
The smoking ban was lifted
Fred would have approved
Giant inflatable chimneys reminiscent of a tribute to Fred Dibnah were the order of the evening.
Overcrowding on Ward 27
and scary dancing nurses tried to revive a monster dead baby. Great Ormond Street Hospital got a gigantic free global advert when their logo was flashed across the screen. How many charities would have like to be in that position I wonder?
Even if you knew your JK Rowling from your JM Barry from your Industrial Revolution from your Dizzee Rascal you could conceivably have got rather confused as to what was going on. If you were watching the ceremony after consuming alcohol, as I confess I was, I think you could pretty much count on confusion being a predominant factor . Yes I did like the fiery bits where flaming rings were forged (at last something to do with the Olympics! I get it!) And I liked the cauldron at the end where those funny shaped things carried by each country’s team that looked a bit like bedpans, turned out to be elements of a sculpture made up of copper pieces which joined together to make a giant torch, each stem having the name of a participating nation engraved on it.
The comedic bits didn’t really work in my opinion. Apparently no one in the stadium thought that the Queen had really jumped out of the helicopter as they had already seen her sitting down earlier on and getting her Murray mints out for the long haul. And while I appreciate that Mr Bean is a very successful multi national export, his antics for me, spoiled the true Olympic sentiments of the Chariots of Fire theme. Paul McCartney was wheeled out again for the ‘climax’ to the musical section, but he is about as past it as a sixty four year old vegetarian sausage. We’d already had him on at the Jubilee anyway. Technically it was amazing, no doubt about it. But I’m sorry Danny, it STILL wasn’t as good as Trainspotting..Get An Accidental English Tourist delivered by email