Huge bell set to ring in London 2012 Olympics

 

The London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony should make everyone feel like it is "the people's Games", artistic director Danny Boyle said today.

He is hoping that everyone, both inside east London's 80,000-seater showpiece Olympic Stadium and the worldwide audience of billions, will get a sense of intimacy and humanity. It is also set to reflect the British sense of humour and be a bit of fun.

With six months to go to the spectacular opening, he said: "We would be very honoured if we are compared very favourably to Sydney (the 2000 Games) and this was another people's Games."

The sound of an enormous bell, set to be the biggest ringing bell in Europe, has been commissioned from a foundry in Whitechapel, east London, to kick off the proceedings.

Boyle has picked the title Isles of Wonder for his work on the ceremony, setting a target for himself to try to celebrate the best of British while representing all the regions.

There is a special sequence, using nurses to celebrate the NHS, that he feels is quite special.

Up to 900 children, aged seven to 13, from the local Olympic host boroughs are also set for a starring role in the London 2012 ceremonies. Stating that for them it will be the stuff that memories are made of, Boyle added that it will "make an indelible mark" on them about how unique this event is.

He said: "You are standing on the shoulders of giants when you do this kind of job.

"You can not but live in the shadow of your predecessors. The spectacle of Beijing was just breathtaking. The sheer beauty of Athens is very inspiring but I have to say that Sydney has inspired us. It got the feel of a people's Games right.

"It is inevitable that people will compare us - and that is fine.

"I think there is a sea change and we are lucky enough to be setting it. It will be spectacular but the reduction in scale is inevitable."

London 2012 said they will release some details of the opening in the run-up to the Games to give people a flavour of what to expect. Boyle said he would have preferred to keep everything a "surprise" but that is not necessarily possibly in this hi-tech age, especially as there is such interest in it.

London 2012 chair Lord Coe said one of the motifs of the ceremonies would be "who we are, who we were and who we hope to be".

More than four billion people are set to make up the combined audiences of the four opening and closing ceremonies.

There will be 15,000 volunteers cast across all four ceremonies, with those auditioning ranging from 18 to 90 years old, from all across the UK, including people who watched the 1948 Games live.

Estimates suggest that in advertising spend it could be worth £2 billion.

Boyle said the NHS was picked as a feature because it is something unique.

"When you start this process, you sit there and think 'What is unique about us?'," he said.

"You try to capture that but some of it will be very difficult because it is a stadium show.

"There is our sense of humour, which is difficult to get in a stadium show where language will not be the way to do it - but we are working on that."

There will be at least two full dress rehearsals, probably with a crowd.

The NHS staff, many of whom come from London, will be in special costumes and a link will be made with the children who will be taking part.

"We will be celebrating the whole of the United Kingdom," said Mr Boyle.

PA

News
Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?