Spotlight turns to London as Beijing Games end

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

London's reign as Olympic host city began today after mayor Boris Johnson received the Olympic banner to signal the countdown to 2012 has begun.

David Beckham, pop icon Leona Lewis and rock star Jimmy Page began led London's eight-minute slot in the closing ceremony as the Beijing Olympics began as they finished, in a fusion of colour, light, fireworks, music, dance and technology.



After the national anthem sung by the National Youth Theatre, and the official handover, London's chance to impress the world began.



Where Beijing relied on vast numbers of participants, London used fame and popular culture.



It started with a red double decker bus driving around the race-track inside the stadium, pursued by gold medal-winning cyclists Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jamie Staff, and being surrounded by dancers when it halted.



A nine-year-old girl from east London, Tayyiba Dudhwala, chosen in a Blue Peter competition, came out of the bus to receive a football from another girl Erika Tham.



Leona Lewis then emerged from the roof on a rising column dressed in gold and singing an R'n'B aria. As the music reached a crescendo and Page came out on a rising stage with a guitar and after a pause, the unmistakable first riffs of 'Whole Lotta Love' blasted out, and Lewis began singing.



Towards the end of the song, David Beckham - to huge cheers from the crowd - appeared on another lift accompanied by Tayyiba, plus a violinist and a cellist from the London Symphony Orchestra dressed in Team GB kit.



He was handed the football and kicked it into the crowd of athletes, many of them from Team GB, in the centre of the field.



Hi-tech umbrellas then covered the bus, forming a screen of images before the bus, transformed into a carnival float, headed out of the stadium.



The effect was what London had hoped achieve - a combination of pop, culture, fashion and sport - the only negative being the sound system in the stadium did not do justice to the song even if to the hundreds of millions watching on television the sound came over perfectly.



Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, told the 91,000 people inside the Bird's Nest stadium: "Tonight, we come to the end of 16 glorious days which we will cherish forever.



"Thank you to the people of China.



"New stars were born. Stars from past Games amazed us again. We shared their joys and their tears, and we marvelled at their ability. We will long remember the achievements we witnessed here.



"These were truly exceptional Games.



"And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the Games of the 29th Olympiad closed, and I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in London to celebrate the Games of the 30th Olympiad."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam