The Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle had the world at his feet. He could have chosen any creative project he wanted. Hollywood, television, the theatre – it was all open to him. And what has he chosen? To become the artistic director of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. It's certainly a brave decision.
As the Lancastrian director must know, the British are world-class moaners. And the Olympic Games bring out that tendency more than anything else. We've already had protracted whinges about the cost, the official logo, and the legacy. In the coming two years there will be moans about budget overruns and missed deadlines. There will be anguish about how many medals Britain is going to win.
And, yes, there will be moans about the opening ceremony. It will be judged to be not as good as Beijing's spectacular and hugely expensive show in 2008. There will be complaints that it panders to national stereotypes, or that there's nothing recognisably British about it. We are glad that Mr Boyle has signed up for the project. But we fear that, in doing so, he's also put himself in the running for a gold medal in masochism.