Queen, Bond and Bean ring in Games
Queen Elizabeth made her acting debut tonight as she joined James Bond in the spectacular Olympic Games opening ceremony.
In a scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time, Bond actor Daniel Craig arrives at Buckingham Palace in a dinner jacket, striding past the corgis towards the royal study.
“Good evening Mr Bond,” says the queen, before they leave together, apparently heading towards the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter.
Back in real time, to peels of laughter and delight from the crowd, “the queen” followed by “Bond”, parachuted from a helicopter towards the arena. Seconds later the real queen and Prince Philip received a standing ovation as they arrived.
Earlier Tour de France hero Bradley Wiggins rang the giant bell which marked the start of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Wearing a yellow jersey Wiggins, who less than a week ago became the first British man to win the tour, was greeted with cheers at the Olympic Park.
It was the dramatic start of a breathtaking ceremony capturing the best of Britain, by turn moving and funny.
Some details of the Bond stunt had emerged in advance of tonight’s £27 million opening ceremony the brainchild of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle.
In another surprise Rowan Atkinson in his Mr Bean character created comic havoc as Sir Simon Rattle conducted the theme from Chariots of Fire.
The show started simply with the Stadium turned into a meadow, a green and pleasant land.
The world’s largest harmonically-tuned bell, weighing 23 tonnes and measuring two metres tall and three metres wide, rang inside the stadium to start a
Shakespeare-inspired spectacle featuring 900 children from the six east London host boroughs.
The bell, produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, is inscribed with a quote from The Tempest’s Caliban: “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises”.
The bell stood at one end of the stadium in Stratford, east London, while at the opposite end a version of Glastonbury Tor was topped off with a giant oak.
A huge waterwheel stood parallel with the 100 metre finish line where, in just a week’s time, the fastest men in the world will race to be named Olympic champion.
Oscar winner Boyle, the man responsible for the the remarkable transformation of the stadium where the athletics will take place, said: “Tonight’s a warm-up act for the Games.
“That’s one of the things you have to keep remembering. You big it up for different reasons, and you hear it bigged up or slammed or whatever it is and you’ve got to keep remembering we’re the warm-up act.”