Did you watch the Opening Ceremony last night? We watched it from the start at 9pm to the finish at 1am. What did you think? Didn't Danny Boyle do us proud? I thought it was brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Nothing twee or cringe-making. The segment when the LSO played Chariots Of Fire and Rowan Atkinson did Mr Bean had me in stitches. (And I don't like Mr Bean.) I also loved the sketch where "James Bond" turned up to escort the Queen to the Opening Ceremony. It proves HMQ has a sense of fun.
When you think that most of the performers were volunteers, they should be really, really proud of themselves. Professionals could not have done better. The team of staff and patients(!) from Great Ormond Street Hospital were just amazing. Most of those children have chronic, long-term illnesses and here they were, centre stage at the biggest show on earth. Their faces lit up the television screen.
Danny Boyle didn't shy away, either, from being subtly political. The message "Hands off! Leave our NHS alone!" came through loud and clear. As did the statement about honouring our armed forces and our war dead. And the tribute to the victims of 7/7. What other opening ceremony has had the Secretary General of the United Nations as an active participant? Messages received loud and clear, Mr Boyle. Well done! And thank you for making them.
My first Olympic event was actually on Tuesday, when I sang in the Torch Ceremony in Ealing. The choir had to be there from 2pm for the sound check. It was stiflingly hot. We were lucky, though - they gave us a spot under the trees, right beside the path for the torch.
About two minutes later the cauldron was lit and we sang the closing number, appropriately called "Olympic Torch". It was a medley of pop songs that finished, naturally, with "We are the Champions!".