London 2012 opening ceremony: highlights and videos

Relive the highlights of the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony - review, videos and pictures

Nick J Webb

  • Olympic opening ceremony review

    Rating: 4/5
    by Andrzej Lukowski

    Is there a Chinese phrase equivalent to ‘WTF’? If so, one imagines it was uttered by more than a few mouths in Beijing on Friday night. While budgets are slashed across the board elsewhere in the UK, theatre and film director Danny Boyle was gifted £27m for the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, with the express remit of making the British not look like impoverished bumpkins next to the Chinese, whose uber-bombastic 2008 Olympics opener might as well have been subtitled ‘world, meet your new superpower’.

    In the event, Boyle’s faintly bonkers tribute to all things British seemed to only have the slightest eye on international audiences: if our hypothetical observers from the Chinese capital had managed to get all the references in a ceremony that paid homage to everything from maypole dancing to Isambard Kingdom Brunel to the NHS to ‘Brookside’s famed lesbian kiss, I’d probably suggest their anglophilia was getting a little obsessive.

    Read full London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony review

London 2012 Opening Ceremony in 57 pictures

© Ben Rowe

‘Genius’ cried one. ‘Cliche’ cried another. Relive some of the most memorable moments below and let us know what you thought…

View the Opening Ceremony in 57 pictures

Interview with creative director Danny Boyle

© Rob Greig

As Danny Boyle promoted his new film '127 Hours' we spoke to him about his next big directing gig: the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Read Danny Boyle interview

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony videos