- 15 Aug 08, 10:57 AM
The Chinese may have built a stadium called the Bird's Nest but they don't like the idea of a British comedian known for riding an ostrich trying to improve the Olympic atmosphere.
I was chatting to Bernie Clifton in Beijing the other night, the former BBC comedian from Crackerjack (that was a children's programme which ran from the 1950s to the mid-80s for you youngsters!) who is most famous for riding a bright yellow puppet bird.
I get to meet all the serious Olympic figures, you know.
What's he doing here? Well, he plays trombone in the band which entertains the crowd at all England's football matches -- the England Band.
They have come to the Games to try to liven up the atmosphere in the stadia, some of which have looked a bit empty so far.
But the band has been stopped from taking their instruments into the venues. Even when they try to get the crowds singing at events, they say they are being stopped by Chinese stewards.
I can see the point if they were going to make lots of noise in the middle of a gymnastics routine. But they were at the hockey the other night trying to beef up the atmosphere.
Please, London 2012, let people have fun when the Games come to Britain.
The Chinese do do fun. I was at the merchandise store the other day and it was like the January sales with everybody getting very excited about mascots and pins and everything.
By the way, a little bird told me that Bernie's got the ostrich with him. What a picture that would be in front of the Bird's Nest.
Or are we Brits just a bit too silly for a big event like the Olympics?
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