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.

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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?

Adrian Warner is BBC London's Olympics correspondent. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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  • 1. At 1:05pm on 15 Aug 2008, mrstephenwright wrote:

    Hi Adrian, I've seen a couple of your reports on BBC London News. Are you putting that reporting voice on for a joke or bet? it's very funny, bit like Wicker.

    Could you go back to normal reporting style please. My wife has to leave the room when your on as it really annoys her.

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  • 2. At 1:35pm on 15 Aug 2008, James Autar wrote:

    Just to say what a great presenter Jake Humphrey is. He speaks clearly, opens his mouth has perfect ennuciation and is easy to listen to. He should be up front doing Olympic Breakfast.

    What a contrast to Adrian Chiles who whispers away and keeps repeating himself, getting halfway through a sentence, stopping and then going back and picking up on the last 3-4 words. Very boring and unprofessional.

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  • 3. At 4:39pm on 15 Aug 2008, TheStinkyfox wrote:

    With regards to the blog, would you turn up at someone else's dinner party with your own after-dinner speaker?

    If a man on an ostrich can match the opening ceremony, then there is perhaps nothing wrong with turning up as a country's guest claiming to improve their atmosphere.

    How about we hope that the 2008 drummers (plus the ostrich?) gate crash 2012?

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  • 4. At 10:41am on 16 Aug 2008, mascotsbiteback wrote:

    At least Adrian Warner stands out from the crowd. Nothing wrong with the voice and the reports are interesting and informative.

    We especially liked the mascot piece! It showed how the Olympics can appeal to all ages.

    It's time to get everyone behind 2012 and Adrian is leading the way.

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