BBC BLOGS - Robbo Robson
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My vision for 2012's opening ceremony

Robbo Robson | 13:35 UK time, Monday, 11 August 2008

Having slagged off opening ceremonies before seeing Beijing's effort, you have to say that the Chinese laid on a spectacle that was quite simply unbelievable.

Just when you thought they couldn't fit another 4000 people in the stadium, up they popped. It was like one chunk of magic after another.

In fact it was so blinking perfect you longed for a Chinese Clive Dunn to be just one step behind everyone else just to prove that human beings were involved.

Amazing stuff. Your thoughts are already drifting towards London's grand opening in four years time.

There's no way we could compete, so let's not try. We should certainly be celebrating our culture in the same way as Beijing did but beyond that, the idea of organising 40,000 Brits into one four-hour spectacular is a complete non-starter.

Never mind, the regulars down the Blue Bell have been brainstorming some ideas - you know, blue sky thinking (it's a bit overcast, mind) and really trying to think outside the pub.

First off, you've got to have some of them blokes in busbies going up and down blaring out some tedious old tunes while the rest of suddenly start to appreciate the harmonic delight that is Atomic Kitten. That's the first half hour out the way.


Then you could have a little medley of great moments of British history: a line of brickies drinking tea while Alan Rickman, dressed as the Emperor Hadrian, keeps pointing at his sundial and telling them to "get on with it".

King Harold waiting to get one in the eye, with Phil 'The Power' Taylor throwing the arrows.

Someone like that shrieking-voiced bird off Strictly Come Dancing could choreograph a Merry Men routine with Goughie as Robin Hood and Ramps, Dawson and Colin Jackson doing a bit of mincing too.

Obviously we could go for the giant scroll again with the Magna Carta but as my missus said during the Beijing ceremony, "where do you find a piece of paper that big?";

We're going to need fireworks so let's re-stage the Gunpowder Plot, but I'd make sure the fireworks are done properly, one at a time, by some lucky dad who's won a phone-in competition on This Morning - we could probably have some stage school brats holding sparklers n all just to make it realistic.

Jordan can be Lady Godiva - actually she likes her ponies so we could have a Godiva Show Jumping Event - top naked totty on horseback - it's got to be a winner.

It'd be nice to bring it bang up to date by having a sequence where hundreds of foreigners working for peanuts slowly build a mysterious structure that turns out to be a massive white elephant.

Then I'd get Prince Edward in to host another twerpy It's a Knockout that celebrates British inventions.

Imagine if you will, Princess Michael of Kent and Prince Harry dressed as television sets fighting to be the first one to squeeze inside a red telephone box.

The Queen and the Duke Of Westminster in a keg-rolling contest, the winner being the one who can crack the barrel open and down the contents in one.

Then we'll have a quick look at all that's great about British folk traditions. Pearly kings, sword dances, morris men. That'll take another minute.

And then it's on to the centerpiece of the evening: Phil Schofield and Anne Robinson hosting the great British Olympic Pub Quiz.

An interlude where we have Olympic memories from Kris Akabusi (spectators can pop off for a bevy or a Bovril at this point). Then it's back to the quiz!

And finally we could have a parade of all that's great about life in Britain today. Richard and Judy, warm beer, a 10-foot high stack of cash being pursued by a line of footballers, a massive vat of mushy peas, a bunch of lagery lads floating by on a giant nan bread, and a whole host of WAGs tripping away on five-inch stilettos like emaciated dinosaurs.

Then it's time to light the Olympic flame - mighty Olympians Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Sebastian Coe (the knighthood's a cert come 2012), Daley Thompson and Bradley Wiggins gathered round a giant barbecue all trying to strike a match in the traditional August rain.

And once they've sent Dwain Chambers off to get some more briquettes, the flame rises to the sky and it's time for the athletes to enter the arena.

Only this time each country has to nominate a singing flag-carrier who has to put his or her flag down to join Denis van Outen and some faceless prat in some karaoke, the winner to be judged by that high-waisted know-all Simon Cowell!

If they can tailor-make the stadium to our national needs there'll be an enormous bar running around the inside of the arena, manned by Australians and serving continental lagers and over-priced hand-cut crisps and the evening will be complete.

Some of you might think that this all lacks ambition but I think as a nation we don't play to our strengths enough. I'm sure Prime Minister Cameron would approve. God help us.


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