Building The Olympic Dream
"Putting your 2012 hat on, I notice there's a three-part special starting on BBC Two. Any details?"
- so here they are for him and for everyone else.
"Building The Olympic Dream" is a series being made by the BBC's in-house factual department which follows the inside story of the London Games.
This was commissioned before we'd moved into the new phase of the BBC Olympic project but it fits neatly with our aims: telling the story of 2012 not just through sport but in documentary, news and culture - and harnessing the BBC's resources at local, national and global level across all our platforms.
The first film is about the London handover ceremony in Beijing: the London bus, David Beckham and Leona Lewis. It follows the early planning meetings, the massive organisational challenges the London team faced in Beijing - and then the moment of truth with billions of people watching worldwide. The later films concentrate more on the physical building of the Olympics and the construction site in Stratford.
In my current job I'd known only that this programme was being made but I wasn't across any of the detail, so when I saw the DVD a few weeks back I came to it fresh. One big thing leapt out. It has astonishing access for filming: our crews were there in many of the key meetings - and full marks to the participants from LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) and the ODA (the Olympic Delivery Authority) for being so open and for seeing this project as part of the public record of the Games.
Now, you may recall that the London segment of the closing ceremony didn't draw a rapturous reception from most commentators. Few of those handover moments do, and the film shows with complete clarity just how difficult it was to insert London's eight minutes into the Chinese party. One of the strengths of the programme is it allows viewers to make their own judgements - just as in the next two episodes you can decide how much you sympathise with the local residents facing disruption because of the Olympic project.