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2012 Features

You are in: London > 2012 Olympic Games > 2012 Features > Eight minute wonder

2012 logo with union flag makeover

The 2012 logo gets a Union Flag makeover

Eight minute wonder

Adrian Warner ponders how 2012 organisers will promote London in eight minutes...

by Adrian Warner
BBC London 2012 Olympics correspondent

At the end of every Olympics, the next host city gets a chance to preview the following Games with an eight-minute show at the closing ceremony.

So on August 24 in Beijing, the Olympic flag will be handed to London Mayor Boris Johnson and 2012 organisers will put on a show which is supposed to tell the world what London is all about.

"You thought the logo was controversial? Just wait until Brits watch those eight minutes"

Olympic expert

As one Olympic expert told me the other day: "You thought the logo was controversial? Just wait until Brits watch those eight minutes."

At the Atlanta Games in 1996, Sydney got into all sorts of trouble in Australia when they sent out a team of inflatable kangaroos on push bikes. Australians felt their country had far more to offer to the world than that."

So what is Britain going to do in Beijing? We do know that a traditional London red bus is heading out to China to take part and that the performance will include the urban dance group Zoo Nation, the Royal Ballet and Candoco, a disabled dance group.

There's been loads of speculation about the stars who will be involved - from David Beckham and the Spice Girls to Robbie Williams. But I'm told no major celebrity has signed on the dotted line yet.

I understand, however, that humour will be a key part of the show -- in stark contrast to what is expected to be a spectacular but traditional Chinese ending to the Games.

Adrian Warner

London 2012 say they have another "big idea". What do you think it should be? Is Britain about red buses and urban dance groups? What should we be telling the world? Like the logo, it's a tough decision.

Go too traditional with red buses and black cabs and you'll be accused of looking back to the past. Put on too much urban dance stuff and people won't see the London connection.
I reckon we can expect a row as big as the logo when London 2012 took a risk with an unusual design which was heavily criticised.

This is a big moment for London 2012. The ceremony, which will take place at around lunchtime UK time, will be broadcast live on big screens up and down the country, including at five sites in London alone.

It will be followed by a concert in front of Buckingham Palace for around 40,000 people. London 2012 are promising big names on the Mall.

That concert is free and you can apply for tickets on

The big idea seems to be: "Come to London and party".

last updated: 17/06/2008 at 11:42
created: 17/06/2008

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