Danny Boyle to direct 2012 Olympics opening ceremony

Catherine Ugwu, Danny Boyle, Lord Coe and Stephen Daldry Boyle (second left) said he was "really excited" by his appointment

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Oscar-winning film-maker Danny Boyle will be artistic director for the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, organisers have announced.

The Slumdog Millionaire director said he was "honoured" by his appointment.

Boyle said it was a "unique opportunity to contribute to what I'm sure are going to be a fantastic Games."

Director Stephen Daldry is one of four other "creatives" who will oversee the Olympic and Paralympic Games' opening and closing ceremonies.

Beijing 2008 Games designer Mark Fisher, TV director Hamish Hamilton and producer Catherine Ugwu will also be part of the team.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Boyle, who was born and bred in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, said his job was "to provide a thrilling, enthralling, captivating evening."

"Hopefully it'll take its place in the list of openings, but it'll be a new beginning as well."

Mark Fisher, Catherine Ugwu, Hamish Hamilton and Stephen Daldry

Myself and my co-executive producers will ensure there is creative continuity across all four ceremonies, that the public have real engagement and that we continue to attract into key roles the best talent in the world," said Daldry.

"I'm delighted to be part of the team."

"These Games are bringing together world-class British talent," said Lord Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

"Each one of these individuals would hold their own on the worldwide stage.

"They are joining names like children's author Michael Morpurgo who has created the story behind our highly successful mascots.

"We are delighted with the team we have brought together to deliver our ceremonies in 2012."

'International calibre'

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: "The opening and closing ceremonies are the jewels in the crown of any Olympics and Paralympics and are one of the benchmarks against which all games are judged.

"I am very pleased that British directors and producers of such outstanding international calibre and acclaim have given their backing to London 2012.

"With their creativity and expertises on board, I'm sure that London's showpiece events will make Britain proud."

His sentiments were echoed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who said the "brilliant" team had brought together "some of the most imaginative people in the world".

Danny Boyle Danny Boyle's films include The Beach, Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later

"The work they have produced over the years has been quite extraordinary, with an impact not just in the UK, but also on the international stage," he said.

"They exemplify some of the greatest attributes we have - creativity, vision, and intelligence - which will be critical to ensuring shows that are as stunning as they are uniquely British."

3 Mills Studios in East London will be the production centre for the London 2012 Ceremonies.

Boyle began his career in theatre before moving into television and movies like Shallow Grave, The Beach and 28 Days Later.

This winter the 53-year-old will make his National Theatre debut directing a new production of Frankenstein.

Zhang Yimou, China's most famous filmmaker, directed the opening ceremony for the Beijing Games in 2008.

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