The Olympics Opening Ceremony

I wrote this four years ago, as a sort of Bob Newhart-style monologue.

It will be out of date very soon.

And here we are, finally, after all the planning, all the preparation, all the wrangling and the escalating budgets. Especially the escalating budgets. Here we are, London 2012, the 30th Olympiad of the modern era.

And after Beijing four years ago, the whole world is watching this opening ceremony just to see what Britain can do.

A hush in the stadium. And now, here he is, Sir Steve Redgrave, Britain’s greatest ever Olympian, walking into the centre of the field. And what’s that in his hand. Oh, it’s a party popper. That’s quite a pop. Oh, look at the streamers, there’s a red one, a green one, is that … yes, it’s a yellow one. Spectacular.

And now, here’s Daley Thompson and Lord Coe bringing on, oh, is that a screen? Yes, Daley’s helping him set it up. They can be quite tricky, can’t they? Oh, a steward’s helping. Yes that’s it. What’s that? Daley Thompson’s got a laptop . . . and a projector…. Pops it on that crate.

Now that’s marvellous. Oh, a cracking Powerpoint presentation. Ooh, look. Welcom to London. Unusual spelling of Welcom, without the conventional “e” at the end. And what a splendid slide transition. I think that’s the fly. Is that the fly? Yes, the fly from left. Truly marvellous.

And now, here come the morris dancers. There’s about a dozen of them, skipping about, hitting each other with sticks. Hang on, they’re chair legs. Oh, no, it’s not morris dancers. It’s a pitch invasion. They’re having a fight.

Oh, no, now the real morris dancers are coming on. Oh, dear, they’re getting their heads kicked in by the pitch invaders. And a ripple of applause around the stadium for the first time this evening. Wonderful. Dragged off there.

And now, here comes the torch. The Olympic torch, carried around the world, across six continents, and finally brought into the stadium by Dame Kelly Holmes. And the crowd are going wild, as she… oh, hold on. Who’s that man? Oh, stadium health and safety. He’s carrying a bucket. They’re having a heated discussion. Yes, he’s taken the torch. Straight into the bucket of sand.

What’s that he’s given her? One of those lighters for gas hobs. Dame Kelly runs to the podium with the brazier atop it. She raises the fire lighter thing. Presses once… Twice… Three times. It appears to be faulty.

There are shrugs from Olympic officials. Nobody has matches thanks to the smoking ban. Looks like they’ll just have to leave it. From the spectacular British Olympic opening ceremony, it’s back to the studio …

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