The closing ceremony of London 2012 began with a miniature Big Ben chiming and the crowd counting own to 9pm. The opening ceremony was called Isles of Wonder and for some it was a pocket book sized edition of British history. Tonight was hailed as "London Calling" and it was to be a huge music fest.
Emeli Sande kicked of the music. Her performance was rather different to that in the opening ceremony. From then on the music flowed and so did the artists. A smattering of actors such as Timothy Spall playing Winston Churchill in war speech mode. The scene was London, its traffic and its landmarks. A gentle start that promised a bug finish.
At this stage the costumes and vehicle covers all appeared to be made from newspapers. In view of the UKs recent media scandal that seemed a bit funny. Prince Harry was there representing the Queen and the Royal family. His entrance was followed by the National Anthem. Kate Middleton was seated next to the Prince.
Then the show kicked of properly. It began with a scene all Brits would recognise. Del and Rodney Trotter dressed as Batman and Robin? We wondered what the big wide world would make of that one. Madness started the performances singing Our House.
It was obvious that the London 2012 closing ceremony was going to be a pop fest which maybe would mean more to Brits than those in other lands. A military band performed Blur's Park Life and on it went. After the Pet Shop Boys we did move into the 21st Century with boy band One Direction. They performed well but mimed.
Stomp the drumming dance band livened the event up big time. UK dance troupe Spelbound added a whole new twist, at one time representing a red double decker bus. Veteran sixties musician Ray Davies performed Waterloo Sunset. Boy did he make this blogger feel old.
Emeli Sande again, singing Read All About It this time, as images of the tears and trials of the Olympics were shown. The nations flags were then brought into the stadium preceding the Olympians. A different feeling to the opening ceremony as the Olympians have completed the job they came to do. So many of them. The arena was a flush of colour with the various flags and team colours. The teams were all herded into the colours of the union flag, set out in the arena.
As the first hour began to draw to a close we were promised an hour of jam packed music to follow. First though it was an Indian drum band as Kate Bush's Running up that Hill was played. Blocks representing the events in the Olympics were carefully positioned by dancers. The final medal ceremony, a tradition of the Olympic closing ceremony, involved today's Marathon winners.
Having whetted our appetites for music there were loose ends to be tied up. Thanks were given to the volunteers and so on.
A spectacular light show whilst Bohemian Rhapsody played, led into a choir of children singing Imagine. Then film of the man himself John Lennon. George Michael who was next up may have been miming but he gave the performance his all. He danced his heart out and the front row audience, the Olympians, loved it.
The Kaiser Chiefs opted for Pinball Wizard, a Who standard. The arena turned into a Mod empire as scooters raced around. What appeared to be a homage to David Bowie ended up as one to fashion. This was certainly turning into a strange ceremony. It was however going to take a further twist to the peculiar. Annie Lennox aboard a skeleton galleon. The costumes resembled Gothic ball gowns. It was all themed on Dracula apparently.
Ned Sherrin fronted a part Pink Floyd group performing Wish You Were Here. You would have needed to be a Floyd fan to understand the tightrope stunt. Russell Brand paying homage to the Beatles was fun, camp and bonkers. More was to come though with DJ Fatboy Slim. Well at least we were out of the sixties. Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, Taio Cruz continued the Club Scene. The Olympians seemed to be enjoying this section of the show, or should I say ceremony?
The light show throughout the night was fabulous Wonder how much the electricity will cost?
What appeared to be a black cab dance ended with the Spice Girls, or should that be women, performing. Funniest moment of the night as the camera panned to the stands showing Dave Cameron, PM, and Boris Johnson, London Mayor, dancing as if there were no tomorrow.
Beady Eye went for Wonderwall. Fronted by Oasis brother Liam Gallagher it received an average reception. Mr Blue Sky being a more upbeat offering woke the crowd back up. It was helped by eccentric circus acts. Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, and his "Always look on the bright side of life" made sure the crowd and athletes joined in. He was interrupted though by a Bollywood scene of music, dance, colour and splendor. After bringing the house down Muse slowed the pace down.
The music ended on a high with Queen. Not The Queen but Queen. Jessie J joined Queen's Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor for the highlight of the night. After the Rock came a Welsh choir and more tradition as the Games drew to a close. Flags were raised and Boris Johnson handed over responsibility of the Games to rthe net hosts, Rio de Janeiro. It is the first time a South American country will host the Games.
There followed a presentation from Rio. Samba, music, glitz, tradition, dance, lights Rio Pop, Pele and glamour. Good bye to London then and hello Rio. There were speeches to close the night and the Games.
As the Olympic flame was gradually extinguished Take That performed Rule the World. Fireworks lit the night sky above the Stadium. Just when you thought it was all over ballerina Darcy Bussell led an adventurous routine, involving a host of dancers. The flame went out to something like The Last Post. Then it was back to the modern music theme, almost. Ageing rockers Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend, the only surviving members of The Who rocked London 2012 to its close. My Generation, minus the "hope I die before I get old" line, plus the evening's performers flooded the stage for one last time. This time it was all over.