Opening Ceremony London 2012: All eyes on Olympics opening extravaganza
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All eyes turn to London on Friday for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, an exuberant journey from Britain's idyllic pastures through the grime of the Industrial Revolution and ending in a contemporary world dominated by popular culture.
The three-hour showcase created by Oscar-winning 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle will be watched by a crowd of 60,000 in the main stadium built in a run-down area of London's East End and a global audience of more than a billion.
(The London 2012 Opening Ceremony is scheduled to start at 9 pm local time. For Indian viewers, Doordarshan will telecast live the Opening ceremony of the London Olympics on its national channel on 28th July from 1 am to 4.30 am IST)
Spectators will be urged to join in sing-a-longs and help create spectacular visual scenes at an event that sets the tone for the sporting extravaganza, when 16,000 athletes from 204 countries share the thrill of victory and despair of defeat with 11 million visitors.
The Games will also answer the question on Britons' lips -- were seven years of planning, construction and disruptions, and a price tag of $14 billion during one of the country's worst recessions, actually worth it?
This is a very, very tense moment but so far I'm cautiously optimistic, said Boris Johnson, mayor of London, the only city to host the Summer Games three times.
I'm just worried that I haven't got enough to worry about at the moment, added the mayor, known for his witty asides.
There have, however, been bumps along the way.
Media coverage in the last few weeks has been dominated by security firm G4S's admission that it could not provide enough guards for Olympic venues, meaning thousands of extra soldiers had to be deployed at the last minute, despite its multi-million-dollar contract from the government.