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Layla Anna-Lee Headshot

London 2012 Opening Ceremony - An Insider's View

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The Games have begun in the most spectacular fashion and Britain should be very proud.
 
Besides the obvious pride to be involved with such a wonderful event I have massive relief that we didn't mess anything up. After the Korean flag blunder marred the start to women's football the IOC were on my back to make sure every single country of the 204 was pronounced perfectly during the athlete's parade. I was terrified of offending an entire nation by a simple slip of the tongue. The production team in its entirety were relieved, with such a large scale show and so many people involved it's a miracle it went so smoothly. We were all particularly tense about Voldemort - he has only worked correctly once during rehearsals, everything that could go wrong with him has, so as he went up during the Pandemonium piece we all held our breath.

Danny Boyle should have woken up on cloud nine yesterday morning. Not only did he create a ceremony that represented our country beautifully, but he did it all calmly, politely and with the most incredible humility. Danny would come to the announcer's booth every day, sometimes just to say hello. He was on call to give his advice and every day he spent time with volunteers and crew making sure everyone felt assured and understood his imagery. In the last few days leading up to the Opening Ceremony I expected a stressed and abrupt man, but Danny was always calm, granted I think he has lost some weight during this time, but he seemed just fine and after the show he turned down TV interviews to go to the cast and volunteer rooms to spend time signing autographs and taking pictures. 

The whole country came together to support the games and I was particularly impressed that the Queen agreed to join in the display of British humour and make such an awesome grand entrance video. Her team were also very impressive throughout, she and her family were in the room next door to my announcers' booth and just before she arrived there was a real sweep of the area. Anyone who didn't absolutely have to be there was swiftly and politely ushered out, sniffer dogs swiped our room looking for explosives in exchange for a tennis ball and police searched every inch of the adjoining rooms. All were calm, polite and super well mannered. Hearing the words "The queen will pass this room in five minutes, I'm going to have to block your door and not let you out for a short period, if you need the loo could you go now please?" was rather surreal. Almost as surreal as hearing "The Queen left half a bottle of gin, anyone want some?"

Time to celebrate - Enjoy the games!

Layla

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