Sunday, 12 August 2012

In pics: London Olympics Closing Ceremony

By early Sunday, the excitement levels among the closing ceremonies cast had gone nuclear. Team GB had surpassed all expectations, everyone was on a sporting high, the sun was shining and London 2012 was the best Olympics ever. Now we had to close the Games. An audience of half a billion? Bring it on.

We only met in May, but have since had an extraordinary shared experience – being transformed from a rag-tag bunch of Londoners to a well-drilled dance troupe. There were times when the choreography had all seemed too difficult. Not any more. We were dying to get on with it. "Only two more sleeps …"

I was perfectly placed to volunteer – I live just down the road from the Olympic stadium and I'm on a sabbatical, so attending rehearsals wasn't a problem. The auditions were at the end of last year: two afternoons of copying professional dancers, while cameramen filmed my every move. I was lucky enough to be offered a part in January. We started rehearsals in May.

At the first session, at the pre-Games command centre at east London's 3 Mills Studios, we were sat down before a row of TV screens while the artistic director, Kim Gavin (a Royal Ballet School alumnus, who produced Take That's latest stadium tours and the Concert for Diana), walked us through his plan for the closing ceremony. Everyone sat in open-mouthed amazement. We'd had no idea how spectacular it was going to be.

Then we were all given parts. "Policeman" and "military man" sounded like they'd have cool costumes (they would). Wasn't sure about "neck brace". Not me. Phew. They finally called my number. I was to be one of six "pub lads".

I was in a pod of 25 – on the pink truck in the street party that opens the ceremony. We started rehearsing in a group of 100 then, over the following three months, the groups got relen


  1. Why the fuck would anybody want to see the closing ceremony in pictures? Your youtube video specifically says you have the performance video you stupid cunt!

  2. Agreed, fuing cunt with augly website