After 7 years of planning and two weeks of competitive sport, the London 2012 Olympics have ended with a spectacular close!
The packed show featured some of the biggest names of British pop, including the Spice Girls, George Michael, Take That, The Who and Elbow. The official Games flag was handed to the mayor of Rio before the flame at the Olympic Stadium was extinguished.
Watched by the athletes and 80,000 spectators, The Who performed My Generation and the venue became a sea of red, white and blue. The Brazilian national anthem, rang out, and the stadium was transformed into the green and yellow colours of Brazil in honour of the new host city in 2016.
The handover was followed by a segment celebrating Rio’s mix of cultures, music and dance, bringing a carnival atmosphere to the proceedings and culminating in Brazilian footballer Pele appearing on stage. Take That then sang their hit Rule the World. As the band performed, ballerina Darcey Bussell appeared to fly down into the arena on top of a flaming phoenix to join the performers from Rio and lead them in a procession. During the show the Spice Girls sang Spice Up Your Life from the top of five brightly lit London taxis. Other stars to perform included Liam Gallagher, George Michael and Jessie J. Big Ben chimed at 21:00 BST to start the finale, as a spectacular cityscape in the shape of a union jack was unveiled.
Elbow played their atmospheric hit, One Day Like This. The voice of the late Freddie Mercury echoed around the Stadium singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, as part of the section of the show entitled A Symphony of British Music. As the Stadium was plunged into dark blue light, images of David Bowie appeared on giant screens and a compilation of some of his most iconic songs were played out.
Model Kate Moss appeared wearing a shimmering Alexander McQueen creation, as billboards of some of the most iconic British models were paraded around the stadium. The crowd were taken through a celebration of British eccentricity, with comedian Russell Brand singing Pure Imagination from Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the Beatles’ I am the Walrus from the top of a psychedelic bus. Brand was followed by DJ Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook, who brought a party atmosphere to the proceedings. Comedian Eric Idle performed a typically quirky version of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and Muse rocked the stadium with the official anthem of the Games, Survival.