Danny Boyle did great. So did all the volunteers who took part. Literally the best thing Seb Coe did for the London Olympics was ask Danny Boyle to plan the opening ceremony and give him a free creative hand.
I saw a tweet just after Michael Fish and the non-hurricane warning appeared saying to the effect that most Olympic opening ceremonies try to impress the world. This ceremony wasn’t meant for the rest of the world: it was meant for us.
(Kes. I saw Kes. And Frankie Says Relax. I remember when the BBC banned that.)
[Update, 30th July: Apparently it was so British-orientated that NBC cut the tribute to the 7/7 dead and had no idea who Tim Berners-Lee is.]
It was all really, peculiarly, brilliantly British. As if Danny Boyle had thought: we are all feeling staggeringly horrible about this, for very excellent reasons: let me do a show that will remind us of our mutual shared Britishness, before the athletic teams march. Of course that cheap Nazi knock-off Aidan Burley hated it.
Lakshmi Mittal is a torchbearer without a hometown.
Today he will be carrying the Flame through the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, selected by LOCOG as one of the 8000 inspirational people.
Lakshmi Mittal retained his crown as Britain’s richest man despite losing almost a quarter of his wealth over the past year following a fall in the share value of his ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker.
The Indian-born businessman saw his personal worth slide by £4.8 billion to £12.7 billion, but that was still enough to keep him narrowly on top of the list.
That’s inspiring, isn’t it?
This year, the fee that Lakshmi Mittal pays the British government in order to avoid paying any income tax in the UK, went up from £30,000 to £50,000. Continue reading