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Brit PM promises Olympic ceremony tingles
Martyn Ziegler
03:10 AEST Fri Jul 27 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron says the London Olympics opening ceremony will be spine-tingling and the celebration of British culture will provide "something for everyone".

The identity of the person who lights the flame, watched by a worldwide audience of hundreds of millions, will remain secret up until the final moment but it was confirmed that some of Britain's greatest Olympians will take part in the closing stages of the ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast on the Nine Network tomorrow morning at 5.30am (AEST).

These include Sir Steve Redgrave and Daley Thompson, though neither are expected to light the flame. At least one bookmaker stopped taking bets on Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile, but it may be that the honour is shared between a legendary sporting figure and someone else who is symbolic of London's ambition to inspire an international generation of youth.

Organisers have released a clip of the ceremony, which is being directed by Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry, showing dozens of hospital beds and nurses: a celebration of Britain's National Health Service.

The country's position as Cool Britannia also has a major role in the ceremony through pop music, though its classical musical heritage is not forgotten. Britain's industrial heritage is celebrated, as well as a rural view of a green and pleasant land.

Is it Beefeaters or Blur? - or so the Prime Minister was asked on Thursday.

"Well it's both," replied Cameron. "I have had some presentations and meetings with Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry and others and every time I have seen them I have always felt that tingling feeling on my spine and hair standing up on the back of my neck.

"The truth is we have to celebrate all that is great about the past but also all the potential Britain has in the future.

"I would have thought the difficulty is how do you cram in all that is great about our country whether it is sport, art, literature, history, contribution to world events.

"I'm confident they have done a good job and there were one or two moments I was really moved by. There's something for everyone."

David Beckham, the former England footballer who was part of London's bid team in Singapore seven years ago, is also expected to be one of the final torchbearers as the relay comes to an end inside the stadium.

British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt, who was part of the group that made the decision about who would light the flame, said the choice had been unanimous.

Hunt said: "I'm really pleased and very comfortable that some of our truly great Olympians are going to be honoured through that whole end sequence."

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan is known to favour Sir Steve Redgrave to light the flame but he insisted he had no knowledge of the decision.

Moynihan said: "I hope Steve Redgrave plays a very significant part - I think he is one of the greatest Olympians alive and a phenomenal athlete."

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Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball
Beach Volleyball
Boxing
BMX
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Hockey
Judo
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing/Canoe/Kayak
Sailing
Shooting
Swimming
Synchro
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling
Closing ceremony
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