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Olympics opening ceremony: live coverage
Ali Best
05:26 AEST Sat Jul 28 2012

Welcome to ninemsn's live coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony. Catch up on what you missed in the ceremony and on social media.

PHOTOS: Highlights from the ceremony

PHOTOS: The athletes march in

9.45am: The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games has come to a close. Danny's Boyle's incredible theatrics pleased viewers the world over, with many Brits taking to Twitter to declare that Boyle needs to be knighted. Highlights included Rowan Atkinson's hilarious Mr Bean cameo, the Queen's part in the James Bond skit and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. What a magical morning.

9.39am: Fireworks ensue. Sir Paul McCartney performs Hey Jude, to mixed reactions.

9.35am: Seven young British athletes, nominated by seven great British athletes, light petals representing more than 200 countries. The petals come together to form a single flame which makes the cauldron. Stunning.

9.20am: The Olympic flag is carried to the grassy mound and raised. The Olympic torch is seen making its way down the Thames, still on a speedboat with David Beckham. He hands it to Sir Steve Redgrave, who runs it into the stadium to complete its 20,600km journey. Retired rower Sir Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. Sir Redgrave hands the torch to seven young athletes, who take turns running it around the stadium.

9.18am: IOC President Jacques Rogge introduces the Queen, who officially declares the Games open. The fireworks begin.

9.08am: The man who organised the London Olympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe, makes his speech in front of the grassy knoll.

9.02am: Arctic Monkeys electrify the crowd with a performance of I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor and then a cover of The Beatles' Come Together, complete with glowing birds on bikes.

8.55am: The crowd saves their biggest cheer for last as Team Great Britain makes a grand entrance into the stadium, dressed in white and gold. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy carries the flag for the home side, who are taking great pleasure in jumping and waving. In other news, Sir Paul McCartney just tweeted a hint of what might be to come… 8.48am: The United States are in the house. Michelle Obama waves her flag as the audience cheers loudly for the huge, navy-clad team. The US team is the number one-ranked nation in terms of medals. Basketballers LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are spotted amongst the team, towering over the athletes around them.

8.34am: Novak Djokovic leads Team Serbia out. He is smiling a lot more than he usually does. It must be the Olympic spirit.

8.30am: The parade of athletes is still going as Team Samoa enters the stadium. Not long after, Team Saudi Arabia enters with three women athletes — the first females to compete for their country.

8.15am: Athletes continue to make their way into the stadium. They are now up to the letter 'M'. Team Mexico may win the prize for the most colourful outfits.

8.06am: A relaxed Usain Bolt carries the flag for Jamaica to huge cheers from the crowd. Eddie McGuire says Bolt has been learning Spanish so he can converse with pretty girls at the Olympics.

8.00am: Team Guyana adds a splash of colour to proceedings in bright yellow suits. Team Haiti follows them in an electric combination of red and blue.

7.53am: The Fijian flag bearer enters the stadium without his shirt on.

7.48am: Team North Korea makes their way into the stadium, with the right name and the right flag on the scoreboard this time. Phew. Team Czech Republic are wearing gumboots for some reason.

7.42am: The crowd lets out a huge cheer for the 396 Chinese athletes as they make their way into the stadium. They are followed by the Colombians, who are sporting hats which make them look like cowboys. Cut to the Australian team and athletes are already playing up — hoisting each other on their shoulders, hugging each other and dancing around.

7.36am: Team Brunei enters the stadium with their first ever female competitor.

7.31am: Jackson plants the flag in the hill by the cauldron. Eddie McGuire says the significance of that will be revealed later.

7.26am: Lauren Jackson leads the Australian team into the stadium. There is much screaming and cheering from the athletes. Huge applause from the crowd seems to prove there is a large Australian contingent there to support the athletes, who are looking very sharp in their green and gold.

7.21am: Greece leads the procession of the athletes out into the stadium. The athletes would have been waiting out the back for quite some time before entering the stadium. All of them look beyond excited to be at the Olympic Games. The Aussies are 12th in line. 7.18am: Emila Sande sings a spine-tingling hymn called Abide With Me. The crowd is silent.

7.13am: Dancers dramatise the struggle between life and death. They must have incredible rhythm because they are managing to be completely in time with no music.

7.10am: Video of the torch relay begins. It's heading towards the stadium and if the film clip is anything to go by, David Beckham is bringing it on a speedboat down The Thames.

7.08: Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web, makes a cameo and live tweets from the stage. Kudos.

7.05am: Dizzee Rascal wows the crowd with a performance of Bonkers.

6.56am: The tribute to British music begins. The crowd bops to The Beatles and Queen as performers on stilts bang their heads to the music. It moves into the disco era as the dancers, dressed in glow in the dark t-shirts, get on down to Sweet Dreams. Next, it's time to rave as the sounds of The Prodigy fill the air.

6.52am: A working mother driving a Mini Cooper. A weather man predicts rain in a tribute to the typical British household. The boy plays video games while his teenage sister gets ready to head to a party. There is a lot of neon and disco music. 6.47am: Mr Bean joins the orchestra to help out with Chariots of Fire. He gets out his iPhone and takes a cheeky shot of the crowd.

He tries playing his keyboard part with an umbrella before throwing a tissue at the pianist. Oh, he looks like he's fallen asleep but it makes a nice segue into a Chariots of Fire clip. Mr Bean makes a hilarious cameo in the clip but can't seem to keep up with the runners. Back to reality and he has lost his place in the music, much to the dismay of the conductor…

6.42am: Mary Poppins has arrived.

6.38am: Neverland comes to life as children read beneath their bed sheets. Harry Potter author JK Rowling reads a passage from Peter Pan. Hundreds of children dance on 320 beds as famous characters from children's books parade around the stadium. Mary Poppins fights Voldemort.

And now Mary Poppins fights back the Dementors. My life is complete. ;-) #OpeningCeremony

— Robert Niles (@robertniles) July 27, 2012 6.32am: The Union Flag is carried in to be raised by representatives of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. The Chaos Signing Choir leads the crowd in God Save the Queen. The National Health Service takes centre stage to some string music. Nurses tend to their patients before breaking into a dapper dance routine. 6.30pm: The chopper comes to life and flies in over the stadium. The crowd erupts as Her Majesty is introduced.

6.25am: Daniel Craig and the Queen's corgis appear in a short film segment. The Queen, dressed in pale pink, makes her first acting appearance to thunderous applause from the crowd. She seems a good sport as she makes her way into a chopper with Craig. The film shows them flying over London together as people wave flags and cheer.

6.22pm: Flaming Olympic rings, having been forged from red-hot metal, ignite above the sea of coal workers and men in top hats. The crowd cheers wildly as the opening segment ends.

6.13am: The Industrial Revolution is being relived. 965 drummers provide a moving soundtrack. The suffragettes come on stage and join the bearded men.

6.09am: Kenneth Branagh takes to the stage in a top hat as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British engineer who looks a lot like Abraham Lincoln.

6.00am: The Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics has begun. The crowd gives Olympic cyclist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins a standing ovation as he rings the Olympics bell. Wind and the Willows and Winnie the Pooh seen in the centre of the stadium.

5.41am: Standing by for the start of the ceremony. If you're near your television and in Australia turn on your television and switch to the Nine Network now for full and exclusive covereage of this magnificent event. Twitter is already buzzing with views and news from people all around the world - here are a few interesting tweets to get you started.

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Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
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