....that is Britain. The 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies brilliantly followed the old vaudeville rule: never follow a banjo act with another banjo act. The 2008 Peking Olympics ceremonies were a massive and expensive spectacle, with reportedly over 15,000 performers and a cost of $100 million. Danny Boyle responded with "and now, time for something completely different."
Hello. Welcome to London. We're Britain, the nation that brought you Shakespeare and William Blake and "Jerusalem" and James Bond and Harry Potter, the Beatles and Sex Pistols and the Eurythmics. And Mary Frikkin' Poppins. Hope you enjoyed them.
And the industrial revolution. The part of Isambard Kingdom Brunel will be played by Kenneth Branagh.
The Union flag will be carried by the members of the British Armed Forces, the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. You may remember them from their roles in beating Napoleon and Hitler.
Did I mention self-deprecating humor? Rowan Atkinson will assist in a performance of Chariots of Fire and our queen, who is a Good Sport, has consented to be the punch line of her entrance tonight.
One other thing: tonight we celebrate our legacy of protest and dissent with suffragettes and Jarrow marchers.
Legacy of protest and dissent: we're proud of it.
Enjoy the show.