Britain fires up the world: London gets the 2012 Games under way with the Greatest Show On Earth (rounded off by Macca, of course)
Sir Steve Redgrave carries the Olympic torch into the Stadium, after David Beckham accompanied it into Stratford on a speedboat
Seven young athletes then light the cauldron
Breathtaking firework display lights up the sky above east London
Sir Paul McCartney brings the show to a close, singing Beatles classic Hey Jude
Queen makes spectacular appearance in simulated helicopter arrival with James Bond star Daniel Craig
Monarch tells the world: 'I declare open the Games of London, celebrating the 30th Olympiad of the modern era'
Muhammad Ali is among flagbearers who carried the Olympic Flag into the Stadium
Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins started the Opening Ceremony by ringing the giant Olympic Bell
Rowan Atkinson joins the orchestra as Mr Bean for a comedy skit
Sir Kenneth Branagh reads from Shakespeare's The Tempest
Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sande perform
The audience have been handed 3D glasses and every seat has a magic wand with it
Red Arrows fly past the stadium leaving trail of red, white and blue vapour at 20:12 exactly
Danny Boyle tweets 'Proud to be British'
By Rick Dewsbury and Ian Garland
We all wondered who would light the torch - and in the end the organisers sprang a surprise as seven teenage athletes lit copper petals - brought in by each of the 204 countries - which converged in spectacular fashion to form the cauldron in the middle of the Olympic Stadium.
Outside the fireworks were equally impressive and could be seen for miles.
Sir Steve Redgrave, five-time gold medallist was the champion chosen to conclude the torch's 8,000-mile journey round Britain, but there was no doubting the night's biggest star, local boy David Beckham, who transported the flame by speedboat under Tower Bridge to the stadium.
It was the coolest moment of an amazing show and an estimated television audience of one billion tuned in worldwide to witness what had been billed as the Greatest Show on Earth
Callum Airlie, 17, was nominated by gold medal-winning sailor Shirley Robertson. He has been sailing since the age of four, and is a two-time Optimist UK national champion who aims to be entered into the 2013 ISAF (International Sailing Association & Federation) Open.
Jordan Duckitt, 18, was chairman of the London 2012 Young Ambassador Steering Group for two years, and was nominated by Duncan Goodhew.
Athletics talent Desiree Henry was put forward by Daley Thomson.
The 16-year-old was the youngest member of the Great Britain youth team to gain a world 200m title at the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2011, and competes this year at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.
Runner Katie Kirk was nominated by Dame Mary Peters, who won gold in the women`s Pentathlon at the 1972 Munich games.
Katie, 18, was selected to run at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
She was also part of the gold medal-winning team in the 4x400m relay at the European Junior championships in Tallinn, Estonia.
Sir Steve nominated young rower Cameron MacRitchie, 19.
The teenager finished fifth with his partner James Edwards in the men`s pair at the 2012 GB rowing team under 23 trials in April.
He was selected in the men`s eight to race at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Lithuania.
Aidan Reynolds, 18, was put forward by Lynn Davies, who captained Team GB at Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984.
Aidan gave up a promising basketball career to focus on the javelin, winning three medals at national level at the English Schools, UK School Games and English Championships.
Adelle Tracey was nominated by Dame Kelly Holmes.
The 19-year-old has collected county, regional and national junior and senior titles in 400m and 800m, and has been in the top five UK rankings for the last six years.
She won 800m silver for Great Britain in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland.
Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney raises his arms as he sings at the end of the opening ceremony, as he brings the show to a close with a performance of Hey Jude
Sir Paul McCartney brought the Olympic Opening Ceremony to a rousing an emotional finale tonight with a performance of Beatles legend Hey Jude.
Earlier, Sir Chris Hoy looked delighted as he led the British athletes into the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 30th Games this evening.
The triple cycling gold medallist had the honour of carrying the Union Flag in the parade of the 204 nations competing at the London Olympics.
The crowd gave the British team a rapturous reception as the long wait for the Olympics to start came to an end.
The VIP group included Doreen Lawrence, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general and Ethiopian athletics veteran Haile Gebrselassie
An extraordinary party of flagbearers brought the Olympic Flag into the stadium moments after the Queen declared the London Games open.
Muhammad Ali and Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, were among the nine who took part in the ceremony.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, Ethiopian athletics veteran Haile Gebrselassie and Shami Chakrabati, director of Liberty, were also flagbearers, along with Sally Becker, known as the Angel of Mostar who risked her life to deliver aid and evacuate children in the Balkan War, Marina Silva, who has fought against the destruction of the rainforest, Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, who has worked to try and end Liberia's civil war, and musician Daniel Barenboim.
Argentina's flag bearer Luciana Aymar leads her team into the Olympic Stadium
Earlier the Queen made a seemingly spectacular entrance to the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony this evening by dropping in from a helicopter by parachute accompanied by James Bond.
The surreal sequence followed a short film featuring James Bond actor Daniel Craig soaring across the streets of London before the pair apparently took the plunge.
Stuntmen dressed in a tuxedo and a peach-coloured dress really made the leap using Union Jack parachutes, and the Queen accompanied by Prince Philip then emerged and took their seat in the Royal Box.
Norwegian canoe-kayaker Mira Veras Larsen carries her nation's flag into the stadium
The Portuguese team arrive with their flag, led by judo star Telma Monteiro
Some details of the Bond stunt had emerged in advance of tonight's £27 million opening ceremony - the brainchild of Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle.
But the Queen's role - played to perfection - still left the audience awe-struck and delighted both in the stadium and around the world.
'The Queen made herself more accessible then ever before,' Boyle said earlier today.
It is the first time the Queen has 'acted' in a film and she allowed two of her own corgis to star - Monty, 13, who used to belong to the Queen Mother and
Holly, nine. 'she was delighted to be asked to be involved in something so exceptional,' a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
The segment was filmed in April. 'It's been a hell of a job keeping it secret for so long,' said a source.
Performers in the Olympics opening ceremony tonight hailed the experience as 'magical'.
Spectacular entrance: A stuntman portraying the Queen tumbles out of a helicopter high above the Olympic Stadium before unfurling a Union Jack
by other dignitaries after making her arrival in the Olympic Stadium
Around 7,500 volunteers from around the world took part in the spectacular show in front of a packed Olympic Stadium in east London and a television audience of billions.
Sarah Lane, 28, danced in the climactic 'frankie and june say... Thanks Tim' section to a medley of British pop hits.
Moments after coming off stage, the scriptwriting student from Kennington in south London, said: 'It felt like the whole world came together for a good old British knees-up.
'It was just incredible - the perfect evening. Even the sky was a perfect colour.'
Asked what the atmosphere was like with her fellow performers, she said: 'Everyone was so happy.
'The audience, the cast - it was a massive party and no-one wanted to get off the stage.'
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