Queen visits Olympic village

The Queen has opened the Games after an actor dressed as Her Majesty parachuted into the stadium. Seven British Olympic hopefuls carried the Torch around the stadium and lit copper petals representing the 204 competing nations to form a cauldron.

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Queen 'very happy' to take part in Bond cameo

The Queen was "delighted" to take part in the James Bond scenes during last night's Olympics opening ceremony - in her first film appearance.

She played a starring role in Danny Boyle's £27 million production with Daniel Craig as James Bond - with pre-recorded film footage showing the pair appearing to skydive into the stadium.

The Queen and IOC President Jacques Rogge arrive during the London Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman today said the Queen was "very happy" to take part and was "delighted to be asked to be involved in something so exceptional".

A parachutist pretending to be the Queen at the Olympic Stadium. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire


Team GB athletes meet the Queen

Chris McDermott is a Team GB handball player:

Alicia Blagg is a Team GB diver:

Iain Lewers is a Team GB hockey player:

Secret young torch bearers couldn't even tell their parents

Callum Airlie, Jordan Dckitt, Desiree Henry, Katie Kirk, Cameron MacRitchie, Aidan Reynolds and Adelle Tracey. Credit: PA

Young torch bearer Aidan Reynolds has told ITV News that he was was only told about his special role in lighting the cauldron two weeks ago.

He said he was sworn to such secrecy that he couldn't even tell his parents.

The first his family knew was when he popped up on screen last night.


Bookies to refund all cauldron bets after surprise move

Bookmakers have pledge to refund all bets placed on who would light the Olympic cauldron after some of Britain's greatest Olympians teamed up with young athletes for the honour.

Sir Steve Redgrave hands over the Olympic Torch to a group of young athletes. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

No-one could have predicted the surprise move and the only fair solution was to refund more than £50,000 of bets placed over the last seven years, William Hill said.

Other bookmakers, including Sky Bet, also voided all bets, saying it was "impossible to back the correct flame lighter".

Former Olympic cities hail Boyle's opening success

The Olympic flame is lit during the Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Sydney Herald has hailed Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's efforts at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Australian journalist Greg Baum said that Boyle had "got the balance right".

Cam Cole from Canada's National Post said Boyle's £27 million extravaganza "was a trip", with Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean 'stealing the show'.

BBC: 26.9m watch opening ceremony in UK

A UK TV audience of 26.9 million people watched the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, the BBC reported.

Viewing figures peaked at 26.9 million, while the average was recorded as 22.4 million for the show - which ran from 9pm until 12.50am - with an audience share of 82%.

The tally compares to a reported peak audience of 20.3m for England's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy and 16.9m for Andy Murray's Wimbledon 2012 final against Roger Federer.

Sir Redgrave 'emotional' at carrying Olympic Torch

Britain's greatest Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave, said today that he was "very emotional" when he carried the Torch into the Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Sir Steve Redgrave carries the torch into the stadium during the London Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony. Credit: Owen Humphreys/POOL Wire/PA Wire

The five-times Olympic rowing champion told BBC Breakfast: "It was very special. I must admit I probably knew about 10 days before. I'm looking forward now to not being asked questions such as 'Are you lighting the torch, or the cauldron?'

He said that when he entered the stadium there was an "absolutely amazing atmosphere. There was a line-up of construction workers on the site, suited and booted, it was very emotional for them and for me."

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