1. ITV Report

The official opening of the London Olympics 2012

Crowds leave the dress rehearsal for Friday's opening ceremony. Photo: Press Association.

The wait for the official start of the London Olympics is almost over. Here's a guide to today's events ahead of the opening ceremony.

7am: The Olympic flame will be carried through Hampton Court Palace.

7.30am: The flame will board the royal rowbarge Gloriana, on which a ceremonial cauldron will be lit as the vessel sails along the River Thames.

8.12am: Bells will ring out across the UK to mark the first official day of the London Olympics.

12.45pm: Gloriana will arrive at Tower Bridge, where the flame will remain at City Hall before the last leg of its 70-day, 8,00- mile journey towards the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

The Gloriana will carry the Olympic torch along the Thames. Credit: Press Association.

Between 2pm and 10.15pm Weymouth, which is hosting the Olympic sailing events, will be holding its own opening ceremony on the beach with musical performances and an appearance from the Team GB sailing team.

Laser Radial sailors practice on the waters of Portland Harbour in Dorset, the sailing venue of the London 2012 Olympics. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

4pm: The doors open at the BT London Live Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert in Hyde Park. Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Duran Duran and Paolo Nutini will perform for tens of thousands of revellers. There is also a music and sports event at Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets.

An aerial view of the Hyde Park live site. Credit: Press Association

4.15pm: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will host a reception for around 100 Heads of State and Heads of Government. The US First Lady Michelle Obama will be among the guests at the Buckingham Palace event.

5pm: The first spectators will file into the Olympic Stadium ahead of film director Danny Boyle's £27 million opening ceremony.

The Orbit and the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park, London. Credit: Press Association.

9pm: The show gets under way in front of an audience of about 62,000 in the stadium and one billion people watching worldwide. The flame will be used to light the cauldron in the Olympic Park to mark the official opening of the Games.Many of the event's contents have been kept a closely guarded secret, although it has been revealed the venue will be transformed into a meadow with real animals.

The Olympic countdown clock in Trafalgar Square, London. Credit: Press Association

Meanwhile, the countdown clock in Trafalgar Square will reach zero at 9pm.

12am: The opening ceremony will conclude between midnight and 12.30am with a performance by Sir Paul McCartney.