Chief sports writer Mark Taylor is at the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Follow his updates below.
9.12pm: It is bordering on impossible to know where to look. But the work of Dame Evelyn Glennie and the others on the drums is astounding.
9.05pm: A fantastic rendition from the choir with songs and national songs representing each area of Great Britain.
9.04pm: And Britain’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has got us underway by tolling the bell – let the show begin.
8.58pm: As a colleague has just pointed out, can’t beat a bit of Elgar
8.55pm: The sheep have left, the cows are going and the goats have had enough as well. Very dignified exit from the fields of play by all – and that includes the geese.
8.47pm: Just noticed on the far side of the stadium there is a cricket match going on, I suppose that archery has taken over Lord’s.
8.44pm: Just noticed that there’s a football match going on in the Green and Pleasant Land – thought Wembley was supposed to be hosting that. I’m just waiting for the farmer to come out and warn them to get off his land.
8.35pm: It does feel like we’re getting closer – and we’ve just had an enormous cheer for artistic director Danny Boyle, who is stressing that all that’s happening now, including himself, is the warm-up act.
8.25pm: There are a lot of excited school kids outside, ready to be the guards of honour for the athletes as they walk from the Olympic Village to the Olympic Park. And they include a group of eight from Swavesey Village College. Laura Mott, Maya Pandey, Olivia Frasier, Joe Hegan, Matt O’Sullivan, Will Flack, Ollie Slack and Sophie Higgins will be forming the guard for Mozambique.
8.12pm: Or that should be 20.12. WOW. The Red Arrows have just flown over with red, white and blue streams. And then 2012 flashed up in multiple lights round the stadium. It’s starting to ramp up.
8.06pm: I really ought to have updated on the animal count. We now have sheep, a sheepdog and geese as well. And I’ve just spotted a shire horse, how did he get in – we may also see a few of those in the 100m heats.
8.01pm: I think a visit to any opticians – don’t want to single out one and upset LOCOG – could be in order. It appears that those two goats and two kids were in fact two cows and two goats, easy mistake to make!
7.53pm: What looks like two goats and two kids (of the animal variety) have entered the arena, and received a great reception – they’ve taken it all in their stride and seem to suffering as little pressure as all the competitors are.
7.49pm: There really are clouds gathered at the stadium, four big white fluffy ones being walked round on long leads. They look a bit less sinister than the grey ones that have descended a bit higher up!
7.37pm: This is one of the most surreal things ever. The Green and Pleasant Land seems to have been taken to its maximum. There is a definite buzz of anticipation. Get in front of your TVs, this will be special (but keep your lap-tops on so you can follow us as well!).