I am sure Danny Boyle and Elbow will produce an amazing ceremony tomorrow. This is how I would do it:
As people start to fill the Olympic arena they fail to notice Elbow playing on the running track, assuming it is some roadies doing a soundcheck. However the truth is that, due to the 19-hour length of the track Elbow have written for the Olympics, they had to start playing the song almost a day ago in order to ensure the song finished at the same time as tonight’s ceremony.
There is a large pub in the centre of the field. ‘The Red, White and Blue Lion’ (that’s what the sign says). Mainly there are people enjoying themselves outside it. Someone is recalling how Rod Hull died and everyone is laughing at imagining an old man fall to his death – BECAUSE THERE IS SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT THE SCENARIO. Less fun people are wondering what Hull’s son was doing: why let your dad climb on the roof in the rain? One person asks,”but is his son disabled?”. No-one knows the answer to this and so everyone goes quiet for a bit.
The silence is broken by Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and some other people doing some light-hearted judging of classic British Olympians. Seb Coe is called ‘too cute for words’; Daley Thompson’s moustache comes in for a ribbing; Kelly Holmes is called ‘quite an excellent runner’; David Beckham is called ‘poetic’ while everyone continues to ignore that he his not an Olympian; Linford Christie is called a ‘fucking drug cheat’, at this point the video stops and Seb Coe appears on the screen reminding all the security officials to shoot Christie in the head should he appear anywhere at any event. He refuses to let the event continue until this statement is applauded. The only sound in the arena for 12 minutes is a light drum-beat from Elbow before everyone breaks and applauds Lord Coe.
Inside the pub there is a to-do over someone’s right to bring their children and dogs into the bar area, despite there being a children’s playground and dog area outside. The man who has politely complained because a child repeatedly poured his drink away while a pitbull chomps on his wife’s arm is asked to leave – the landlord of the pub is Todd Carty, but the barman who asked the people to leave is played by Zammo from Grange Hill (“Just say no”). The TV cameras linger on Ant ‘n’ Dec who are stood in the pose of people about to present a piece to camera about the statistics of the games (“there will be over 93 loaves of bread used for toast in this entire Olympics, washed down with about 175 cups of tea and some orange if you don’t like tea” something like that). However they are contractually banned from speaking on the BBC and so just look into the cameras until the director switches to……
Towards the other end of the arena there is a gigantic set of scales. On one side of the balance there is everyone who hates the Jeremy Kyle show. On the other side is everyone who loves it. It is balanced perfectly. The people who hate Jeremy Kyle and the people on it are all laughing at people behaving exactly the same as the people they hate on Jeremy Kyle – but it is in Coronation Street and Eastenders so they all think it is brilliant. The people who like Jeremy Kyle are watching Jeremy Kyle re-runs. One man stands in the middle of the balance looking at everybody involved with distaste,: it is William Roache aka Ken Barlow. He is saying some quote that sums everything up perfectly but no-one can hear him as it’s a loud bit of the Elbow song.
Two drunken couples walk away from the pub in the centre of the arena. The male half of each couple are ‘just’ dancers, effeminate dancers – but they’ve been dressed as tough lads: fake stubble and leather jackets. The female half of each couple are two of the girls from STEPS, the two who don’t have a continuing battle with their weight. Each couple is having an argument – this is relayed over the PA; the girls from STEPS are saying their lines live, but the boys are just moving their mouths while we hear Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden (aka Grant and Phil Mitchell) say their lines. The two couples end up interfering with each other’s argument, with each woman attacking the man who is not their husband for interfering when their husband threatened them with a broken bottle.
It threatens to get bit on top…but two classic English bobbies appear blowing their whistles and shouting “now then, now then, etc” There’s a brief (choreographed) tussle between the two thugs and the two coppers. For the most part the faces of the policemen haven’t been seen properly but as they finish cuffing the lads they turn to the two women, from Steps remember? They turn to them and at this point you realise it’s Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Lee Latchford-Evans: the boys from STEPS!! “Care to dance?” LLE asks the girls cheekily. “Only if we can sing, ” says the small one with dark hair. “Yeah, sing a STEPS medley of our greatest hits – currently available on CD and download from iTunes,” adds Faye Tozer. They start with One for Sorrow and complete a 6-minute rollercoaster ride of all the hits from the STEPS’ back-catalogue.
As Lee Latchford-Evans et al leave to an ovation the people in the stands hold up some cards which have the overall effect of creating a big Twitter logo. Joey Barton walks along the running track. He is wearing a kilt, top-hat, Dr Marten boots and a t-shirt displaying Barton himself – on the picture Barton is wearing a t-shirt with the slogan ‘Who the fuck is Joey Barton on it?’ The crowd cheer this working class hero. They all roar their approval as he reads out a quote from Nietzsche. People are whispering to each other “Isn’t it interesting to have a footballer who doesn’t just get involved in the gang rapes? He’s brilliant, I read his profile in The Guardian but before the applause can die down people still clapping start to shout abuse at Barton.
“You copy and paste cunt” shouts someone, presumably born with the entire works of Nietzsche in his brain. Before Barton knows what is happening people are throwing objects at him. A blogger at The Guardian deletes the 300 words he has written about how brilliant Barton is and starts, “Joey Barton is a cunt – here’s why..” Three women and two men are ejected from the stadium for saying both reactions to Barton were somewhat extreme and that the truth probably lay somewhere in the middle. When they get outside they all admit Barton probably is just a prick, though.
Back inside the arena, Gaby Logan and Gary Lineker unveil the results of BBC’s Greatest Ever Olympian countdown: Seb Coe wins with David Beckham and Gazza tied for second. Paula Radcliffe is on stage but no-one knows why. On Twitter 39,700 people tweet ‘This is more embarrassing than the time she shit herself” completely unaware she is trying to do a shit now. Fortunately the technology used to recreate TuPac Shakur has allowed the London 2012 committee – at no small expense – to have holograms of Jeremy Clarkson and Elton John discuss the importance of the Olympics to Britain’s dormant Olympic merchandising industry, which detracts from Radcliffe trying to do a shit on the stage.
People are getting restless now, it’s been going on a bit. However, everyone forgets being bored: every Big Brother housemate ever, every Apprentice contestant ever and the every final 10 contestant of X-Factor/Pop Idol/The other ones appears on the field. The crowd appears to go into meltdown as the 300+ people all demanding attention overload the capacity of the watching millions to think any of them are interesting. Nasty Nick from Big Brother one leads everyone off the field to boos and the stadium goes dark.
Elbow’s 19-hour opus reaches a crescendo; A likeness of Winston Churchill, that has been fashioned from weasel pelt suddenly appears at one end of the stadium – or was it always there? Anyway, it’s not there anymore as it explodes in a pyrotechnic orgasm of light. Out of the lights appears to be a stream forming – running all the way down to the other end of the stadium, where the Olympic flame will be lit, but by who? And why is this stream forming? It’s not deep enough for a proper boat, I’d say it was just about deep enough to allow someone to row down…and what this? Why…it’s a rowing boat..and what appears to be a bald diabetic rowing away. It’s SIR STEVE REDGRAVE, the greatest Olympian the world has ever seen. And his fucking head is on fire.
Sir Steve is transporting the olympic flame via his own flaming flesh. His scalp has become the olympic torch. Sir Steve Redgrave IS THE OLYMPICS. He appears to be struggling though as he reaches the half-way point. Where is Matthew Pinsent when Sir Steve needs carrying to Olympic glory? The answer, normally, is powering the boat while allowing Sir Steve Redgrave to get all the glory. Now, however, Pinsent is stuck in traffic after the collapse of the infrastructure of London traffic system some time this morning. Redgrave (Sir Steve) will not give up though and as he enters the final few metres his publicist restrains the paramedics from helping him – the insulin remains in their syringes as Sir Steve Redgrave slumps into a diabetic coma and his skull smashes into the plate lighting the Olympic flame!!! He’s done it by jove!
As the crowd erupts with joy, a joy no-one is entirely able to explain. We’ve done it, we’ve gone and open ceremony-ed a fucking Olympics, World! We are Britain and we have opened some sport contests, fuck you: this all is supposedly directed at ‘The World’ but you can’t help but notice how we seem to look into the eyes of Germany while doing it, and glance at Argentina.
Loads of fireworks go off for ages. Fin.