Updated: 19/07/2012 08:23 | By pa.press.net

Organisers 'tighten' opening ceremony

Danny Boyle is directing the opening ceremony

Danny Boyle is directing the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of London 2012 has been "tightened" rather than shortened as it was running over, organisers have said.

One billion people worldwide are expected to watch the ceremony at Stratford's Olympic Stadium, which will be turned into a meadow complete with real animals, grass and clouds that will rain down. However, it has been confirmed at a sequence involving stunt bikes would not take place as the ceremony was over-running in rehearsals.

LOCOG director of communications Jackie Brock-Doyle was asked whether the decision was connected to the G4S security debacle or transport issues, to which she said: "Neither. It is not actually being cut. It starts at 9pm and will finish between 12am and 12.30am, as we have said all along."

She continued: "Currently it is running slightly over that, so we need to make sure, and the ceremony teams are making sure, that it is within the slot we have always said it would fit into. What is actually happening is tightening up. I think it often happens in all sorts of productions, stage shows and big shows.

"The transport's been great because TFL (Transport for London) have extended it (the last train) to 2.30am."

Speaking at a LOCOG media briefing in the Olympic Park's Main Press Centre, she added: "Everyone is assuming we are making the show shorter. It is still the three to three and-a-half hour show it is just in the rehearsals, it has run longer than it needs to be so it has all been tightened.

"One small segment, which is about three or four minutes has been cut and that is the bit with the stunt bikes, the rest of it has just been tightened up, primarily the transitions."

Brock-Doyle revealed that the contracted stunt bikers will be paid despite being dropped for the ceremony and that artistic director Danny Boyle understands the need to tighten the £27 million spectacular.

"Danny is a world-renowned film-maker," she said. "I think he is used to doing a show, whether it is a film or a stage show, or the opening ceremony he's doing now, and knowing you have to fit it within the time available.

"He's an award-winning filmmaker; things end up on the cutting-room floor. I think he understands that."

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