Britain greeted the world on Friday (27 July) with an extravagant celebration to open the 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Park in Stratford London.
The ceremony included Bond, a Beatle and the Queen.
London's seven-year countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games came to a crescendo with a stunning, imaginative, whimsical and dramatic celebration of the host country.
To open the ceremony, children popped balloons with each number from 10 to 1, leading a countdown that climaxed with Bradley Wiggins, the newly crowned Tour de France champion.
Wearing his race-winner's yellow jersey, Wiggins rang a 23-ton Olympic Bell from the same London foundry that made Big Ben and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell.
Fighter jets streaming red, white and blue smoke roared over the Olympic Stadium, packed with a buzzing crowd of 60-thousand people, at 8:12 p.m. (1912GMT).
Helicopters lowered the glowing forged rings into the stadium.
An explosion of fireworks against the London skyline and Paul McCartney leading a sing-a-long wrapped up the three-hour show masterminded by one of Britain's most successful filmmakers, Oscar winner Danny Boyle.
Later, Queen Elizabeth II stood solemnly as the more traditional version of the anthem was sung by a choir of children.
The highlight of Boyle's $42 million production was a filmed sequence showing a stunt version of the 86-year-old monarch carried to the stadium by helicopter and parachuting in. At the same moment, real skydivers appeared in the skies over the stadium. And moments after that, the monarch appeared in person, accompanied by her husband Prince Philip.