LONDON (AP) — The London Games are set to end in a blazing tribute to British pop and pizazz, with a closing ceremony that will see stars from the Spice Girls to The Who turn Olympic Stadium into a giant jukebox of musical hits.
Two weeks of sporting drama wrap up Sunday with what music director David Arnold has called “the greatest after-party in the world.”
“If the opening ceremony was the wedding, then we’re the wedding reception,” Arnold told the Daily Telegraph — with everyone from the Pet Shop Boys to Annie Lennox and Fatboy Slim on hand to get people dancing.
Although organizers have tried to the ceremony under wraps, many details have leaked out in the British media — and some of the performers have let the cat out of the bag themselves.
The Who, George Michael, Muse and Ed Sheeran have all said they will take part in a show that will include performances of 30 British hit singles from the past five decades.
Tips and photos have emerged from the rehearsal venue, an old car plant in east London.
The Spice Girls were photographed dancing atop black London taxis, so a rendition of their biggest hit, “Wannabe,” seems certain.
So does an appearance by surviving members of Queen, whose “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” have been ever-present at the games.
And Ray Davies of The Kinks is tipped to perform his majestic London ballad “Waterloo Sunset.”
Paul McCartney has already performed at the opening ceremony, but it’s inconceivable that there won’t be a bit of Beatles music in a tribute to the best of British pop.
And organizers will want to include younger acts such as Tinie Tempah, Jessie J, Emeli Sande and the Kaiser Chiefs.
Organizers have said they want the ceremony to be a “cheeky” reflection of modern Britain, so expect touches of Monty Pythonesque humor — perhaps even Python Eric Idle leading a mass rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”