Danny Boyle to direct 2012 opening ceremony

Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry are to have leading roles in the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Games.

Boyle, the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire director, was asked to take charge of the opening ceremony as artistic director while Daldry, director of big screen hits such as Billy Elliot and The Reader, will be one of the four key executive producers of the showpiece opening and closing ceremonies.

This team will oversee both ceremonies at each of the Olympic and Paralympic events.

Danny, 53, who became hot property in Hollywood when his Mumbai-set film became an Oscar sensation, said: “I’m honoured to have been invited to be the artistic director for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“It’s a completely unique opportunity to contribute to what I’m sure are going to be a fantastic Games, I’m really excited to be involved.”

Stephen, 49, is joined by the concert, theatre and Beijing 2008 Games designer Mark Fisher, Grammy and Bafta-award nominated TV director Hamish Hamilton, plus Catherine Ugwu, producer of the 2006 Asian Games and the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, on the executive production team.

Stephen said: “Myself and my co-executive producers will ensure there is creative continuity across all four ceremonies, that the public have real engagement and that we continue to attract into key roles the best talent in the world. I’m delighted to be part of the team.”

A billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. The athletes’ parade at the Olympic opening ceremony involves 10,000 athletes from 205 nations while 4,000 athletes from 162 nations take part in the Paralympic opening ceremony.

An artistic director for the Olympic closing ceremony and one for the Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies will be appointed later this year.

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