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The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Is Still A Heart-Swelling, Lump-In-The-Throat Moment

Helmed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, the 2012 London Games Opening Ceremony is regarded as one of the greatest in Olympic history.

Celebrating everything that makes Britain Great, the four-hour Isles Of Wonder spectacular featured jaw-dropping set pieces, a cast of thousands, famous names galore and plenty of silliness too.

It really was A Moment.

Here, we take a misty-eyed look back at one incredible night that made the hearts of every Brit watching swell, and feels all the more poignant after the year we’ve all had.

We still can’t quite believe how they managed to pull off those  incredible set pieces…

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FABRICE COFFRINI via Getty Images

Ian MacNicol via Getty Images

Ian MacNicol via Getty Images

THOMAS COEX via Getty Images

FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT via Getty Images

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sampics via Getty Images

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Ian MacNicol via Getty Images

Ian MacNicol via Getty Images

And a herd of very well-behaved sheep

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There were stars galore, including Kenneth Branagh…

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…Dizzee Rascal…

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…The Arctic Monkeys…

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…And Paul McCartney

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Things got very silly indeed when Mr Bean joined the London Symphony Orchestra for a rendition of Chariots Of Fire

 

And even sillier when the actual Queen did some acting alongside the actual Daniel Craig

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Before the actual Queen* jumped out of a helicopter with the actual Daniel Craig* to enter the stadium (*not actually them)

 

Yeah, Harry wasn’t buying it

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Speaking of Bond, David Beckham did his very best 007 impression to escort the Olympic torch to the stadium via the Thames…

 

Anyone got a light?

THOMAS COEX via Getty Images

Ian MacNicol via Getty Images

THOMAS COEX via Getty Images

The cascading Olympic rings are still one of the most enduring images from the night

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So. Many. Fireworks.

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Even the show’s director Danny Boyle couldn’t believe he’d pulled it off

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