London 2012 opening ceremony wows world
The London 2012 Olympic Games have been officially opened with a spectacular ceremony celebrating British history, social, cultural and industrial achievements.
Film director Danny Boyle, who masterminded the ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in east London, deployed a huge cast including many ordinary Britons as well dramatic special effects.
How was the event viewed around the world?
China's mainstream party-run and state-run media were fairly measured and gracious in their comments on an opening ceremony that, in the minds of many Chinese, was going to be a bit of an anti-climax after director Zhang Yimou's lavish ceremony in 2008.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported a "lavish opening ceremony celebrating Britain's rich history and great figures, by turns dramatic, imaginative, humorous and solemn, as thousands of performers weaved the story of the country's past, present and future".
Singapore's Straits Times said: "Britain can make and is making it a grand show. It is not merely scale but also authenticity that makes a spectacular difference."
The Australian daily praised a "glorious pandemonium devoted to London's thriving, chaotic energy, that celebrated everything from punk music to social media and the internet, deliberately revelling in the chaos of Britain's free society and popular culture in an obvious retort to the breathtaking order and intimidating precision and scale of Beijing's ceremony in 2008".
France's Le Figaro daily said the display "reminded a billion viewers of the best contributions that Britain has given to the world for over a century: its sense of humour, its music, and of course sport".
The Los Angeles Times said the performance was "moving, bizarre, funny and exciting, and often surprisingly dark; certainly it was never dull. It had at times a quality of seeming completely random even as one suspected that repeated viewings would reveal all sorts of connections and echoes and interior rhymes."
Commenting on the appearance of 86 year-old Queen Elizabeth, who declared the Games open, Egypt's Al-Ahram daily said: "Children's voices intertwining from the four corners of her United Kingdom ushered in an exuberant historical pageant of meadows, steel mills and megapixels."