Enough having been said by others greater than me about THAT opening ceremony, I was going to avoid mentioning the Olympics altogether this week.
However, I feel the need to point out that the bit where the queen appeared to jump from a helicopter over the stadium has been done before. By me!
I’m not saying that Danny Boyle ripped me off, but was he by any chance present at Bailbrook’s Tin Church fete a few years back? It has been my pleasant duty to declare that particular eccentric Bath happening open on a regular basis in the guise of my alter-ego Lady Margaret. Once her ladyship arrived as if from a jungle safari on a palliasse carried by sweating locals. Another time she stepped from a Tardis, commenting as she did so ‘It’s much smaller in there than you’d expect!’
In the year in question, the indomitable organiser of the fete managed to persuade a burly South African ex-policeman to jump out of a plane wearing a polka-dot frock, sensible shoes and clutching a floral handbag. Thus we were able to create the illusion that Lady Margaret was parachuting in. As the guy landed behind the church, we engineered an enormous crash of shattering glass and Lady M appeared, hat askew, over the ridge of the tin roof, looking somewhat dishevelled, ribbon and scissors in hand.
To this day some people remain convinced that I really did jump out of that plane, so well-timed was the stunt. Or maybe it was the copious amounts of cider consumed at the event that caused fantasy to merge with reality.
Could it be that this modest attempt at visual trickery sowed the seeds that resulted in last week’s incredible spectacular? If so, do you think it might be in order for me to send in an invoice to claim my share of the £24 million budget? Come on Danny boy, you can afford it!
I think I deserve a small reward. For though I didn’t actually jump from a plane, I did suffer for my art. Sitting astride the ridge of a hot tin roof on a blazing summer’s day with nothing but a pair of support hose for protection is not exactly un-painful, I can tell you.