Beckham, Paige and Beyonce for Olympics handover ceremony

August 23rd, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 23 (IANS) Football superstar David Beckham will kick the handover ball Sunday at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics when China passes on the reins to Britain for the 2012 London Olympics.London officials revealed plans and the details of the eight-minute slot, which includes cyclists Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade.

Also performing at the ceremony will be musicians Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis, and singer Beyonce Knowles.

Three dance groups - the Royal Opera House, street dance theatre group Zoo Nation and CandoCo, a contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers - will also put up a show, reported the China Daily.

London’s gig at the closing will start with a symbolic red London double-decker bus driving around the Bird’s Nest chased by Hoy, Pendleton and Reade on their bikes.

When the bus slows down near a symbolic bus stop, the three groups of dancers will surround it. Then the bus will transform itself, with the top half folding down in segments to show a hedge cut into shapes of the London skyline with landmarks such as the Tower Bridge, Battersea Power Station and the parliament, according to reports in British media.

English pop singer Leona Lewis will emerge from the roof to sing a song and then guitarist Page appears to perform with Lewis a new version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’.

As the song nears its end, Beckham will stand on another lift with a British girl and kick a football into the crowd, switching everyone’s attention to the handover party outside Buckingham Palace.

“We will not compete with the (Chinese) ceremony, it will be simple, youthful, athletic, loud and proud like London, entertaining and fun,” said Bill Morris, Culture, Events and Education chief of the 2012 London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), at a media conference.

Chairman of the LOCOG Sebastian Coe said the handover will mark the start of Britain’s four-year “cultural Olympiad”.

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