08:00 Spectators start queueing by the Bow flyover to ensure they get through 12 hours of security checks before the opening ceremony begins. 19:59 Olympic bureaucrats arrive at the Olympic Stadium and are ushered directly to their seats. 20:00 Mayor Ken Livingstone, 67, releases a flock of 'pigeons of peace' to signal the start of the 2012 Olympics. 20:01 It starts raining. 20:02 A procession of Pearly Kings and Queens, beefeaters and members of the cast of EastEnders parades around the arena. 20:12 (oh yes, very symbolic timing) Local schoolchildren flood into the arena dressed as chimneysweeps to perform a medley of songs from Mary Poppins, just to keep American TV audiences happy. 20:25 Heather Small is wheeled on in a giant billowing dress atop a red Routemaster bus to sing 'Proud' - the Official Download of the 2012 Olympics. 20:29 Everybody in the audience holds up a piece of coloured cardboard which, when seen from the TV airship floating above high above Stratford, spells out the words "Up yours Paris". 20:30 A half hour tap-dancing ballet extravanganza follows, commissioned for half a million pounds which appears to have been spent on crepe paper costumes, big swirling ribbons, some big torches and a few primary-coloured hats. 20:59 Still no sport yet. 21:00 Greek athletes lead the parade of nations into the arena, followed by the five-strong Albanian contingent, then some grinning Algerians in full national costume, then one goatherd from Andorra (maybe this would be a good time to go and make a cup of tea). 20:18 - 20:31 Half the population of China appear to have turned up. 21:47 ... Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sri Lanka... 22:05 The UK team bring up the rear, waving and grinning inanely because they've saved a fortune on travelling costs this year. 22:10 Brooklyn Beckham enters the stadium holding aloft a Bic cigarette lighter which he then uses to ignite the Olympic Flame (housed in an old skip rescued from the long-gone Marshgate Lane Trading Estate). 22:20 IOC Chairman Sebastian Coe welcomes the nations of the world, then HM King William V makes a hesitant speech and looks a bit embarrassed. 22:30 The Olympic flag is raised, still water-stained in one corner after the flash floods which inundated City Hall's basement storage cupboards last summer. 22:38 Dame Paula Radcliffe leads the athletes in the Olympic oath - "We swear that we will take part in these Olympic Games in the true spirit of sportsmanship, that we will wear the correct brands and logos at all times, and that we are not taking steroids honest." 22:40 Parade of the Sponsors (Coca Cola, Mastercard, Sony, Jamster, etc), featuring a bevy of teenage beauties throwing sweets from the back of a procession of converted lorries. 22:50 Firework display cancelled at the request of the chief of the Metropolitan Police, because Londoners are still a bit twitchy about simultaneous explosions. 22:55 Let the Games begin! 22:56 commercial break 23:00 Whoopee, the synchronised swimming and volleyball start in 8 hours time.