London 2012: Danny Boyle, BBC Discuss On-Air Commentary for Olympics Opening Ceremony (Report)
LONDON – As the first Olympic sporting event kicks off Wednesday (July 25) in Cardiff with a women's soccer match between Team GB and New Zealand, organizers are hoping any last minute potential snags will be ironed out.
The BBC met with Olympics opening ceremony director Danny Boyle to talk through concerns over its commentary to accompany the £27 million ($42 million) show, according to media reports.
BBC newsreader Huw Edwards who will anchor BBC1's coverage and the BBC's director of London 2012 Roger Mosey, outlined the corporation's plans to the Oscar winning director ahead of Friday's showpiece event according to The Independent.
The soundtrack will be released as a digital download named Isles of Wonder and viewers who want to watch it commentary-free will be able to do so on cable and satellite television, as part of the BBC's ambitious plans to push the idea that digital technology will dominate delivery.
But Mosey said Edwards would provide a guide for viewers not entirely familiar with Shakespeare's The Tempest, which inspired Boyle's vision.
Mosey said the BBC's coverage of the opening ceremony was the single most important thing in its Olympics coverage.
"Huw Edwards and I went down to the stadium last week to talk to Danny and others about making sure that we understand the vision," Mosey told the Independent.
"The audience will need points to some of the things that are happening. Danny has always said he wants a lively soundtrack ... but there are points in the ceremony where you do need to say the thinking going on here is X, what we are representing here is Y."
Mosey added: "We are still impartial and the commentary is ours but ... the more you understand what Danny Boyle is trying to do, the more you can give an informed commentary."
Mosey told THR previously that the BBC has absolutely no influence or desire to change Boyle's plans.
The BBC's countdown to the opening ceremony will aim to last most of Friday, beginning with Olympic Breakfast and four hours of updates throughout the day on BBC1 at midday, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., before its coverage begins in earnest at 9 p.m., ending at 12.30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Boyle held a full dress rehearsal Monday evening at the newly-built Olympic Stadium and the BBC has begun broadcasting its main news bulletins from the Olympic Park.