The Blog

Sir Paul McCartney Paid only £1 for Olympic Opening Ceremony Performance


It was a grandstand performance, topping off a rousing opening ceremony witnessed by billions of people around the world; Sir Paul McCartney leading Wembley Arena, and in a manner of speaking, the entire whole world, in a sing-along of the Beatles classic “Hey Jude.”


And for bringing down the house, and the final curtain, on a ceremony that lasted more than four hours and officially opened the 2012 London Olympics, the ex-Beatle was paid a single British pound.


In actuality, Sir Paul and the other performers that appeared at the ceremony essentially donated their services for free. However since a formal contract had to be drawn up for the performers a figure needed to be set, and that figure was £1.


The ceremony was orchestrated by film director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire), and was seen by an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. alone.


A large part of the ceremony was dedicated to celebrating the rock and pop music that has emerged from London and the UK over the decades. Music by David Bowie, Queen, the Rolling Stones, the Jam, Mud, and the Sex Pistols was used, in addition to the live performances by McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal, Underworld, and Emeli Sande.


Other highlights of the at times confusing ceremony included a filmed segment with Daniel Craig as 007 escorting the Queen (Yes the actual Queen) in a helicopter from Buckingham Palace, and soccer star David Beckham piloting a speedboat down the Thames with an official Olympic torch-bearer as a passenger.

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