Why does no one remember when Keith Moon had a letter wrote to him by the 2012 London Olympic committee asking to perform at the opening ceremony? The letter was wrote in complete seriousness. His manager responded by saying:
‘Unfortunately, Mr Moon is not available for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics as he currently resides in (name of cemetery). He has been there since 1978. If however, you really require him to play, I suggest you conduct a seance.
On this day in 1948, the National Health Service came into effect in the United Kingdom. Ideas for a nationalised health system had been around for decades before 1948, but it was not until then that they became a reality for British citizens. The Labour government of Clement Attlee, elected in 1945, were committed to the principles of the welfare state. They were greatly influenced by the 1942 Beveridge Report, which recommended social reform to tackle the five ‘Giant Evils’ of squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Thinkers around Britain thus came to see healthcare as a fundamental universal right, not a privilege held by a few. Working with these ideas, the government passed the National Health Service Act in 1946, which came into effect on July 5th 1948 and created the NHS in England and Wales (Scotland’s was created separately). The creation of the NHS led to universal health care in the United Kingdom, paid for through central taxation, ending the requirement that patients pay directly for their own healthcare. It radically restructured the British health care system, with the NHS taking control of the almost half a million hospital beds in England and Wales and placing almost all hospitals and staff under its jurisdiction. Despite ongoing debates over the efficiency, cost and structure of the NHS, it remains a central feature of the British welfare state. As seen with its celebration during the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, the NHS is a point of national pride for Britain. Indeed, according to a recent study, thanks to the NHS Britain has the best healthcare system out of eleven of the world’s wealthiest nations, with the United States in last place.
The British Royal Family attended the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle. In it, there was a sketch of James Bond visiting the Queen in Buckingham Palace where he escorts her by helicopter to the Olympic Stadium and they supposedly parachute off. The part where the Queen makes Daniel Craig wait was completely improvised.
“This feels rather like a school trip,” Peggy mused as she
and Steve stood in line for the coaches that would transport them from
Buckingham Palace to the Olympic Arena.
Steve snorted and fanned himself with his ID tag. “We even
have little pieces of paper with our names on them so we don’t get lost en
“You would think, since we are all at least somewhat capable
of running a country, we would be capable of getting ourselves from once place
The monitor at the door gave Peggy a strange look as she
boarded the bus, Steve following right behind her. At Steve’s questioning
glance, Peggy winced. “My presence here may be outside the realm of standard
Peggy marched toward the back of the bus, intent on claiming
the window seat. She plopped herself into the seat and set an imperious look
his way which was met with a smug grin. He sat next to her, just slightly
closer than what would be deemed an appropriate distance for two colleagues.
“Don’t go getting a big head,” Peggy huffed, a sharp elbow
to his side punctuating her statement.
“I’m not!” Steve exclaimed, affronted.
“Yes, you are. I can see it swelling as we speak.”
“I took a bit of persuasion. They asked me twice. But when they told me everything, including the queen jumping out with a parachute I thought: ‘no one’s even gonna remember I was there, that’s brilliant’. So I thought, yeah… It is one of the best things I have ever, ever done, it was so moving and i’m just so proud to have been a part of it.” J.K Rowling reading at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in London.
J.K. Rowling, Kenneth Branagh, Voldemort attacks at London Olympic opening ceremony
The London Olympic summer games began on Friday evening with the opening ceremonies at Olympic Stadium, and a few familiar faces showed up during the over-hour-long celebration of Great Britain through the centuries.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made a brief appearance during the literary segment, reading an excerpt of J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan to a crowd of children; film actor Sir Kenneth Branagh started off by reading Shakespeare’s The Tempest before centuries of Britain unfolded around him.
And finally - so far - confirming rumours, a massive blow-up version of Lord Voldemort was thwarted by a shower of Mary Poppinses from the sky. Photos of those can be seen below; we will have video footage as soon as they are made available.
The opening ceremony aired live in the U.K. on BBC1 and pre-taped versions will be available on NBC networks later in the evening.