23:54 Team GB enter the stadium to rapturous applause. Chris Hoy carries the flag and he is in tears. We might be as well... The rest of the team look dazzling. A brilliant opening ceremony - cue the Olympic cauldron lighting and mass fireworks.
22:21 The Olympic teams parade begins with Greece leading the 204 teams around the Olympic stadium.
22:17 A haunting performance by Emeli Sande (looking stunning in bespoke Jonathan Saunders design created to juxtapose the dancers in orange) captivates the Olympic stadium - and television audiences around the world - ahead of the official Olympic teams parade.
22:13DAVID BECKHAM! And he has the Olympic Torch! AND he's a captain of the boat?! This might be the best moment of the entire Olympics proceedings.... (maybe)
21:53 We love a love story, so we're glad the 'technological revolution' section of the Opening Ceremony presents one with a banging soundtrack of decades of music. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Prodigy, Queen and Sugababes being played, climaxing with a performance by Dizzee Rascal.
21:46 Just when we thought this had got mental enough, Rowan Atkinson arrives to play keyboard whilst fantasising he is part of an Olympic team. Still one of the most hilariously expressive actors in the country. First gold for him?
21:35 A section dedicated to literature achievements in the UK begins honoring Peter Pan author J M Barrie, J.K Rowling reads to the audience. Nightmare versions of Lord Voldermort from the Harry Potter series and Cruella Deville from 101 Dalmations (and possibly Noel Fielding as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Fortunately Mary Poppins saves the day and chases the nightmare visions away.
21:32 The National Anthem rings across the UK. The British flag is raised. New levels of patriotism are achieved.
21:26 Amazing. HRH Queen Elizabeth II has summoned James Bond (Daniel Craig) and they jet off to join the stadium, parachuting into the arena. Her Majesty certainly makes a fine Bond Girl.
21:14 The industrial revolution, votes for women and the world wars are represented, followed by hints towards the social revolution and a nod to The Beatles as brightly dressed participants parade in Sgt Pepper style costumes. Other notable points in British history are included. Curiously Brunel remains throughout surveying the process. Did we miss the bit in history class about him being immortal? The scenes climax with the arrival of Olympic rings that fuse above the stadium. Breath taking.
21:08 Kenneth Branagh channels both Brunel and Shakespeare (he is a talented thesp), leading the show into an 'industrial revolution' section.
21:04 Instant sporting legend, Bradley Wiggins - the first British winner of the Tour De France - opens the Olympic celebrations. Child choirs across the nation lift spirits with song. Period costumes worn by a host of Olympic actors.
21:00 Isles of Wonders are presented as the Olympic Opening Ceremony officially begins. High speed, flashing scenes, scratchy music.. definitely the Danny Boyle stamp. And it's all so exciting already...
20:42 Olympic stadium effectively turns into Glastonbury (well, they have set the stage to be the coutryside). Frank Turner performs and performs his track 'I Still Believe'. Not sure it's an official 2012 song but the stadium look suitably entertained. With the crowd distracted, Prince WIlliam and Princess Catherine discretely reach their seats. Kate wears custom made Christopher Kane.
20:27 In true British style, the heavens open and rain begins to fall. Knowing how predictably bad British summer weather is, we're going to guess that Danny Boyle has anticipated a bit of wet weather but we very much doubt this will dampen the celebrations.
20:10 Red arrows display British flag colours over the Olympic village with less than one hour until the Opening ceremony begins. Cue a montage of images of Britain and previous Olympic triumphs. Team ELLE are feeling incredibly patriotic.
20:00 The Olympic animals begin to arrive at the Opening Ceremony. Rumours have surfaced that sheep involved will be wearing next season's wool. That's one way of being ahead of the flock.
19:55 Inspiring account of the history of women in the Olympics. From the brave women who competed in the face of adversity to break down prejudices to the women of today who are strong, confident role models.
19:45 Danny Boyle discusses his planning for the Olympic Opening Ceremony and says his aim was to show where Britain is in the world in economic and political terms. The Opening Ceremony will respect the history of the United Kingdom but also represent the future. The show will be "inclusive" and "warm". We can't wait for the show to start.
19:30 Coverage catches up with the Olympic torch which is nearing Tower Bridge (that torch must be exhausted! It's been on the run for 70 days) and Olympic greats express their excitement for the 2012 games.
19:00 Coverage begins in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony. A mystery guest is teased who will ring the Olympic bell and Dizzee Rascal addresses the nation to explain just why London is such a great city.