23.30 Torch parading now. This has MASSIVELY over-run, has it not?
23.25 Okay. Seriously. Sporting adminsitrator man. That’s enough speech
23.20 A tribute to the people who died in the recent Malaysian airlines
23.18 Sorry to report that a politican is now speaking. It’s Salmond.
23.15 The athletes and coaches take the oath now. CD writes:
Got to hand it to the scots. Very proud of being a member of the
commonwealth. from canada. Sick of the commercals though.
23.11 Inspiring stuff from Billy Connolly about how Glasgow changed the
name of a street to Nelson Mandela Street during Apartheid… the street
where the South African High Commission was located.
23.06 So some folk from each nation parade a white flag, representing
peace and fraternity in sport (I’m guessing at this point) while a lady
plays the Bonnie Banks Of Loch Lomond thing on the fiddle.
23.04 I’m not saying I’m not enjoying all of this but it does rather
seem to be going on a bit.
23.01 There’s a nice bit of choral music now, youngsters singing, all
ethereal and very pleasant. Ooh, and a message from the Space Station.
22.59 Here, thanks to Polly Ludlow Jones, who writes in reply to the
lady earlier who was asking about why so many of the athletes have got taped
I think it’s a light taped to their finger …
22.58 That nice James McAvoy is doing the charity bit next. There’s a
charity number you can text to help UNICEF.
22.54 Rod, and I am sorry to have to tell you this, is playing NEW
MATERIAL. Rod. You had one job. You get up there, you belt out a bit of
Maggie May and Sailing and you get off and get back to California. Or
Epping, I should say. This opening number is from 2013! It’s called You
Can’t Stop Me Now or some such. It’s a good tune and all, but Rod. Really.
George Michael tried a similar caper at the Olympics IIRC.
22.52 Everyone’s safely gathered in from the 71 nations, territories,
rocks, etc. And now… Rod Stewart.
22.50 Nick Matthew carried the flag for the English, and reader Ian
Massie reckons he didn’t make as good a fist of it as his Scots counterpart.
We had to wait for a Scotsman to hold the flag with a straight arm ,
Matthew !From An Aberdonian
22.46 Here come the Scots. It’s The Shamen’s ‘Move Any Mountain’. It’s
a lot of very happy and excited Scottish people in their, let’s not mince
words, much-maligned orange and blue tartan garb. I rather like it. Not for
everyone, I grant you. Anyway, it’s a hell of an atmosphere and everyone is
having a high old time of it. Ian McLarnon writes:
S Express? Simples. “I’ve got the hots for you”. Scotland has the
hots for its neighbour…. Tongue firmly in cheek!
22.45 What music will the Scots come in to? Something by the KLF? It’s
all up for grabs now. Sue Pointon asks:
Can you tell me why many athletes appear to have coloured tape on their
Sue, I am sorry. I cannot. Anyone?
22.43 Wales are VERY excited and hence very blurry.
22.40 Here’s the Northern Ireland lads and lasses.
22.39 Malta there, much beloved of Gary Neville. I read a whole
interview with Gurreh once about how he loves going there on holidays. Good
times. Ranjit writes:
Nothing could make you more proud and happy seeing your country’s national
flag in commonwealth games
22.35 Disappointingly, no booing for England. The hated oppressors
enter the stadium to… the traditional sounds of S Express!!! What the
actual flip? Brilliantly bonkers music choice once again.
22.34 Eesh. Onwards. It’s Europe now. We start with Cyrpus. “One
of the favourite holiday destinations for many in the UK,” says Hazel.
Hang in there, hen.
22.31 St Helena Island next. Oh, the Napoleon place.
22.25 The Falkland Islands are carrying their dog. Simon wins a
biscuit and a Geography A-Level:
Point of order. There are 71 competing ‘nations and territories’ of the
Commonwealth competing at the Games. As anyone who watches Pointless knows,
a country is defined as a sovereign state that’s a member of the UN in its
own right. So, Australia, for example, is a ‘country’, the British Virgin
22.24 Her off the Pussycat Dolls. Nicole with the hard to spell name.
Was on X Factor. Anyway, she is the latest sleb to take a turn at rattlin’
the UNICEF tin. Now it’s Belize, famous for its delicious tax laws. Here’s
an electronic letter from Joe Marjoram:
I rather suspect there’s a few more games sceptics with every passing
minute of this, um, splendorama.
During our time in submarines, us young folk found Glasgow always compared
favorably with a stinking tin can full of men. And frankly, where wouldn’t?
I now realise Glasgow was in fact a great place that deserved more
recognition. Well worth a visit. Even when there’s nae sport on.
22.22 The Turks And Caicos Islands take to the arena to the sounds of
SL2′s On A Ragga Tip. Kwa-li-tee. I am delighted and mystified by some of
the music choices here.
22.20 Where’s Usain? He’s not here. That’s a bit of a snub.
22.15 Jamaica the latest place we’re having a video from. Reggie Yates,
I believe, doing the UNICEF thing. It’s the countries of the Caribean now.
22.11 Poor old Malaysia had their flag at half mast earlier.
22.09 Yay Swaziland. They’ve got a lad in the 200m who is quick as
anything. Sibusiso “Swazi-bolt” Matsenjwa.
22.06 There’s the Rwanadan team, and the mountain biker Adrien
Niyonshuti, who lost SIX brothers in the genocide and has now set up his own
mountain biking academy for kids.
22.04 Mozambique have only been in the Commonwealth since 1995.
Namibia, home of Frankie Fredericks and (according to Hazel) “spectacularly
arid”! are next up. Nigeria have brought a few.
22.02 Malawi look extremely fun.
22.01 The mighty Kenyans now. Looking forward to seeing their runners.
They’ve got a huge team.
22.00 Here come Ghana. Hope they’ve all had their bonuses paid, we
don’t want an incident like we did with the football team.
21.55 I do loves me an athletes’ parade. The costumes, the national
dress, the flags. Especially the wee nations.
Here are Tuvalu. Hazel Irvine has got hold of wikipedia and she’s hammering
away at it like a woman possessed. “They’ve only got one football
pitch… it’s also the runway for the national airport…. The capital is
Funafuti.” Go on yersel Hazel.
21.53 Here come Papua New Guinea though. Hopefully not too upset about
that AMBIENT TRANCE HOWLER just now. By the way, we do the countries by
continent. We’ve had Asia, now Oceania, etc.
21.52 Musical dork alert. They’re playing PAPUA NEW GUINEA by The
Future Sound Of London. As Fiji enter. Interesting choice.
Jacqui G writes: At least the athletes have arrived to fill the
space up a bit! It is over yet?
21.50 The Aussies, and rightly so, arrive to the strains of Back In
Black. AC/DC: pretty much the greatest Scottish-Aussie hybird of which the
human mind can conceive.
21.46 Okay, the pattern is established thus.
Short VT about desperately poor children.
Yay, Commonwealth Games.
“Come on in NAME OF COUNTRY”
Flags, happiness, all jolly nice.
21.43 As each team comes in, the announcer shouts “Come on in”,
which is a Scottish saying, we’re told. “Come on in, Maldives.”
And then the Maldives come in, escorted by a small dog with a jacket on.
Sorry, to me, that is top entertainment.
21.40 Bit more video of Ewan McGregor, charity stuff, and then a VT
that will make Indians very happy: Sachin himself doing a little thing to
the camera for UNICEF and asking everyone to welcome the competitiors.
21.36 Now then. The athletes arrive, and India go first. They are led
in by a Scottish Terrier. I am not even kidding.
21.35 So… Scotland. They’ve got chairs. Well done everyone.
21.34 Okay, now I have absolutely no idea what is going on. There’s an
old Andy Stewart song palying and lots and lots of dancers with chairs. Is
it Scottish reeling? I think it’s Scottish reeling. No, wait. Hazel irvine
says: “one of the creative team got the idea for this when he went to a
wedding and they didn’t have enough chairs so local people in the village
lent them some chairs.”
21.29 Now a welcome change of tack as the rather uncomfortable
UK/Scotland thing is put aside with two dancers from the National Ballet of
Scotland doing some superb work to a stripped down rendition of (I Would
Walk) 500 Miles.
21.26 They’re doing the national anthem (ie God Save The Queen) now and
the rendition is less than deafening. No booing that I can here. But a LOT
of people not joining in with that at all. Hard to tell if the Queen notices
or cares. In fairness she does not look exactly chuffed.
21.25 The Queen then gets out of HER MASSIVE CAR in the stadium and
shakes hands with a few suits.
21.24 Those in Celtic Park can look up and see the Red Arrows flying
overhead and emiting smoke jets of red, white and blue. So there’s that.
21.23 The Queen in the house. She’s driven into the stadium in a
massive Bentley. That is so pimp, ma’am.
21.22 Confirmed bagpipers.
21.21 And now you’ve got your Susan Boyle singing Mull of Kintyre. And
they say Scotland couldn’t thrive if they go it alone. Linda Bond writes:
Why oh why are we being subjected to people telling us all about scotland
when they dont live here e.g john barrowman – hasnt lived here for 20 years,
billy connelly – has lived in america for 30 years, rod stewart….isnt
scottish at all. When are we going to move away from the shortbread tin
mentality….all this pipes and kilts. The park also looks empty with no onr
on the pitch. Embarrasing.
21.20 Bit of a round of applause for the India flag.
21.17 There is a video of Amy MacDonald (or, Emelie McSande as I like
to think of her) doing a number in the city, with the General Public joining
in, and then she is into the stadium and… here’s Rod Stewart to pick up
the musical baton.
21.14 Well, I liked it. It was a bit kids’ TV in places but, you know,
everyone seemed to be having a nice time.
21.13 “This is our home, and you are all very welcome,” says
21.12 Aw, this is good this. It’s like a bonkers school end of term
concert where everyone gets to do their best turn. Lots of funny and clever
little bits, loads of energy, namechecks for all the things Scotland is
famous for and then a few fireworks.
21.11 There’s a list now of all the inventions that Scotland has
21.09 St Andrews and golf clubs now. A nice joke with Dolly the sheep
being cloned cloned cloned cloned cloned….
21.08 Nessie! And now we’re in the Western Isles. It took me a while to
figure this out, but we’re on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland. Simon
If the Krankies come out, I’m emigrating.
21.06 The song has moved onto the Highlands. Those there are Tunnock’s
Teacakes. “we come from a land of heather, where men wear kilts and
21.04 It’s a golden age of show muscial number. Namechecks for Gretna,
for haggis, for booze, for gay marriage, the Clyde. John Barrowman in a
purple suit belting out a purpose-written song.
21.03 Scottish comedian lady whose name I did not catch starts things
off with a singy-speaky musical theatre intro saying/singing welcome to
21.02 We’re back in the room.
21.00 “Welcome to Scotland, welcome to Glasgow,” says the man
imortalised in cinema as Mark Renton.
20.59 Before the action begins, there is a video recorded message from
Ewan McGregor on behalf of UNICEF.
20.58 Here’s an excellent blog on Alex
Salmond and politicisation of the Games by Ben Riley-Smith.
20.56 There’s Daley Thompson, childhood hero o’mine and Ian Thorpe, top
fellow that he seems to be. Daley says that his favourite thing in Delhi was
the women’s netball. There you have it. “It’s not the Olympics, it’s
not meant to be. They’ve got their own flavour.”
20.48 Together at last. Susan Boyle and Clare Balding. “I was
asked to perform here, ooh, two years ago.” She cannot say what song
she will perform though. I hope it’s Ace Of Spades by Motorhead.
20.45 You can’t whack the BBC when it comes to a heartfelt montagey
thing, can you? There’s hugging, there’s learning. It’s all good.
20.40 “Let Glasgow flourish,” is the motto of the Games, and
Billy Connolly is not doing a video about it.
20.38 It’s a cast of thousands for the Beeb tonight. Alan Wells. Dame
Tani – who is rightly pleased that paralympic sports will be fully
integrated into this Games.
20.37 Quick puke and I’m back in the game. The Friendly Games, they
call it. Been WAY too much politics in it so far, what with Salmond and
Cameron both getting their licks in.
20.35 Well here’s lovely. It’s a video of Margaret Thatcher defending
her refusal to impose sanctions on South Africa (the relevance being that
some athletes from Commonwealth countries boycotted the 1986 Edinburgh
Commonwealth Games in protest). Not sure I can really face watching that so
there will be a short blog hiatus.
20.30 David Wilkie, Dame Kelly Holmes and Barry McGuigan are in the
stadium and all have been asked by Clare Balding to spell out how absolutely
definitely vital the Commonwealth Games were in their career. I for one
don’t doubt that it is true, but the insistence on everyone stressing it
does slightly give off a chip-on-the-shoulder air. We all get that it’s not
the Olympics. But it’s still good, right? Like, you can enjoy both top class
international football AND England matches, you know? Anyway, enough of
that. Good luck to everyone involved.
20.25 Giant tea-cakes are not to be sniffed at, but early bid for the
story of the games so far has to be the Sri
Lankan cycling team who were pulled over by the polis for cycling on
20.20 Exciting claim from Paul Kelso, once of this parish, and now at
20.15 An email arrives from Simon McMahon:
Evening Alan. Rod Stewart’s finest hour is pushing it a bit, but Maggie May
was a very fine five minutes, as was The Killing of Georgie. As you say,
it’s hard to ignore the political context; wonder if we’ll get any
Bowie-esque pleas from any of the performers tonight?
20.10 Sir Chris Hoy explains a bit about the Queen’s Baton, which set
off from (previous host city) Delhi and has been passed from hand to hand by
20.09 Clare Balding doing the meet and greet of the Games Volunteer
20.07 Sir Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington are in the house. Sir Chris
says he is very proud. Rebecca says she is not sad she’s no longer competing
because it’s “time for the next generation.”
20.06 It’s the warmest day of the year in Scotland. The athletes will
parade into Celtic Park. It looks a lot friendlier than when I used to go
there as a Hibs supporter, I’ll tell you what.
20.05 Your hosts are Gary Lineker and Hazel Irvine. No rest for the
wicked, is there? Once you’re in with the BBC, boy are you in.
20.03 That was excellent. Good old Billy Connolly.
20.01 Deploy the Big Yin! He’s narrating a voiceover about “a city
not afraid of hard work”, a school of yard knocks, and how the Clyde
made the city the heartbeat of the industrial revolution. “Sport is the
new shipping lane.”
20.00 BBC opening credits time! Plenty of famous faces in a stylised
and rather shiny, bleak landscape.
19.55 Anyway, I can’t believe I’m live-blogging The One Show, but there
you have it. The action starts in a minute. We’re just enjoying the
pleasantly surreal sight of Amy MacDonald playing her song ‘This Is
The Life’ with Radio’s Ken Bruce and thumping people’s Barry McGuigan
bobbing along in the background.
19.52 Now the BBC are showing a video of Alex Salmond challenging David
Cameron to a game of golf. Oh, politicans. Do leave it alone.
19.50 David Cameron says that he hopes it will be a great event for “Glasgow,
Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom.”
19.45 Here’s Victoria Pendleton at the stadium. The
Commonwealths in Manchester were an important early staging point in her
19.41 Just in case you were unfamiliar, Scotland, England, Wales and
Northern Ireland compete under their own flag. Wonder if there’ll be
any harsh receptions for the English from the locals? Much as we would like
to, it seems that it might be hard to keep politics out of this sporting
event, what with the forthcoming Independence vote…
19.36 The great Barry McGuigan talks about how parents live vicariously
through their sporting children.
19.35 So what is on the menu this evening, then? Well, for one, it’s a
chance for Scotland to show itself off, and everyone’s getting involved.
Here’s Alex Salmond on The One Show:
“It is great for Scotland. It is seven years since we won the Games but
it is only in the last few days it has hit home. It is the most
extraordinary feeling. It is here. I’m not going to be provoked or led into
political debate. I’m just focusing on the Games. Everybody, even the
England team, will get a fantastic response from the Celtic Park crowd. It
will be a home crowd, but a generous crowd.”
19.25 I am quite sure that all of us on Telegraph Sport, both hacks and
readers alike, are huge fans of Susan Boyle, so do stay tuned for her
19.20 Evening all. Happy Commonwealth Games! It’s all quite exciting,
isn’t it? Plenty of sport on the box, chance to see some of the world’s best
athletes, and hopefully some lesser-known heroes and heroines will emerge.
Before we get to the sport, there is of course a ceremony, in which we are
promised not only The Queen, but Rod Stewart, and a promise of an
extravaganza with “a distinctly Glaswegian accent”.
Here’s one of my favourites…
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
Games Opening Ceremony, which is due to begin tonight at Celtic Park
at 8pm, will potentially have a global audience of 1.5 billion – and it will
certainly have more than a dollop of local flavour, and “a distinctly
Home-grown heroes and heroines have been lined up to entertain in the two-hour
extravaganza, which will take place in the 40,000-seater home of Celtic
Football Club (where those in the stadium will pay between £20 and £250),
and the 6,500 athletes from 70 nations will be introduced to the crowd by a
different citizen of Glasgow (or “chieftain”) before 11 days of
David Zolkwer, the Glasgow 2014 head of ceremonies who directed the 2002 Games
ceremonies in his native Manchester, said: “We knew right from the
start that the source of inspiration and the voice and character and
personality of the ceremony had to reflect and explicitly include the people
of the city.”
The 69-year-old rocker Rod Stewart (who was actually born and raised in
Highgate in London), West Lothian-reared Susan Boyle, 53, who starred in
2009′s Britain’s Got Talent, as well as East Dunbartonshire’s Amy Macdonald,
will feature. And Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti will also
take the stage, among some 2,000 fellow cast and crew in the firework-heavy
Join Alan for his take on what should be a memorable occasion…