Commonwealth Games opening ceremony chief says Birmingham display can match London Olympics

The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony will be ‘massively entertaining and comparable’ to the London Olympics, according to the wish organizers – who insist the Birmingham event ‘will not be in the shadows’ of the spectacle from 2012

  • Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony kicks off Thursday evening
  • Organizers say Birmingham event can be just as entertaining as London 2012
  • Sporting action at Birmingham 2022 is due to start on Friday

The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony organizer believes the event in Birmingham on Thursday night could rival the entertainment seen at the London Olympics a decade ago.

Birmingham will host the Games which are held every four years, with the opening ceremony due to be held before the competition’s first day of action on Friday.

The opening ceremony of the London Olympics was well received and highly regarded around the world, but theater director Iqbal Khan, who created the Birmingham show, believes he created an equally entertaining event.

Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games which begin on Thursday

Duran Duran will be the main element of the opening ceremony on Thursday evening

Duran Duran will be the main element of the opening ceremony on Thursday evening

The London 2012 Opening Ceremony was widely hailed to open the Olympic Games

The London 2012 Opening Ceremony was widely hailed to open the Olympic Games

“I don’t feel in the shadow of the Olympics at all. I feel like we have a comparable and massively entertaining, moving and empowering spectacle to share with the world,” he said.

“The Olympics have been amazing for this country, but we refuse to let that overwhelm us. We take that as our inspiration.

Pop band Duran Duran will return to their hometown to lead the ceremony, with other acts featuring Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi as well as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Artistic director Iqbal Khan was in charge of the opening ceremony in Birmingham

Artistic director Iqbal Khan was in charge of the opening ceremony in Birmingham

Birmingham's Alexander Stadium will help host the Games which are held every four years

Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium will help host the Games which are held every four years

The event will be led by creative director Martin Green, who was responsible for the ceremonies at the 2012 Olympics.

Commonwealth Games Minister Nigel Huddleston also believes the ceremony can help provide great publicity for Birmingham and the rest of the country.

“London 2012 brought shows like this to a whole new generation,” he said.

“Ten years later, this ceremony will connect a new global audience and showcase the best of Birmingham and the whole of the UK.”

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