UK & World News
Olympic Opening Ceremony Length Slashed
With just nine days to go until the Olympics, organisers are cutting up to half-an-hour off the opening ceremony following concerns over transport.
A spokesman for Locog - the Games' organising committee - said the decision was made to cut down the show because rehearsals in the stadium made it come in longer than planned.
A spokesman said the scenes are being tightened to ensure it finishes on time after concerns were raised that the audience would not be able to reach transport links afterwards.
"We have taken the tough decision to cut a small stunt bike sequence of the show - we will be paying contracts in full and giving full credit in the programme," the spokesman said.
Locog denied the decision had anything to do with the G4S staffing and checkpoint concerns.
Nick Buckles, chief executive of the private security firm, is under pressure to quit his £830,000-a-year job over the fiasco, which has resulted in the emergency deployment of soldiers, marines, airmen and police officers.
It comes after the firm admitted it would only be able to deploy 4,200 of the 10,400 guards originally promised.
The three-hour ceremony - which will start at 9pm on July 27 - has been designed by British movie director Danny Boyle.
His vision of a "green and pleasant land" will showcase the British countryside, using real sheep, cows and horses.
The model for the £27m project shows a farm and surrounding fields, with ploughing and two battling mosh pits.