UK & World News
Olympics: Spectacular Closes London 2012
A host of stars have helped to bring down the curtain on the London Games at the Olympic Stadium.
The flame was extinguished after a three-hour finale that saw The Who, Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Madness, Muse, Take That, and many more take to the stage.
A giant projection of Queen front man Freddie Mercury led the audience in a short singalong before the band's guitarist, Brian May, and Jessie J performed a duet of We Will Rock You.
And pop supremo George Michael performed for the first time since his life-threatening battle with pneumonia.
Other celebrities who appeared included Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and comedian Russell Brand.
Brand appeared on top of a psychedelic bus, singing through a megaphone.
Later, five black cabs escorted the Spice Girls to centre stage at the Olympic Stadium, where they played a medley of their hits.
There were also several musical tributes to the Beatles throughout the ceremony.
As the performances got under way, huge cheers greeted British sailor Ben Ainslie as he carried the Union flag into the stadium.
Following the flag-bearers, thousands of athletes walked through the spectators, medals round their necks, high-fiving fans and waving to the cameras.
The audience, which included Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, was first treated to a vision of working London wrapped in newspaper during the busy rush hour.
As well as typically rainy weather forecasts and stocks and shares, the reams of print celebrated British literary greats from the earliest surviving Anglo-Saxon poetry to current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, with extracts from Shakespeare and Milton along the way.
A series of ramps - covering the track where Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis made history - formed a black and white Union Jack, the first of many versions of the flag to feature in the extravaganza.
Singer Emeli Sande, who performed in the opening ceremony, appeared on a truck to delight the crowds with hit song Read All About It.
Percussion group Stomp emerged to swing from the scaffolding, creating music on models of the capital's landmarks including Big Ben and the London Eye.
The handover from London 2012 to the Rio 2016 team took place after the music performances, with London Mayor Boris Johnson passing the Olympic flag to Rio's Mayor Eduardo Paes.
Several Brazilian stars then took part in a short performance, including footballing icon Pele.
London Games chairman Lord Coe paid tribute to the volunteers, security staff, soldiers, athletes, and others who helped make the event a success.
"On this last day I can conclude with these words: 'When our time came, Britain we did it right. Thank you.'"
Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, delivered his final verdict on the Games, calling them "happy and glorious".
In Hyde Park, Britpop band Blur hailed Britain's success at the 2012 London Olympic Games as they performed to tens of thousands in a performance to coincide with the closing ceremony.
Earlier in the day, Britain's athletes completed their most successful Olympics for 108 years with a silver medal in the final event of London 2012.
Samantha Murray took second place in the modern pentathlon bringing Team GB's final tally to 65, with an incredible 29 golds, 17 silver and 19 bronze, and the team in third place in the medal table.
Before the ceremony even kicked off, the Queen congratulated the athletes of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, saying their efforts had "captured the public's imagination and earned their admiration".
:: See the final Olympics medal table
And US President Barack Obama telephoned David Cameron to "congratulate him and the people of the United Kingdom and London on an extremely successful Olympic Games", the White House said.
Mr Cameron earlier declared London 2012 a resounding success. "You only need two words to sum up these Games: Britain delivered."