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Sunday 22 April 2018

Olympics opening ceremony's top stars paid £1 for appearances

Matthew Beard and, John Aizelwood

STARS taking part in the opening and closing Olympics ceremonies have been paid a token fee of £1 for their performances.

The so-called “top talent” such as Sir Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal, Frank Turner, Underworld and Emeli Sande all agreed to play for free.

But they had to be charged token fee to create a contract with the London 2012 organisers.

Star performers today told of their delight at the acclaim for Danny Boyle’s spectacular show.

Emeli Sande, who a sang version of the hymn Abide with Me, said: “I got paid £1 for my work. It’s there in print and I know because I signed the contract myself. Mind you, I haven’t received anything yet! When I do, though, that £1 will be truly special. Part of what made the whole event so special was the volunteers who were paid nothing and even paid for their own accommodation. It shows how important art is.”

Sir Paul McCartney. who closed the night playing Beatles’ anthem Hey Jude, said: “It was terrific, great, really cool. It was a trip and very exciting. It was a great opening ceremony.”

Dizzee Rascal, who performed his No1 single Bonkers to start a section playing homage to British music from the 1960s to the present day, said: “What a start to the games! It was an incredible feeling performing at the Olympics opening ceremony. I feel honoured and humbled to have been asked to be involved. The energy in the stadium was unreal. These opportunities only come by once in a lifetime and to be part of it was an unforgettable experience. The production for the show was out of this world, even the Queen got involved! I’ve loved being part of the build up to the event, running with the torch, performing at Hyde Park and getting involved with Scream being an official Olympic track - hopefully it will inspire the team to win gold! Let the games begin, peace and love and a shout out to all the Olympians taking part. Go UK!”

Locog said it paid the top talent the token £1 each but professional dancers and actors were paid the professional rate. Volunteers did not receive a fee. The same pay structure applies to the closing ceremony which will feature soundtracks and live performances.

Independent News Service

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