Concert kicks off Games celebration

Tens of thousands of people began their Olympic celebrations at a huge concert in London's Hyde Park to coincide with the opening ceremony.

The extravaganza featuring acts representing the nations of the UK kicked off with Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, with chart-topping act Snow Patrol set to round off the event.

Also on the bill are Duran Duran - flying the flag for England - as well as Welsh act Stereophonics.

Fans paid £55 a head to watch the show which includes a live relay to the Olympic Stadium, allowing them to watch the ceremony unfold.

Organisers have been given a special extension to allow Snow Patrol, from Northern Ireland, to perform late. It comes after the plug was pulled on Bruce Springsteen at a show in the park earlier this month when he overran a 10.30pm curfew.

The Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert is part of a series of BT London Live shows being staged for the duration of the Games, which will be rounded off with a headline appearance by Blur when the Games come to a close on August 12.

Show-opener Nutini took the stage nearly 90 minutes before the opening ceremony was due to begin. Opening with hit single 10/10, he was greeted by screams and flag-waving from fans clutching flags from the home nations.

He went on to perform Jenny Don't Be Hasty, going on to tell fans: "Thank you, thank you. I want to take this opportunity to play a couple of new songs, I hope you dig them."

Second act Duran Duran had proved to be an eyebrow-raising choice when they were announced as one of the headliners representing the best that England has to offer. Many grumbled on Twitter that the bulk of the group's hits date back nearly 30 years.

But they proved to be a crowd-pleaser, especially with a Red Arrows flypast during a performance of The Reflex.