Essex

London 2012: Olympic ceremonies boss keen to make country proud

The man in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London says it has become a "24-hour obsession".

Martin Green, from Billericay, Essex, has responsibility for the four ceremonies and Olympic Torch Relay.

With under six months to go until the 2012 Games begin, Locog's head of ceremonies said he was confident.

"We want the country to be proud of what we do and for the world to look at us with awe," Mr Green said.

"It is a thrilling honour, but I would be lying if I said you don't have moments of absolute terror.

"But the way you counter that is to put together a fantastic team and we have a world-class team to deliver these ceremonies.

"Ultimately it's my job to make sure they have everything we can give them and all the resources and people at hand to do a great job."

The four ceremonies will involve 15,000 volunteer performers, 12 hours of music and 15,000 sq m of staging and are expected to cost about £81m.

'Mind-blowingly complicated'

The former head of events for the Mayor of London is also responsible for the Olympic Torch Relay, which will see 8,000 people carrying the Olympic flame around the UK before the opening ceremony on 27 July.

He described the logistics of getting the torch within 10 miles of 95% of people in the UK as "mind-blowingly complicated".

Before he took on the role in 2007, he worked for AEG Europe where he was involved with the reopening of the 02 Arena in London.

He said: "[As a child] I used to build stages with my Lego and use my torches as lighting.

"So there is something slightly pathological about what I do for a living now, because I'm playing with real stages and real stadiums and it's a thrill."

With the weeks counting down to the world's greatest sporting event, Mr Green admitted it had been a huge undertaking.

He said: "It is a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week obsession.

"I have no doubt these extraordinary people have only one desire to put on the greatest show on earth for this country they possibly can do.

"The amount of effort that's going into it even now is inspiring."

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