Beckham and London Bus Headline Olympics Handover Slot

David Beckham will kick footballs from the top of a red double-decker bus as London showcases its plans for the 2012 Olympics during Sunday's Beijing closing ceremony, British media reported Saturday.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference after arriving in Beijing

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Leona Lewis, playing a version of the 1970s band's classic hit "Whole Lotta Love", will join the former England football captain for Sunday's eight-minute handover slot.

The set will start after London Mayor Boris Johnson receives the Olympic flag during the finale at the Bird's Nest Stadium.

An iconic red London bus will then drive into the stadium followed by gold medal-winning cyclists Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, who will be pedalling behind it dressed like regular city riders.

The bus will then stop and be surrounded by dancers before Page and Lewis emerge from the top deck on rising columns. Beckham will appear towards the end of the song and shoot a football into the centre of the field.

The show will reportedly cost around 2.5 million pounds (3.1 million euros, 4.6 million dollars) and feature a 70-strong cast.

Stephen Powell, its creative director, told the Guardian newspaper that the intention was to put on a typically British show.

"The London bus is an iconic image that will be recognisable to anyone watching anywhere in the world and it will be in complete contrast to what has gone before," he said.

"We wanted to do a show that is irrepressibly British, iconic, eclectic and witty."

Bill Morris, London 2012's director of ceremonies, added that he had been stunned by the scale of the Beijing opening ceremony but said the handover would try to do something unique.

"We will take a London approach and will be different. Our approach is to keep it simple and creative, to make it youthful and diverse, entertaining and fun," he told newspapers.

The closing ceremony will be watched by around 90,000 people in the stadium and millions on television around the world.

Source: AFP

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