Commonwealth Games live blog - opening ceremony

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You can also relive last night’s opening ceremony below, as seen by Martyn McLaughlin and Stephen McGinty.

You can also find them on Twitter at @MartynMcL and @sgmcginty

11:55pm: Stephen McGinty: The Queen’s message declared: “The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth and serves as a reminder of our shared ideals and ambitions as a diverse, resourceful and cohesive family.

“And now, that baton has arrived here in Glasgow, a city renowned for its dynamic cultural and sporting achievements and for the warmth of its people, for this opening ceremony of the Friendly Games.”

11:50pm: Stephen McGinty: In the end the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2014 was a lot like the host city, it went through some wobbly moments, at times you didn’t know where to look, but the sheer exuberance and joy eventually won me over.

11:43pm: Stephen McGinty: Jennifer Stirling from Jamaica runs the final lap to present the Commonwealth Games Baton to 32 volunteers from across Scotland who each take turns carrying the baton on the last few metres of a journey that has stretched across 192,000 miles. It is then passed on to the 97-year-old great uncle of Sir Chris Hoy who then passes it to his nephew so that the great Olympian can carry it up to the Queen.

Prince Imran of Malaysia, the Commonwealth Games Federation President is struggling to open the top of the baton. Hoy comes to the rescue and the message is finally passed to the Queen. At 23.34 pm Her Majesty declares: “It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games Open”.

The firework display unleashed is so great the smoke almost obscures the appearance of the Duke of Wellington statue resplendent with his traffic cone crown.

11:26pm: Stephen McGinty: Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council declares: “Our time has come. Let Glasgow flourish. And as for the games: bring it on.”

11:23pm: Stephen McGinty: Alex Salmond invites everyone to stand to remember those onboard Malaysian airline MH17. “Thank you for that demonstration of respect” he said after a minute’s silence, which triggers a spontaneous round of applause for the victims.

11:18pm: Martyn McLaughlin: A well judged tribute to the people of Malaysia by @AlexSalmond by calling for silence in tribute

11:16pm: Martyn McLaughlin: This, in my view, is the best moment of Glasgow2014 - Pumeza Matshikiza, a lyric soprano from South Africa with Freedom Come All Ye

Hamish Henderson wrote one of the great protest songs with Freedom For All Ye. To see it sung from Scotland to Commonwealth is remarkable

11:10pm: Stephen McGinty: It’s not over till the slim lady plays the violin. Nicola Benedetti plays a sublime version of ‘You Take the High Road’ as the flag of the Commonwealth Games Federation is raised with the final note triggering a burst of fireworks.

11:05pm: Stephen McGinty: In a bold move Sir Chris Hoy and James McAvoy have urged everyone in the stadium and everyone at home to text UNICEF and so donate £5. If there is to be a unique magical moment, a transcendent moment that reaches out and touches us all, then this it and with a heavenly youth choir urging us on, one made up from the voices of 2000 young people from over 80 countries, whose faces are filling up the vast 300 foot screen then this is it.

And now it has gone out of the world. The team from the Space Station have appeared to unite us. I don’t mind admitting it, I’m moved, I’m touched and I’m reaching for my phone.

11:03pm: Stephen McGinty: To the sound of the Aberdeen band, The Shaman’s Move Any Mountain, the 310 strong Team Scotland are marching out to an ecstatic response from the packed crowd. Rightly so. The big screen declares the words of Robert Burns: ‘Wi Joy unfeigned brothers and sisters meet” and now Rod Stewart is back in a white jacket, black tie and belting out: ‘you can’t stop me now, the world is waiting’. How true.

10:47pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Judoka Euan Burton leads Team Scotland in to the sounds of, yes, The Shamen. Inspired musical choice.

10:41pm: Stephen McGinty: Who designed the English team’s black blazer, red t-shirt and J Crew chino look? And can the chef de mission please have his money back. They are clearly not trying, let’s hope such a complacent attitude is on display on the track and pool, for our team’s sake.

10:39pm: Martyn McLaughlin: The largest cheer of the parade so far for Team England at Celtic Park, despite the doom mongers predicting otherwise

10:35pm: Stephen McGinty: Mark Beaumont has been spotted running towards the stadium with the Queen’s Baton. In a few minutes time we’ll find out what the message is inside. Given the distance it has covered and the number of people who have held it aloft, lets hope it is worth it. I pity the poor private secretary chewing his Bic and scrunching up draft after draft to get the Queen’s words just right.

10:13pm: Stephen McGinty: My robust defence of Team Scotland’s tartan outfit is spot on. Looking at each team’s colourful ‘national dress’ as they process out you just know there were people at home in every country saying: ‘you’re going out dressed like that?’ but in the context of the ceremony it all works.

10.04pm: Stephen McGinty: I want to love it but so far I’m thinking that in April there was a crisis meeting and somebody said: ‘I know we’ll blow up Red Road Flats.”

10:03pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Celtic Park has 95 different pyro firing positions around the stadium roof #Glasgow2014 #therewillbefireworks

9:57pm: Tonga boxer Lomalito Moala walks out into the opening ceremony in a Celtic top #CommonwealthGames. Here’s why

9.50pm: Stephen McGinty: The Australian national team have attempted to steal our thunder - nay left us ‘Thunderstruck’ - by appropriating the music of three Glaswegians, Angus, Malcolm and and the late Bon, with a blast of AC/DC.

9.46pm: Stephen McGinty: We have genuine stars on screen. Ewan McGregor and Rod Steward, step aside. The couthy Scots terriers who are now leading in the national teams with the name of each country on their little padded coats are brilliant. Or BRRILLLIANT as Billy Connolly would say. A visionary touch of genius.

9.45pm: Martyn McLaughlin: The crowd in Celtic Park greatly enjoying the athletes’ parade, no doubt largely thanks to Mylo’s superb musical arrangement #Glasgow2014

9.42pm: Martyn McLaughlin: By the way, the teams in the #Glasgow2014 athletes’ parade are being led on by Scottie dogs. There’s 41 in all.

9.40pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Those behind the Games believe the charity-focused event speaks of Glaswegian traits - compassion + a desire for social justice.

9.38pm: Ewan Macgregor says there will be an opportunity to donate at the same time during the opening ceremony

9.37pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Rather than introducing nations alphabetically, they’re being grouped into regions (Asia, Oceania, etc), allowing for flowing musical motifs

9.36pm: Martyn McLaughlin: The Loch Lomond seaplane spirits the baton to the banks of the Clyde. THE BIG STICK IS HERE!

9.34pm: Stephen McGinty: I think that was a missed opportunity. 500 Miles by The Proclaimers, everyone loves it but having it performed by two dancers from Scottish Ballet on a vast empty stage while quite touching does have the feel that the limited budget has already been blown.

9.31pm: Stephen McGinty: Well, that could have been rather awkward. We can never rely on a Scots crowd to get behind a rousing chorus of ‘God Save the Queen’ and there did appear to be more respectful silence in the crowd than lusty crooners but as I said it could have been worse.

9.27pm: Martyn McLaughlin: An implausible chapter in Scottish history being written here, as the Queen receives a standing ovation at Celtic Park

9.23pm: Scotsman editor Ian Stewart on the opening ceremony so far “Pretty risky, kitschy, but you know what, Games opening number quirky and funny.”

9.21pm: Stephen McGinty: Amy Macdonald and assorted busking volunteers are recreating what looks like a scene from ‘Sunshine on Leith’ first in George Square and now in the stadium and now she’s passed the microphone to our big draw Rod Stewart singing Rhythm of My Heart in a slick silver suit so shiny it must have slipped off the back of a New Jersey mobster.

Susan Boyle has taken over singing Mull of Kintyre in front of a giant screen with images of Her Majesty the Queen but its the arrival of the Braemar Highland games and assorted Pipers that has the hair standing up on the back of my neck. All heralding the arrival of the Queen, just as her car pulls into the stadium the Red Arrows fly overhead trailing plumes of red, white and blue.

9.20pm: Twitter reaction to opening ceremony early moments:

Kirsty Knust @kirstyknust

@TheScotsman Love it! Genuine and good natured. Better this than earnest mountains and wistful piping.

T H E G R I N D @thegrindjournal

@MartynMcL @TheScotsman unfortunately all 1391 went to 70 different rehearsals.


@MartynMcL @TheScotsman did one of them not think to say this is terrible!!!!

Neil Wylie @neilyouthworker

@TheScotsman have they locked The Proclaimers in a room so they couldn’t perform tonight? #CommonwealthGames #Glasgow2014

Fiona @Floraa30

@TheScotsman more than a little bizarre and super super camp. Disappointed it’s so full of stereotypes.x

Nick B @nickb1975

@TheScotsman ive never been more embarrassed. This has actually been rehearsed as it? Let the games begin

9.14pm: Martyn McLaughlin: There are 1,319 volunteer cast performers involved in tonight’s #Glasgow2014 opening ceremony, who have attended over 70 rehearsals.

9.13pm: Martyn McLaughlin: The LED screen displaying a breathless rundown now of the apparatus of Scottish industry, from postage stamps to Bakeline #Glasgow2014

9.12pm: Martyn McLaughlin: A frantic, high octane prefatory sequence to #Glasgow2014. Barrowman has been fed nowt but Skittles for three weeks, I hear.

9.15pm: Stephen McGinty: A tartan land rover with an antler bonnet is now driving Karen Dunbar round and round the stadium. I’ve also just noticed that John Barrowman is using his original accent.

9.10pm: Stephen McGinty: A man is now running across the screen clutching his crotch - he is, we are now told, ‘Donald where’s your troosers.’ Phew. For a second I thought we had our first semi-successful streaker.

9.03pm: Stephen McGinty: Glasgow 2014 has teamed up with UNICEF and now Ewan McGregor is asking us to come together with the rest of the world to raise money for the children of the Commonwealth. I like this idea. I’m not so sure about Karen Dunbar and John Barrowman’s singing tour of Scotland, but I do like the dancing Tunnock tea cakes. “We come from the land of heather where the men wear kilts and women belther.” Hmmm.

8.55pm: Stephen McGinty: One question worth pondering while we watch is where in the ceremony do we think the detonation of the Red Roads Flat might have been slotted? Recently a key event organiser insisted she didn’t know whose idea this had been, proof positive of the phrase: ‘success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.’

8.47pm: Stephen McGinty: Good. We are back with Billy. “I’m a Glaswegian and very very proud of Glasgow...I was born in Anderston and brought up in Partick and served my apprenticeship in Govan. I have always felt part of the beating heart of the city...When I grew up Glasgow was in black and white, that was in the forties and fifties. It didn’t get colour until the sixties.

“In Glasgow I have gone beyond famous I’m a relative of theirs. I’m now everyone’s cousin. I’ve not been well and I was filming here and a guy came up and hugged me and said: ‘I hope you get better soon.’ I was so touched. That’s my Glasgow - the warmth and the heart beat.”

We’re all hoping that warmth and heart beat will be on display tonight.

8.45pm: Martyn McLaughlin: For those uncharitably expecting a rerun of London 2012, it’s worth remembering #Glasgow2014 has eighth of Danny Boyle’s budget to play with

8.43pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Glasgow 2014 have also enjoyed a pre-show performance by Esperanza, the ska band who came to prominence after Clutha Vaults tragedy

8.42pm: Martyn McLaughlin: Ahead of #Glasgow2014, an eloquent Lord Puttnam, a @UNICEF ambassador, describes city as a “place of firsts” hailing its support for Mandela

8.40pm: Martyn McLaughlin: So what lies in store tonight? I’ve seen the show in its entirity at a dress rehearsal and without wishing to spoil the surprise, viewers at home should prepare themselves for a show that shifts breathlessly from one concept to the next. But there are some themes and values which underpin the entire ceremony. It does not try to emulate Danny Boyle’s bewilderingly brilliant pageant for London 2012, but then with a budget an eighth the size of that show, it never should have. In typically Glaswegian fashion, tonight offers something singular and, whisper it, compelling.

8.18pm: Stephen Mcginty : As the Olympic Opening Ceremony began with a manic trip along the River Thames, so the BBC have guided us in along the River Clyde. The question on everyone’s mind tonight will be how will and can it compare to Danny Boyle’s exhilarating ‘Islands of Wonder’. Huw Edwards has just read our minds and said we mustn’t expect anything on the scale and budget of London 2012. That’s us told, then.

8.16pm: Stephen Mcginty : The BBCcoverage has just begun and we are off to a great start. Billy Connolly has introduced us with strong, stirring words that sent a frisson down my spine. “Glasgow isn’t afraid of hard work, we face the world with sass and grit...The Clyde, the workshop of the Empire until its thunder began to fade. It still glows with pride and a passion, a passion for sport. We face the outside world but now we are inviting it in, sport is the new shipping lane. As we have been saying for centuries: “You are most welcome - come on in!”

8.15pm: Here’s an idea of what we can expect tonight:

During the ceremony, the Queen will read out the message that was hidden inside the Commonwealth Games baton while it journeyed around the world.

She sent the symbol of the Games on its trip across the 71 nations and territories at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in October and it returned to Glasgow on Sunday.

The opening ceremony will also feature a Commonwealth-wide fundraiser for children, thanks to a partnership with children’s organisation Unicef.

Nicole Scherzinger, Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Alex Ferguson are among those promised to appear ‘’as never seen before’’, in footage exploring different regions of the Commonwealth to witness Unicef’s work.

The ceremonial flag will be hoisted at the opening of the Games, where it will fly continuously throughout the event until it is lowered at the closing ceremony.

There will also be a parade of the athletes from the 71 participating nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Judo’s Euan Burton will lead Team Scotland into the opening ceremony of their home Games.

8.00pm: Join Martyn McLaughlin and Stephen McGinty who will be providing updates on the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony which starts at 9pm.