Danny Boyle's London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony becomes one of most watched TV shows in history

The opening ceremony to the 2012 London Olympic Games, overseen by director Danny Boyle, has become one of the most watched programmes in history, recording a peak audience of 26.9m.

The ceremony to mark the beginning of this year's game, named 'Isle of Wonder' was broadcast on BBC1 and BBC1 HD, while also allowing viewers to watch in 3D.

The cast for the lauded production, which cost £27m, included Kenneth Brannagh, Sir Paul McCartney, David Beckham,JK Rowling and Dizzy Rascal, as one as a host it Olympians and an appearance for a frail looking Muhammed Ali during the Torch Lighting procession.

The audience figures from 9pm averaged at 22.4m viewers, taking an audience share of 82.5 per cent and places it within the top 20 best viewed programmes ever televised.

Viewers in the US meanwhile, turned to Twitter vent their anger at broadcaster NBC for not screening the ceremony live.

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze and producers Harvey Weinstein and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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