Olympics closing ceremony 'a step back towards celebrity culture'

The Olympics closing ceremony has been criticised for focusing on celebrity culture instead of the Games' impact on the future.

Spectacle: The Olympic closing ceremony
Spectacle: The Olympic closing ceremony

Last night’s ceremony capped a widely praised Olympic Games and featured British stars such as Jessie J, The Who and the Spice Girls, among others.

Put together by artistic director Kim Gavin, it included a handover to the mayor of Rio ahead of Brazil’s 2016 Games and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.

However, Taylor Herring joint MD James Herring called the event ‘lacklustre’ and claimed it did not chime in with the message of the Games over the past two weeks.

Highlighting a section in the ceremony when models such as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss took to the stage, Herring said: ‘The nod towards our fashion industry felt a bit awkward and out of place. The rest of the Games had told this brilliant story about the athletes and their achievement but it felt like we had taken a step back towards celebrity culture. There’s nothing wrong with celebrity culture but there’s a time and place for that.’

During the ceremony, London 2012 chairman Seb Coe praised the efforts of the 70,000 volunteers and said: ‘We lit the flame and lit up the world.'

His words followed a musical line-up that also featured the musicians Emeli Sande, Madness, Liam Gallagher and One Direction. British comedic talent was also on show, with Eric Idle performing Monty Python’s ‘Always look on the bright side of life'.

However, PHA Media CEO Phil Hall called the musical line-up ‘a bit b-list’, pointing to the omission of acts such as Elton John and Coldplay.

Praising the running of the Olympics overall, Hall added that there was not enough focus on the Games’ impact for the future.

Highlighting the Mo Farah Foundation, which was set up by the gold-winning athlete to provide aid to those in need in East Africa, he said: ‘I would’ve liked to have seen what our Olympics was doing for the future, such as how we’re inspiring a country of young athletes.’

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