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All white on Olympic night [Northern Echo (England)]
[February 07, 2014]

All white on Olympic night [Northern Echo (England)]

(Northern Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CAST your mind back to the heady summer of 2012, when it seemed the British public forgot they were supposed to be moaning about the cost of the London Games, and instead came down with a serious case of Olympic fever. And then get ready to enter into the spirit again as the Winter Games officially begin.

Even though this time the event is being held in Russia, rather than the UK, the BBC is still dedicated to bringing us all the action via six HD streams.

But while you can watch the sporting action on your smartphone or laptop, the best place to see the opening ceremony is on good old BBC2, as Clare Balding introduces coverage of the opening ceremony from the Fisht Olympic Stadium, in Sochi, Russia.

Perhaps surprisingly, this is Russia's first Winter Games, and only the second time the country has hosted an Olympic event (the other was the Moscow Games of 1980).

So we should probably expect something fairly spectacular from this choreographed show, which will culminate in the lighting of the Olympic flame.

But will there be anything tomatch the Queen skydiving into the arena with James Bond, Mary Poppins defending the NHS from Vo ldemort, or any of the more eccentric touches from Danny Boyle's Olympic ceremony? The ceremony is also a chance to check out the athletes, including Team GB, who are hoping for a record year.

Among the names to look out for are Elsie Christie, who holds a World Cup title in the 1,000m short-track speed skating, as well as being European champion over 1,000m and 1,500m, and John Jackson who in December led the first British men's bobsleigh team to secure a World Cup medal since 1997. The athletes will be in action over the next 16 days, but if the opening ceremony leaves you ready for more, BBC2 continues the Olympic theme with two more shows.

FIGURE skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean took gold in 1984.

The pair became household names, while their winning Bolero routine - which picked up perfect scores for artistic interpretation - became so iconic, former soap stars can still be found trying to recreate it on Dancing on Ice.

The documentary Torvill & Dean: The Perfect Day marks the 30th anniversary of their win as well as the start of the Games, takes another look at that famous night in Sarajevo, and explains why no one (no, not even hotly tipped Dancing on Ice All Star Ray Quinn) will ever be able to perform the Bolero quite like Torvill and Dean.

GIVEN the phenomenal success of The Last Leg, C4's nightly companion show to the 2012 Paralympic Games, you would have forgiven the BBC for perhaps trying to emulate some of that support. Sure enough, they have commissioned QI's resident foil Alan Davies to front a programme recapping the action from the Winter Olympics.

Alan Davies: Apres Ski promises a host of famous faces from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and sport all queuing up to offer their views on the latest news from Sochi, they could be on to something.

TONY BLACKBURN celebrates 50 years in broadcasting this year so he should have plenty to talk about on Piers Morgan's Life Stories.

No doubt he will mention being the first voice heard on Radio 1 back in 1967, and, more recently in 2004, why he was banned from the airwaves for playing two of CliffRchard's records back to back.

He also reveals one of his most successful chat-up lines and what he got up to in Frank Sinatra's flat with a girlfriend.

On a more serious note, Tony discusses the period during which he became addicted to Va lium following the breakdown of his marriage to actress Tessa Wyatt, and how he once saved fellow DJ Kenny Everett's life.

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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