12 Aug 2012

Kate Bush tipped to star in Olympics closing ceremony

The reclusive star is rumoured to be performing at the Olympics closing ceremony along with dozens of famous acts including the Spice Girls, Tinie Tempah and The Who.

Kate Bush tipped to star in Olympics closing ceremony (G)

After 16 days of elite sporting competition, the London 2012 Olympic Games will be officially closed on Sunday evening with a musical extravaganza featuring some of Britain’s top talent.

Unlike the opening ceremony, Sunday night’s show will be primarily focused on music and has been titled A Symphony of British Music, featuring Britain‘s most popular pop acts from the last few decades.

In the build-up to the ceremony, rumours have been sparked that the secretive singer Kate Bush, who has not toured since 1979, might be appearing – either live or pre-recorded on video.

A remix of her song, Running Up That Hill, appeared for sale on Amazon on Saturday. The page has since been deleted, but showed a 2012 remix of the song dated 12 August – the same date as the closing ceremony.

The soundtrack for the closing ceremony will shortly be available for sale, but whether Kate Bush’s track was part of this soundtrack has not been confirmed. The singer released her tenth album, 50 Words for Snow, at the end of last year.

Britain’s top musical talent

The full line-up has been a closely-guarded secret. But 90s chart-toppers the Spice Girls are expected to resurrect their particular brand of “Girl Power” at the main Olympic Stadium, and are rumoured to be singing from on top of London’s black taxis.

Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, Queen guitarist Brian May, Annie Lennox and George Michael, have all been photographed rehearsing at the Ford car plant in East London’s Dagenham, while Muse and Ed Sheeran revealed they will sing. The Monty Python comic Eric Idle was also spotted at rehearsals, prompting speculation of a mass sing-along of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Still not confirmed but widely rumoured to be joining them are Madness, The Who and Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye. Take That were expected to appear, but singer Gary Barlow’s presence is now in doubt after his daughter Poppy was stillborn.

Britain’s four-time Gold medallist Ben Ainslie was selected as the Team GB flag bearer at Sunday’s closing ceremony. He said it was a “huge honour”.

“It’s a huge honour for me personally and for the sport of sailing but really for the whole nation, it’s been a fantastic Games,” he added.

‘Cheeky, cheesy and thrilling’

The composer acting as the ceremony’s musical director said it would be “cheeky, cheesy and thrilling” and would reflect all parts of the British nation. David Arnold, who has written music for Bond films and the hit BBC show Sherlock said: “What we’ve left out is simple, we’ve left out every piece of British music that has ever been written, apart from these 30.

“So there are huge exclusions, great artists we haven’t squeezed in, but everything we have is worthy of being there,” he told the Telegraph.

Music spanning the centuries, including melodies by Elgar, is expected to be included, as are words from William Shakespeare.

“If the opening ceremony was the wedding, then we’re the wedding reception,” Mr Arnold added, suggesting that the two ceremonies would complement each other.

The ceremony will begin at 9pm on Sunday evening and will last for 150 minutes. It is expected to include video highlight reels and 4,000 volunteers will be involved.