What more can you say about a year that will be remembered so fondly through red, white and blue? The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 was the double bill that the British people needed: the veritable chap stick that softened the stiffened upper lips of a Britain in recession. Even those who would otherwise have complained about buying Union Jack bunting would have had to acknowledge its timeliness. Has there been another period in British history in which we could use such a patriotic street lining, not once, but twice, and within two months of each another? To line the streets would be to give back to the people what the rioters of 2011 took away. We came together to restore the image of a truly Great Britain.
So how do you sum up a year so steeped in glory? Its pinnacle was arguably 4th August 2012 – the aptly-named "Super Saturday". It was Britain’s most successful day in the Olympics for more than a century and saw our athletes take home three gold medals within 45 minutes. But when did it begin? And at which point did it end? It surely didn’t end with the Olympics because Britain went on to excel in the Paralympics. You cannot even reasonably say that it ended with the Paralympics because a relief-swept Andy Murray – an otherwise stoic Scot - rejoiced as he secured his elusive major title at the US Open. So has the glory receded enough to allow the year’s chronicle to suitably capture that sense of glory?
Hold your horses! There may be more to come. It was an exceptional summer to be British, but there is cherry that begs for position atop the great frenzy of celebration. It would bolster British success by topping off the year’s success. We collectively dream of the cherry on top, but where can it come from?
We are in the midst of celebrating two great British institutions: 50 years of The Beatles and 50 years of James Bond. If it weren’t for a certain bespectacled wizard, Bond would be the highest-grossing as well as the longest-running British film franchise in history. In anticipation of Skyfall, Bond’s 23rd outing to date, and in celebration of 007’s 50th anniversary, our contributing editor and film club member Nick will embark on a remarkable “Bondathon”. This will see him revisit every Bond from Dr No to Quantum of Solace. Let’s call it a 007-a-day for 22 days. His cinematic odyssey is being documented over at Strangers in a Cinema.
Last week saw the official release of Skyfall’s eponymous theme tune. Co-written and performed by multi-Grammy Award winning Adele, it is the first Bond theme in recent memory that has been greeted with a warm reception. Can Skyfall go one better and set critical acclaim alight? It is due for release on 26th October and, like our Olympians, the film carries a heavy weight of expectation. However, if Daniel Craig & co can pull it off a la Farah, Ennis, Rutherford et al, that crowning cherry will taste oh-so sweet.
Watch the incredible trailer below: