IT made me proud to be British. That’s the message from drummer Paul Roebuck, who played at the Olympics opening ceremony last night.
He was one of the thousands of performers that made up the amazing three-hour spectacle created by film director Danny Boyle.
With millions watching around the world and 65,000 in the stadium, the pressure was certainly on.
But it went off without a hitch.
Paul, of Hayling Island, said: ‘The whole thing is absolutely humongous and watching it all come together was absolutely amazing. Playing in front of that many people was phenomenal and everyone was absolutely loving it.
‘People have said it makes you feel totally proud to be British – and they’re right!
‘It was fantastic. Your emotions go up and down.
‘The way it started you are only shown your own small segment, so you only know a very small bit of what you are doing.
‘And thinking about it on its own you think to yourself “I’m not sure about this” and it is hard not to get caught up in the media cynicism and be a bit pessimistic.
‘But then it starts to escalate – from 300 drummers we had 1,000 more added, then it went up again.
‘It became more and more overwhelming and amazing.
‘Then when it actually happened you look out at everyone playing together and it’s hard not to become emotional.
Lt Jamie Weller, who has previously served as deputy weapons engineering officer with Portsmouth-based HMS Liverpool and as engineer officer recruiter in Portsmouth Naval Base, was a flag-bearer at the celebration.
He said: ‘I was overjoyed to be selected for this role.
‘As the days counted down I became a little more nervous about the fact that billions of people tune into the event.
‘But it was a real privilege to have been part of a once-in-a-lifetime event.’