As mandated by the Olympic Charter , the proceedings combined the formal ceremonial opening of this international sporting event including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation's culture. Two shorter sections drew particular comment, involving a filmed cameo appearance of the Queen with James Bond as her escort, and a live performance by the London Symphony Orchestra joined by comedian Rowan Atkinson. These were widely ascribed to Britain's sense of humour. Boyle acknowledged that the extravagance of the opening ceremony was an impossible act to follow — "you can't get bigger than Beijing" — and that this realisation had in fact liberated his team creatively. He said ".. We can't, and you wouldn't want to, so we're going back to the beginning.