owan Atkinson’s appearance in the Olympics Opening Ceremony was the subject of more conversation than any other of the surprises in Danny Boyle’s show.
The most interesting part of the Olympics Opening Ceremony was not who lit the cauldron, nor even the Queen’s acting debut, it was Mr Bean, according to Twitter users.
Rowan Atkinson’s cameo performance sparked the biggest spike in mentions of the event on the website.
The comic actor appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, playing a single note on the piano during a rendition of Chariots of Fire.
London 2012 is the first Games to see Twitter play a major role, with the Olympics mentioned by more than 10 million users since Friday’s ceremony.
Lizzie Armitstead, the British cyclist, gained new followers at a rate of 500 per second after winning silver in the women’s road race yesterday, with more than 25,000 following her less than an hour later.
Andrew Fitzgerald, Twitter’s manager of editorial programming, said: “The biggest spike in Twitter conversation during the Opening Ceremony? When Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr Bean, appeared in a hilariously memorable homage to the Olympians of Chariots of Fire.”
Tim Berners-Lee, the British founder of the World Wide Web, was also the subject of millions of tweets after making a special appearance during the ceremony.
In a show that not only prompted social media use but incorporated it, he tweeted a message that appeared on screens around the stadium, reading: “This is for everyone”. Since he posted the message, it has been retweeted 10,246 times.
Twitter calculates spikes in conversation using a tool that tracks how many tweets mention a particular topic each second.
During the ceremony, hundreds of the competing athletes from around the world were seen filming, taking photos and sending messages on their phones as they paraded through the Olympic Stadium.
A new Twitter record was set in the final three minutes of this year’s Super Bowl when an average of 10,000 tweets were sent per second – the highest number sent per second during a sports match.
- James Bond And The Parachuting Queen – A Highlight Of London 2012 Ceremony (contactmusic.com)
- Mr Bean was most tweeted opening ceremony moment (itv.com)
- Mr Bean most tweeted topic during Opening Ceremony (telegraph.co.uk)
- London Symphony, Mr. Bean Star in Olympics Ceremony (wqxr.org)
- You: London 2012: Rowan Atkinson’s brother criticises ‘Left-wing’ opening ceremony (telegraph.co.uk)