Olympics director speaks at Stratford Picturehouse

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle dropped into the Stratford Picturehouse on World AIDS Day to support a local charity but kept tight-lipped on his plans for the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Danny, director of blockbusters Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, spent a Sunday afternoon in Gerry Raffles Square answering questions from BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo to raise awareness for charity Positive East which provides services to east Londoners affected by HIV.

Mark Butcher, event organiser for Positive East, said: “Such support is essential in helping us fight the stigma associated with HIV.

“Danny was on great form. He put the entire audience at ease, and provided a deeper insight into his working and personal life.”

The director said: “I feel very passionately about supporting my local community; World AIDS Day encourages people to get involved and challenge discrimination, helping people with HIV to improve their quality of life.”

Danny talked about how his Catholic heritage informed his directing, how his Oscar win hasn’t changed him but it has changed people’s perception of him, and that throwing money in to the crowd will not feature in the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Appointed as Artistic Director last year, Danny has kept the rest of his plans for the Ceremony very close to his chest, not giving anything away.

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But Games organisers revealed that the four ceremonies will feature a cast of around 20,000 performers from across the UK, broadcast to a predicted worldwide TV audience of four billion people in over 200 countries.

Advertising industry figures valued the equivalent airtime as being worth between �2 billion and �5 billion.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: “I am incredibly excited about Danny Boyle’s amazing plans for London’s Opening Ceremony.

“Four billion people around the world will be absolutely wowed by what they will see by the Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

“The ceremonies will be the most fantastic advert for everything that is great about our country.”

Over 10,000 hopefuls have been auditioning for a role in Danny’s ceremony and thousands more are expected to attend the next round of auditions in January.

The London 2012 Ceremonies Team are still looking for performers and particularly for men.

To apply to audition, visit www.london2012.com/ceremoniescasting.