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London’s Olympic year to start with fireworks at the London Eye

London SE1 website team

2012 - the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games - will begin with a fireworks display centred on the London Eye, the Mayor of London has confirmed.

Last year there was speculation that the now-traditional New Year fireworks display could be held in the Lee Valley to herald the start of London's year as Olympic and Paralympic host city.

Instead the Mayor has chosen to stick with the tried and tested formula of pyrotechnics on the Thames at the London Eye. This year's budget for the event is £1.9 million, up by £100,000 on last year.

"As we begin one of the most extraordinary and exciting years in our great city's history, the sky will light up with a dazzling display of pyrotechnic magic," said Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

"2012 will open, not with a timid whimper, but a colourful bang, a noisy clarion call to herald one amazing year.

"Londoners know how to celebrate and our fireworks display will be the first in a year-long celebration of all things London.

"From the magic of the games, to the Diamond Jubilee, to the London 2012 Festival and our own outdoor arts festival, there will be world-class events in every corner of the capital, to create a summer like no other.

"2012 will be a year to be confident and ambitious and London will welcome the world with energy and optimism."

Jack Morton Worldwide will again produce the show, working with British pyrotechnic company Kimbolton Fireworks who will provide the 8-minute display at midnight.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Nihal will also be returning to create a live mix of music that will be heard by the crowds along the river in the build-up to midnight. He has been working in collaboration with the Jack Morton team on the soundtrack that will accompany the stunning display.

The fireworks display attracts large crowds who have a long wait in the designated viewing areas along the Thames. There is limited space and these fill up by 9pm or 10pm and access to each zone will be closed as soon as it is full. More than £575,000 is spent on crowd control and stewarding at the event.

After the fireworks the music will continue till 1am to encourage a staggered dispersal of the crowds towards nearby railway stations.

As usual the event will be broadcast live on BBC One.


The Mayor says that public transport will be the best way to get around the capital on New Year's Eve. Tube, DLR, tram and selected National Rail services in Greater London will run all night.

Night and 24 hour bus routes will run as normal, but there will be fewer bus services leaving central London from around 5pm to around 3am on New Year's morning because of road closures.

Streets in the area bounded by Blackfriars Road in the east and Lambeth Road in the south will be shut from 8pm on New Year's Eve.

There will be free travel on all journeys on the Tube, DLR, buses and trams from 11.45pm until 4.30am.

More information can be found at

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