The Queen made her movie acting debut as she joined James Bond in the spectacular Olympic Games opening ceremony.

In a scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time at the ceremony, Bond actor Daniel Craig arrives at Buckingham Palace in a dinner jacket and strides past Corgis to meet the Queen.

"Good evening Mr Bond," she says, before they leave together, apparently flying away in a helicopter towards the Olympic Stadium.

Back in real time, to peels of laughter and delight from the crowd, "the Queen" followed by "Bond", parachuted from a helicopter towards the stadium. Seconds later the real Queen and Prince Philip received a standing ovation as they entered the arena.

Earlier Tour de France hero Bradley Wiggins rang the giant bell which marked the start of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Wearing a yellow jersey Wiggins, fresh from his victory as the first British man to win the tour, was greeted with cheers at the Olympic Park.

It was the dramatic start of a breathtaking ceremony capturing the best of Britain to launch the long-awaited Games as the eyes of the world turned on London.

The show started simply with the stadium turned into a meadow, a green and pleasant land. On the real grass covering the bowl of the stadium there were hills, a cottage and people enjoying an idyllic version of British life.

The world's largest harmonically-tuned bell, weighing 23 tonnes and measuring two metres tall and three metres wide, rang inside the stadium to start a Shakespeare-inspired spectacle featuring 900 children from the six east London host boroughs.

Oscar winner Boyle, the man responsible for the the remarkable transformation of the stadium where the athletics will take place, said: "Tonight's a warm-up act for the Games.

"That's one of the things you have to keep remembering. You big it up for different reasons, and you hear it bigged up or slammed or whatever it is and you've got to keep remembering we're the warm-up act."