Eleven magical minutes that dazzled the world: Spectacular London fireworks …

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It was the 11-minute fireworks spectacular that wowed the world.

To the gasps of the thrilled crowd thronging the banks of the Thames, a dazzling display of rockets shot out from the arches above Big Ben’s famous dials, kicking off a spectacular pyrotechnic show.

More than 250,000 revellers watched the breathtaking display, which cost £274,000 and demonstrated that London is the best in the world at putting on a show to celebrate the New Year.

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LONDON: Fireworks light up the sky and Big Ben just after midnight

Midnight: At the stroke of 12, 4,320 comets and mines blasted out from 15 fire points in the clock tower. Over the next 50 seconds, each fire point sent out 24 projectiles for every chime, firing from all four sides of the tower

More than 12,000 fireworks producing 50,000 projectiles lit up the sky to mark the beginning of a year in which Britain will host the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

For 11 minutes and 15 seconds, Big Ben, the London Eye and three fireworks barges, loaded with 30 tons of equipment, blazed with colour. This is how it happened, minute by minute:

Midnight: At the stroke of 12, 4,320 comets and mines blasted out from 15 fire points in the clock tower. Over the next 50 seconds, each fire point sent out 24 projectiles for every chime, firing from all four sides of the tower.

LONDON: 2012 starts with a bang as spectacular fireworks light up the sky over the London Eye on the South Bank of the Thames in the capital at midnight

12.04am: The London Eye was bathed in blue light from more than 100 floodlights and more blue Olympic rings appeared as the Ting Tings¿ song That’s Not My Name was followed by the Kinks’ You Really Got Me mixed with Mark Ruff Ryder’s tune Joy

LONDON: The dazzling display lasted for around 15 minutes in the capital

12.02am: As the barges, loaded with 30 tons of equipment, let off the first of the 50,000 projectiles, African rapper Donaeo’s Devil In A Blue Dress gave way to Coldplay¿s Viva La Vida

12.01am: As Big Ben fell silent, Vangelis’s Chariots Of Fire theme was played, overlaid with the 2005 announcement that London would host the 2012 Olympics. A fast-paced soundtrack mixed by BBC Radio 1 DJ Nihal to accompany the display started with Labrinth’s hit Earthquake featuring Tinie Tempah singing: ‘We got the bass banging from here to Buckingham Palace’ as pink comets blasted from the hub of the London Eye.

12.02am: As the barges, loaded with 30  tons of equipment, let off the first of the 50,000 projectiles, African rapper Donaeo’s Devil In A Blue Dress gave way to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.

12.03am: The sky was lit with pink shells  creating heart shapes and pink rings to  symbolise the Olympics as the music  changed to a medley of Martin Solveig and Dragonette’s hit pop song Hello and Supergrass’ hit Alright.

LONDON: The fireworks heralded the start of an exciting year for the capital, which will host the Olympic games

12.03am: The sky was lit with pink shells creating heart shapes and pink rings to symbolise the Olympics as the music changed to a medley of Martin Solveig and Dragonette’s hit pop song Hello and Supergrass’ hit Alright

LONDON: Welcome to 2012! The show had an Olympian theme

Yesterday hundreds took to Twitter to express their delight at the show, which cost a total of £1.9million including infrastructure and staging costs

12.04am: The London Eye was bathed in blue light from more than 100 floodlights and more blue Olympic rings appeared as the Ting Tings’ song That’s Not My Name was followed by the Kinks’ You Really Got Me mixed with Mark Ruff Ryder’s tune Joy.

12.05am: Soft Cell’s Tainted Love led into Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as glitter star fireworks shot into the sky from the barges and the London Eye.

12.06am: As the fireworks display reached a crescendo, firing projectiles from the barges and the London Eye simultaneously, Adele’s Rolling In The Deep mixed with John Legend’s cover of the song could be heard.

LONDON: The display was the result of 12 months of planning with a crew of 306 working on the site since Boxing Day

LONDON: The display was the result of 12 months of planning with a crew of 306 working on the site since Boxing Day

LONDON: Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'Our New Year fireworks were a brilliant start to a spectacular year.'

LONDON: Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘Our New Year fireworks were a brilliant start to a spectacular year.’

12.07am: The London Eye was transformed by a rainbow of colour from thousands of backlights and LED lights as the music moved in quick succession from Lethal Bizzle’s Look Up To The Sky to Dizzee Rascal’s Fix Up Look Sharp. It was followed by a Kais ft Dfi vs the House Of Pain’s Jump Around which was greeted by a roar of the awe-struck crowd.

12.08am: The London Eye glowed red and gold as Automatic’s hit Monster faded into the Prodigy’s Firestarter which was mixed with Blowse Arouse’s Nucleya.

LONDON: Fireworks explode over the Houses of Parliament

LONDON: Fireworks explode over the Houses of Parliament

LONDON: The new year will host the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games

LONDON: The new year will host the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games

12.09am: The sky fell dark and the music stopped for four seconds as the London Underground’s ‘Mind the gap’ announcement could be heard before Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody kicked in to cheers from the crowd.

12.10am: Clouds of smoke from the fireworks turned the sky red, white and blue as Emeli Sande’s Heaven was replaced by Faithless’s dance hit Insomnia.

12.11am: For the finale, 500 fireworks were sent up simultaneously, including shells creating the shape of the five Olympic rings. The show ended with blue flashing lights on the London Eye.

LONDON: Thousands lined up against the banks so they could watch the show

LONDON: Thousands lined up against the banks so they could watch the show

LONDON: Crowds gathered on Westminster Bridge in central London as they wait for New Years Eve fireworks to be set off

LONDON: Crowds gathered on Westminster Bridge in central London as they wait for New Years Eve fireworks to be set off

Yesterday
hundreds took to Twitter to express their delight at the show, which cost a total of £1.9million including infrastructure and staging costs.

London
mayor Boris Johnson said a 306-strong crew had been working on the display since Boxing Day 2010 and 1,803 staff were there on the night to co-ordinate the fireworks and lights.

Every conceivable vantage spot was taken up as spectators queued for hours to get a prime view.

Westminster
Bridge, which was closed to traffic, was crammed to ‘bursting point’ and revellers enjoyed one of the warmest New Year’s Eves on record, with temperatures of 59f (14.9c) – hotter than Morocco.

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