Over a billion see Louth girl on world stage at Olympics closing ceremony

Nikki Pocklington.
Nikki Pocklington.

AS over a billion people worldwide watched the London 2012 Olympics come to a spectacular close on Sunday night, one Louth family looked on with extra interest.

The Pocklington household were proudly watching on as daughter Nikki, who grew up in Louth, played her part in the biggest closing ceremony ever held.

She has since described the experience as ‘amazing’ after spending an evening in the company of the world’s biggest sport and music stars.

“I was so proud to be one of so few that could say they performed in such an amazing event,” she said.

Nikki moved away from Louth to learn her trade at drama school, and after graduating a year ago she launched herself into auditions and was lucky enough to be given the nod by director Kim Gavin.

She began intense rehearsals in May, putting in long hours to learn the dance moves.

Nikki explained that each performer had to be fed music and cues through an earpiece due to the sheer size of the stadium and sound delay.

The ceremony featured The Who, Liam Gallagher, Take That, The Pet Shop Boys and a timely reform by The Spice Girls. But the rebirth of ‘girl power’ was no surprise to Nikki, who saw the fab five rehearsing in the days before.

In the UK alone 26 million tuned in to see the ceremony. Lord Sebastian Coe, the mastermind behind the Games being brought to London, announced to the world that ‘we did it right’.

It featured all the athletes who took part, including Louth swimmer Kate Haywood. Kate even tweeted whilst waiting outside, so desperate was she to soak up the action. “This is a joke! Stood outside stadium! Missing it all,” she said.

In 2010 Nikki sang for over a million television viewers at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, but admitted that was nothing compared to Sunday.

“At the time I couldn’t believe I had sung in front of so many people but now that I’ve performed to a stadium of 80,000 and viewed by 26 million people in the UK that seems like a tiny audience,” she added.

“The overall experience has just been incredible and I’m so pleased I have got the memories to last me a lifetime.”