Scottish singer Emeli Sande kicked off the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony on Sunday night (12Aug12) as composer David Arnold and Kim Gavin's A Symphony of British Music got underway in London.
Madness, who performed on the roof of Buckingham Palace at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations earlier this summer (12), picked up the baton from Sande as the marathon of music began on a stunning Union Jack stage set featuring miniatures of some of London's most iconic landmarks.
Just as soon-to-be knighted Kenneth Branagh helped kick off proceedings as great Brit Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the Opening Ceremony last month (Jul12), another beloved thespian took on a historical homeland hero - actor Timothy Spall appeared as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, reading Shakespeare.
Then it was back to the music - with performances from the Pet Shop Boys, One Direction and The Kinks frontman Ray Davies, while Beatles favourites played between the live sets.
Sande, who also performed at the Opening Ceremony, returned to perform again as highlights from the 16 days of the Olympics flashed onto screens all around the stadium - before the 10,800 athletes of the Games marched in.
George Michael then took to the stage to sing his hit Freedom, telling the crowd, "Remember now you are at the centre of the universe," before performing his new single White Light.
The Kaiser Chiefs star Ricky Wilson had a rock 'n' roll entrance as he rode into the stadium on the back of a motorbike - adorned with Union Jack flags - before joining his band for a rendition of The Who's Pinball Wizard.
The British fashion industry then took centre stage, as giant billboards featuring the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell were wheeled out to the sound of David Bowie's Fashion. The models themselves were then unveiled from behind their pictures.
The famous London models, as well as others including Georgia May Jagger and David Gandy, then took to a makeshift runway as Annie Lennox made her grand entrance and sang her hit Little Bird.
Ed Sheeran then cleared up the confusion about his Twitter boast he'd be performing with Pink Floyd when he took the stage with the rock group's drummer Nick Mason for a rendition of Wish You Were Here.
The crowd was sent into a frenzy as funnyman Russell Brand appeared onstage and channelled Willy Wonka by singing Pure Imagination from the late Mel Stuart's classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and a version of the Beatles' I Am The Walrus, before introducing DJ Fatboy Slim, who performed his dancefloor anthems Right Here, Right Now and The Rockafeller Skank.
The first part of the closing ceremony concluded with Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz taking the stage - individually and then together for a rendition of the Bee Gees' You Should Be Dancing.
More than 4,100 performers are expected to take part in the sporting celebration at Olympic Stadium before 80,000 guests and what is expected to be a record-breaking worldwide audience.
The big event, which closed out what British Prime Minister David Cameron had called "a golden time for Britain", began just after 9pm local time, hours after Lithuania claimed the final gold of the Games in the modern pentathlon.