Sam Mendes thought Queen Elizabeth was ''amazing'' when she starred alongside Daniel Craig at the Olympics opening ceremony.

The 86-year-old monarch made a surprise appearance in a sketch for the London spectacular, which saw her greet the actor in his guise as James Bond before supposedly parachuting from a helicopter.

The director - who is at the helm for the latest installment of the Bond franchise, 'Skyfall' - ''loved'' the idea but said he was too scared to help Danny Boyle - the man who masterminded the ceremony - with the mammoth task.

He said: ''I loved it. Of course I knew that that was being shot. Danny [Boyle] was down on the set a couple of times and I was aware of it all going on. I said, 'I'm staying out of it!' I've got enough to worry about without four billion people watching whatever it is!'

''But I thought it was amazing. And also a good promo for the movie! It was an act of brinksmanship that went spectacularly right. When I heard about it through Danny and Daniel, I thought, 'Okay, that's a hell of a knife-edge to walk,' with the real queen - who I think Danny directed with great Elan.''

The filmmaker admits the Olympics have made him proud to be British and he is glad to be part of such a successful franchise of films.

He told Empire magazine: ''It's just one of those wonderful periods in the history of London, and Great Britain. And it feels like Bond is part of that and I'm proud to be part of that tradition.

''Bond, interestingly this year, chooses to come back to England quiet a lot. It feels like Bond returning home.''