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'Glittering' 2012 start for London

A dazzling fireworks display is expected to attract up to 250,000 people to London to welcome in the new year.

The London Eye will be the focal point for the pyrotechnics, which Boris Johnson said would be a fitting way to mark the start of an "extraordinary" year for the city.

A "quirky" and "surprising" show has been planned, the Mayor of London's office added.

There will be some 12,000 fireworks, producing 50,000 projectiles, launched during the display, which is triggered by Big Ben's chimes and lasts for 11 minutes and 15 seconds.

Mr Johnson said: "A glittering display will light up the sky to herald the start of 2012, the most extraordinary and exciting year we are likely to see in our lifetime in this city.

"We will stage an incredible Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will put us in the global spotlight and spur the long-term rejuvenation of east London and bring benefits to the whole capital.

"From the magic of the Games, to the Diamond Jubilee, and the London 2012 Festival to our own outdoor arts festival, we will welcome the world with thrilling events in every corner of the capital, to create a summer like no other."

Describing the planned show, a spokesman from the Mayor of London's office said: "Without wanting to give too much away, it describes London: diverse, quirky, surprising, evolving, inspirational. There is a nod to the nostalgic past, but, like the city, it is very contemporary and of course it looks ahead to an amazing year for the capital."

London-themed songs will accompany the fireworks, which are expected to be watched on television by millions of people around the world.

Those travelling to the Southbank to see the pyrotechnics have been warned that visibility may not be good. Gareth Harvey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It looks like it will be cloudy on the night but temperatures should remain mild, with the chance of a few spots of drizzle."

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