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London Olympics' musical farewell to the world

By Jerome Taylor and Cahal Milmo

Published 13/08/2012

A general view as the fireworks signal the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London
A general view as the fireworks signal the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London
A phoenix rises from the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony
The Games were hailed as a great success by Lord Coe
Fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RETRANSMITTED CORRECTING BYLINEA general view as the fireworks signal the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium and the Orbit during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is extinguished during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic flame is lowered The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 12 August 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry by her side the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks over the Olympic Stadium and Orbit during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Park PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RETRANSMITTED CORRECTING BYLINEA general view as the fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A general view as the fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium and the Orbit during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancing street sweeper Renato Sorriso of Brazil performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
London Mayor Boris Johnson (left) hands the Olympic Flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London
Entertainment during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
To mark the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games, EDF Energy have lit up the EDF Energy London Eye, County Hall and Shell Building on London's Southbank. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. There will continue to be a nightly lightshow on the EDF Energy London Eye throughout the Paralympics (29 August Ð 9 September 2012); powered by London 2012 tweets, the lightshow on the landmark reflects how positive the nation is feeling about the Paralympic Games www.edfenergyofthenation.com Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire
The closing ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics at the Olympic Stadium in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A general view the Spice Girls performing at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Annie Lennox performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the Olympic Cauldron during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Band One Direction perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Suggs and Madness perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Dancers perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The flags of the competing nations are paraded through the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Lee Thompson of Madness performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the Victoria park and the BT observation wheel close to the Olympic park during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games on August 12, 2012 in London, England. Athletes, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world have gathered in the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony of the 30th Olympiad. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Athletes gather in the centre of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The Olympic Cauldron burns in front of the Olympic rings during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Actor Timothy Spall plays the part of Winston Churchill during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Model Lily Cole poses during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Taio Cruz performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Russell Brand performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Annie Lennox performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The France team parade through the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: British supermodel Lily Donaldson during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The France team parade throught he stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Model Kate Moss performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Spice Girls perform during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Pet Shop Boys perform during The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 12 August 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Mods during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Norman Cook a.k.a. Fatboy Slim performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
George Michael performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Eric Idle performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Melanie Chisholm of The Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Emma Bunton of The Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Melanie Brown of The Spice Girls during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Flag bearers during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Victoria Beckham of The Spice Girls performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Russell Brand performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Liam Gallagher performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Liam Gallagher performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A human cannonball performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
**EDITORS PLEASE NOTE A TILT SHIFT LENS HAS BEEN USED** The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Madness perform at The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Pet Shop Boys perform The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Geri Halliwell (right) and Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

After 16 days of sporting heroism which made London the centre of the world, the curtain fell on the Olympics last night with a display of exuberant – at times anarchic – revelry that had but one message: "Goodbye world, we hope you had as good a time as we did. Now let's dance."

With 29 gold medals – the last arriving just hours before the grand finale in the Olympic Stadium – reflecting the glory of the best performance by a British team in 104 years, the Closing Ceremony delivered the grandest of grand hurrahs for London 2012.



From a rendition of "God Save the Queen" introduced by Timothy Spall playing Winston Churchill emerging from a miniaturised Big Ben, to Russell Brand on top of a trippy bus and Freddie Mercury's voice delivering "Bohemian Rhapsody" from beyond the grave, this was Britain showing that as well as putting on the greatest show on earth, it can party too.



Just as Danny Boyle's opening jamboree had enthralled the nation with his heady cocktail of the sublime, a skydiving monarch and Mr Bean, so artistic director Kim Gavin, a ballet dancer turned stadium tour impresario, provided a sumptuous feast of British creativity and eccentricity.



Gone was the didactic splendour of the Opening Ceremony with its giant NHS beds and Satanic Mills, Jarrow marchers and Sir Tim Berners Lee. This was all about having fun and, after putting on an unquestionably fine Games, London had reason to celebrate.



The Who, those titans of universally recognised but uniquely British pop, were due to bring the three-hour performance to a climax with a thundering rendition of "My Generation".



A week after his wife lost their daughter, Poppy, in a still birth, Take That's Gary Barlow was due to perform "Rule the World" with the band in a dramatic sequence leading to the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame.



But, reserving the right of this host nation to bamboozle the rest of the planet, there was also the downright wacky. The Reliant Robin immortalised in the classic comedy Only Fools and Horses made an explosive appearance followed by the sight of 160 Household Guards marching behind Madness while playing an instrumental version of Blur's "Parklife".



And do not even mention the multi-coloured octopus and the taxi ballet.



Gavin, speaking before the ceremony, said: "We wanted to host a celebration of all that's good about London, British people, our music and our culture. And capture the spirit that's inspired so much global creativity over the past 50 years."



Watched by dignitaries including Prince Harry, representing his grandmother, and Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee, the extravaganza began with a shout of "It's nine o'clock" from the capacity 80,000 crowd and Scottish R'*'B singer Emeli Sande on a purposely monochrome stage belting out her anthem to success "Read All About It" from the back of a rubbish truck.



And then it ended. Speeches from London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe and Jacques Rogge heralded the official close of the Games as Thomas Heatherwick's copper petal cauldron was finally extinguished after 16 days of constant burning. The only thing left to do was sing away the end of the night and that honour was given to The Who accompanied by the ballerina Darcey Bussell. Goodbye world. Thanks for coming.

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