Shropshire Star

Line Of Duty lands and Bond at his best in golden Olympic year – looking back at 2012

Saturdays. They are absolutely super, right?

File photo dated 11-08-2012 of Great Britain's Mo Farah celebrates after winning the Men's 5000m Final during Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympics at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday June 19, 2015. Mo Farah's coach has rubbished speculation of a relationship breakdown between himself and the double Olympic champion. Alberto Salazar, along with Farah's training partner Galen Rupp, is under the microscope over doping allegations made by the BBC's Panorama programme. See PA story ATHLETICS Farah. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

If you can avoid the mundane job of traipsing around the supermarket for your shopping, there’s always plenty to enjoy on the first day of the weekend.

You might spend a day out with your family, head to the football with your friends and enjoy a pint or two.

You could even be partial to takeaway while trying to guess who Bubble Tea is on The Masked Singer.

But when we talk ‘Super Saturday’, one stands out. You just have to take the Weekend time machine back 12 years.

Olympians put the great into Britain

Ah, yes, 2012, the glorious summer when London hosted the Olympic Games.

We British know how to put on a show, don’t we?

And the Olympic Games were another fine example, with iconic sporting moments sandwiched between incredible opening and closing ceremonies. Games Maker volunteers also helped create a wonderful experience for visitors from across the globe.

Danny Boyle directed the opening ceremony, which was filled with a whole host of brilliant moments, including celebrations of the NHS, British children’s literature, popular music and culture.

Why, James Bond even escorted Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace before parachuting into the Olympic Stadium alongside her – with the aid of a stunt double, naturally.

In sporting terms ‘Super Saturday’ still brings goosebumps to many, remembering Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all winning gold in an unforgettable 44 minutes inside the Olympic Stadium.

The atmosphere created by 80,000 jubilant spectators at London’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday, August 4, 2012 really came through the television screen for those not lucky enough to witness the events first hand.

Incredibly, Great Britain ended the Games in third place in the medals table behind the USA and China, with an astonishing 29 gold medals, 18 silver and 18 bronze.

The likes of Andy Murray, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Katherine Grainger, Nicola Adams and Anthony Joshua all struck gold during that magnificent sporting summer.

And, of course, it wasn’t the first time that year we had celebrated the Best of British.

The year also marked the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen after her accession on February 6, 1952, including an official Jubilee Weekend from June 2-5.

The eyes of the world were on Great Britain that year and the country delivered.

From the very best of Bond to Batman

Bond was back! Yes, when Daniel Craig wasn’t parachuting into the Olympic stadium with Her Majesty for the opening ceremony of the Olympics, he had other pressing matters.

Skyfall, the 23rd film in the series pitted 007 against another foe Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva and the latest adventure proved a smash hit with the audience.

After bursting onto the scene in Casino Royale, Craig’s second outing in Quantam of Solace hadn’t satisfied all Bond fans in quite the same way.

But, from Adele’s opening number, Skyfall had cinema audiences gripped.

As well as the returning Judi Dench, as a brilliant M, the film saw the return of Miss Moneypenny, now played by Naomie Harris, and Q, a younger Ben Wishaw.

Ralph Fiennes – soon to take over the mantle from Dame Judi – plus Rory Kinnear, Bérénice Marlohe, Helen McCrory and Albert Finney were among the supporting cast.

Filming locations includes London, Shanghai, Istanbul and, of course, Scotland, as Bond goes back to his childhood home, the Skyfall Estate in the Scottish Highlands, in an attempt to keep M from harm.

Craig, of course, went on to star in Spectre before bringing his tenure to a close with No Time To Die but it was Skyfall which, for many, raised the bar for Bond films.

And 2012 was a dream year for many cinema goers too. If Bond wasn’t your thing, how about Batman? The Dark Knight Rises was also out, along with Avengers Assemble and The Amazing Spider-man.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was also given the big screen treatment while others films included Les Miserables, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, Cloud Atlas, Ted, Magic Mike, Wreck it Ralph and Brave.

For those who wanted to grab some popcorn and put their feet up for two or three hours, there really was something for everyone during the year in the cinema.

Nation enthralled by police thriller debut

It was to become a noise which you automatically knew would bring scenes of tension, revelations and other jaw-dropping moments.

The sound of that long buzz to kickstart the recording of an interrogation interview at AC12.

Yes, we’re talking Line of Duty and the compelling drama that followed.

And it all started with series one, broadcast on June 26, 2012, as we became hooked on the lives of DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Kate Fleming (Vicki McClure).

As Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) would say: “There’s only one thing I’m interested in and that is catching bent coppers”

But the challenge of achieving such goals saw the audience caught up in a web full of twists and turns.

That first series, from the brilliant – and local – Jed Mercurio, soon demonstrated no-one was safe with established actress Gina McKee, as Jackie Laverty, quickly bumped off. Shock deaths would become a staple of the show.

Series one saw the team at AC12 lead an investigation into the corrupt actions of DCI Tony Gates, played by the brilliant Lennie James.

He was to become the first focus of the show and, even after his departure, his story remained intertwined with those which followed.

The likes of Keeley Hawes, Thandie Newton, Kelly Macdonald and Stephen Graham were to all follow in taking top billing in future series of the police drama which, by the start of series six, amid the search for the elusive H, had become a national phenomenon.

Series six saw the show seemingly reach a conclusion with blundering Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells revealed as H.

But is that the end? Let’s hope not but, if it is, we have 2012 to thank for introducing us to an incredible series.

Incidentally, if you are wondering about the most viewed shows in this particular year, the Olympics, Euro 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee concert led the way.

Major events aside, Britain’s Got Talent was most watched, followed by Coronation Street, Downton Abbey, The Voice, I’m a Celebrity and Strictly.

Andy Murray v Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Men’s Final and X Factor also featured in the top 20.

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