Julie Richardson who performed during the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
AN ISLE of Wight woman who took part in the spectacular Olympic opening ceremony has called it the best experience of her life.
Julie Richardson was one of 965 drummers who performed during the Pandemonium segment of the ceremony, when London's Olympic Stadium was transformed from a green and pleasant land into a brooding industrial landscape.
Julie, 52, a morris dancer with The Oyster Girls had never drummed before, but was one of thousands of hopeful UK performers who auditioned to take part in the event, directed by Danny Boyle.
"The audition included a bit of dancing, singing and acting, and they said anyone with rhythm can drum," said Julie, of Queens Road, Ryde, a wedding photographer and teaching assistant at Haylands Primary School.
"I was over the moon to be picked, and really chuffed to be part of this once in a lifetime event.
"It was such a buzz to perform — the reaction from the crowd was fantastic, everyone was clapping and cheering.
"It was one of the best experiences of my life," she said.
Led by world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, Julie and her fellow performers pounded on plastic and galvanised metal buckets to create a rhythmic 'industrial' sound. Following the performance, they marshalled the athletes' parade.
"We were able to stay right until the end and have a look at the cauldron, which was brilliant," said Julie.
"We also had a pep talk by Danny Boyle, although a lot of the ceremony was secret even to us.
"I thought the whole thing was just amazing."