THE TV commentary may have attracted mixed reviews, but the lighting of the Olympic cauldron was enough to wake thousands of Bendigo families to watch the opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
More than 33,000 viewers from Bendigo tuned in to see the live telecast of James Bond and the Queen parachute into the Games’ opening.
The audience peaked at 49,917, with host broadcaster WIN TV capturing 56.6 per cent of the free-to-air share at the time.
Another 25,000 tuned into the opening night of the first day of competition.
The Buchan family in Strathdale were among the thousands to get into the Olympic spirit.
David Buchan said he had been watching the Olympics with his daughters Caitlin, 10, and Hannah, 8.
“We’ve been watching the Games and really following all the swimming,” Mr Buchan said. “The girls have got different sports and countries they’re learning about at their schools.
“We’re really big on having conversations around this type of stuff. We’re aware of it in the house; it sparks a lot of conversations.
“We’ll quiz the girls about the ladder. They’re learning the differences between world records and Olympic records.”
Mr Buchan said the time zone difference might prove a barrier to the whole family watching the Games’ bigger events. “I think we’ll end up watching them during the day,” he said.
“I planned to get up at 6am to see the men’s 100m freestyle relay, but slept in. I’m glad I missed that.
“The girls are probably keen to get up and watch it; they’re probably a bit too into it.”
In Bendigo, the TV audience peaked at 33,621 viewers on day one of competition, which included the men’s road race, rowing, swimming, gymnastics and tennis.