Performers included Rowan Atkinson in a comedy sequence with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), Sir Paul McCartney, Kenneth Branagh as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and Her Majesty the Queen, as herself, in a scene with James Bond (Daniel Craig) shot at Buckingham Palace.
The volunteer cast of 7,500 from all over world gave up their evenings and weekends to take part in a total of 284 rehearsals at two east London rehearsal sites and at the Stadium. On average, adult volunteers rehearsed for 150 hours each.
The child volunteers were drawn from 25 schools in the six east London Host Boroughs. The 170 16–18 year olds, from six colleges in the Host Boroughs, speak more than 50 languages between them.