Viewers have poked fun at Australia’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony ‘commercial’ – before being treated to a surprise appearance from rock legend Ozzy Osbourne.
Dexys Midnight Runners, UB40, Jorja Smith and Mahalia all performed on Monday to showcase the best of Birmingham‘s talent- and organisers saved the best for last, as Osbourne drew the event to a close and belted out Black Sabbath’s Paranoid to celebrate 11 days of the sporting competition.
Australia is set to host the next Commonwealth Games in 2026, but before the flag was symbolically lowered and handed over to Governor Linda Dessau, a one-minute video montage of Victoria played during a performance by Taylor Henderson.
Fans were quick to mock the BBC for ‘ruining’ the ceremony and likened the footage, which showcased natural scenery and a glowing sunrise, to a ‘Visit Australia TV advertisement’.
One Twitter user, Callum Reid, wrote: ‘I walked out of the room for two minutes and the Birmingham closing ceremony turned into a tourism advertisement for Australia.’
Another added: ‘Australia have killed what was an incredible closing ceremony. What the hell is this?’
Following the clip, a smoking ceremony was performed, which is an ancient custom among some Aboriginal Australians that involves smouldering native plants, alongside performances from Baker Boy and Vanessa Amorosi. The words ‘welcome to regional Victoria’ were later emblazoned on the screen.
But it was the Prince Of Darkness’s surprise appearance with his band Black Sabbath that became the ceremony’s showstopper as fans were left ‘genuinely emotional’ and in ‘awe’ watching the 73-year-old onstage despite him not performing for the last three years due to ill health.
The star shouted: ‘I love you, Birmingham – it’s good to be back!’ as he rounded off the show with his iconic track Paranoid.
Ozzy Osbourne bought the show to a ear-bursting close as he performed Black Sabbath’s Paranoid to an adoring crowd at the Alexander Stadium
Ozzy Osbourne was suitably demonic during his performance of Paranoid by Black Sabbath during Monday night’s closing ceremony
Fans slammed the BBC for turning the ceremony into a ‘Visit Australia TV ad’ (pictured left and right) with a one-minute montage of footage from Australia, which is set to host the next games in 2026
It comes as Team GB athletes hit the town last night following the iconic closing ceremony. British cyclist Georgia Holt was spotted wearing her silver medal alongside bronze medallist diver Jack Laugher as they queued to get into Retro VIP nightclub to celebrate Monday night’s glittering finale at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.
Team Scotland ‘s Sarah Inglis, Eilish McColgan, Jenny Selman and Laura Muir were also pictured enjoying a much-deserved night out as they dressed in bright blue kilts with matching white Nike t-shirts while others were pictured buying a McDonald’s takeaway to celebrate the end of the 11-day competition.
Dressed in their official team uniform, athletes from all teams
Meanwhile, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was among the packed out crowd at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham for the closing extravaganza, which was hailed on social media as ‘Peak Brum’.
Amid the celebration the region’s contribution to music, there was also a celebration of how it life has changed over the years, and a sneak peak of the new Peaky Blinders stage show.
Pictured: British cyclist Georgia Holt was spotted wearing her silver medal during a night out following the Commonwealth Games Closing ceremony
Pictured: Team GB athletes including British diver Jack Laugher and Noah Williams were spotted having a well-deserved night out in Birmingham’s city centre
England athletes, wearing red trousers and white tops, made their way along Broad Street hugging each other, flanked by scantily dressed women and grasping medals won over the last to weeks
The team continued on to Retro nightclub to party the night away into the early hours. Some of the England team were also spotted entering Walkabout where the Australian team had their after party
Team Scotland ‘s Sarah Inglis, Eilish McColgan, Jenny Selman and Laura Muir posted an image on Instagram dressed in matching bright blue kilts and white Nike t-shirts
Pictured: British cyclist Georgia Holt was pictured with Team Scotland after they bought a celebratory McDonald’s takeaway to celebrate the end of the 11-day competition
Pictured: Commonwealth Games athletes had a knees up in Birmingham city centre on Monday night after the closing ceremony
Pictured: Team Scotland all wore matching kilts to celebrate the end of the historic 11-day celebrations
The show was kicked off by children playing hopscotch in an industrial scene inspired by the landscape of the West Midlands in the 1950s.
This was followed by Dexys Midnight Runners playing Come On Eileen, and the heavy rock sounds of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir booming out over the Alexander Stadium.
There were mentions of the city’s multi-cultural heritage Athletes who competed in the games walked out into the stadium to The Spencer Davis Group’s Keep on Running.
This was followed by Apache Indian playing their hit Boom Shak A Lak and Musical Youth performing its cannabis-inspired song Pass the Dutchie.
Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, watched Monday’s closing ceremony through a set of binoculars at the Alexander Stadium
UB40, one of the city’s most well-known exports, then played a crowd-pleasing rendition of Red Red Wine.
After this came a celebration of the 90s, played in by Panjabi MC and his international hit Mundian To Bach Ke, with Beverley Knight and Goldie giving the crowd a taste of club life with Inner City Life.
It then showcased Birmingham’s influence on heavy metal, with a mash-up between R&B singer Jorja Smith and rockers Judas Priest
This was followed by Ska legends The Selector before show then moved into a Peaky Blinders-inspired rendition of Open The Gates by Laura Mvula.
A soundtrack of Duran Duran then accompanied a tribute to conic Birmingham club the Rum Runner, which was demolished to make way for a hotel, but still lives on in the hearts of clubgoers from the time.
It then leaped to the present day with grime artist Raza Hussain performing Show Me Magic, Mahlia singing her single Simmer and Jaykae rapping Toothache.
Fireworks erupt over the Alexander Stadium during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games Monday night, August 8
Australian musician Baker Boy performs during the handover ceremony, to mark the fact the next games will take place in Victoria, Australia, in 2026
The ceremony opened with a group of children playing in a representation of the streets of Birmingham from the 1950s
DJ Apache Indian performed during the ceremony as well, as the event showcased the eclectic mix of musical styles to have come from the city over the last 70 years
Goldie and Beverley Knight impressed the crowd with their club hit Inner City Life at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony
Birmingham’s UB40 proved to be a crowd-pleasing act as they performed a rendition of Red Red Wine for those watching at the Alexander Stadium
Performers dance to the music of Panjabi MC during the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in Birmingham on Monday
Mahalia performed during Monday night’s Commonwealth Games closing ceremony at the Alexander Stadium after 12 days of competition
Singer Jorja Smith performed a mashup with rockers Judas Priest at the closing ceremony on Monday
The games drew to a symbolic close as the flag was then handed over to a delegation from Victoria in Australia.
The Earl of Wessex officially closed the ceremony, saying: ‘Every four years, we endeavour to come together to celebrate our Commonwealth through sport.
‘Thanks to the manner, style and enthusiasm with which you have competed, officiated, supported, organised and volunteered, you have, once again, brought the spirit and values of the Commonwealth to life.
‘You have inspired us and hopefully future generations. You have also demonstrated what unites us. Thank you, Birmingham.’
Speaking before her performance yesterday evening, Laura Mvula said she felt ‘chuffed’ for Birmingham to have hosted the games and opened up about her Peaky Blinders styled performance.
Laura Mvula performs a song inspired by Nick Caves’ Red Right Hand, the theme tune to hit song Peaky Blinders, at the closing ceremony on Monday
Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, gave a speech on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen at the closing of the Commonwealth Games on Monday
The Mercury Prize-nominee performed a newly commissioned track inspired by Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, the theme song to Peaky Blinders.
The track featured a sequence from the much-anticipated theatre show Peaky Blinders: The Redemption Of Thomas Shelby.
Written and adapted for the stage by the show’s creator Steven Knight, the production will receive its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome on September 27 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.
‘Generally, especially amongst other parts of the UK I have been to, Birmingham has tended to get a bad rep,’ she said.
‘It’s the second city. It’s not London. That’s all we know of it – and the accent.
‘But what I love about Peaky Blinders, that I’ll be tributing in my performance tonight, is that they have made the Birmingham accent golden again.
‘It’s something that I’m proud of and I embrace more. I love it now when people go, ‘Are you from Birmingham? I can hear it in your accent’, because it’s part of my heritage.’
The games were opened with a spectacular opening ceremony on July 28 that showed off the best of Birmingham.
The Commonwealth flag was folded up and handed over to a delegation from Australia, which will host the next Commonwealth Games
Musical Youth played their song Pass the Dutchie during the closing ceremony, with the crowd enjoying their cannabis-inspired hit
In the ring: The 50ft mechanical bull parades around the main stadium in a display that wowed many at the opening ceremony
The Prince of Wales and the President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dame Louise Martin during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on July 28
Dexys Midnight Runners performed their hit song Come On Eileen during the closing ceremony at the Alexander Stadium on Monday
Performers represent factory workers in a celebration of the post-war industrialisation that saw the city become rejuvenated in the 1950s
Segments featuring a parade of cars, firework displays and even a giant mechanical bull wowed the crowd in the stadium and those watching on TV at home.
The Prince of Wales stood in for the Queen to officially open the games, giving a touching speech in her stead where he praised Her Majesty’s ‘passion and commitment’ to the Commonwealth.
Many were left amazed by a 50ft mechanical bull, a recreation of the famous statue that welcomes shoppers to the Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham.
Others were impressed with the parade of cars which featured classic and modern vehicles built in the West Midlands – with the likes of Aston Martins, Land Rovers and McLarens going on display – although some took it as a tongue-in-cheek jab at Birmingham’s notorious congestion.