Head of cultural Olympiad to leave LOCOG

Just days before the Olympic handover party in The Mall, the Evening Standard has reported that the man charged to organise 2012’s cultural and arts programme is not having his contract renewed.

Keith Khan began as the culture boss at Olympics organiser LOCOG last summer. He had previously spearheaded the opening ceremonies at the Millennium Dome and the Manchester Commonwealth Games.

But he has now been sidelined as an “artistic executive” and his contract runs out in December.

Bill Morris, LOCOG’s director of culture, ceremonies and education, has ultimate responsibility for the Cultural Olympiad, which was a cornerstone of London’s successful bid to stage the 2012 Games.

His responsibilities include organising the opening and closing ceremonies, torch relay, education programme and live screens. Sunday’s eight-minute London segment at Beijing’s closing ceremony will also demonstrate a heavy emphasis on the cultural aspect of London’s Games.

Morris was previously a BBC expert in big outside broadcasts. A source told the Standard: “Bill is very very busy and his background is in outside broadcasting. If you look at things like the Commonwealth Games or the Golden Jubilee celebrations in the Mall, they were a success because they had logistical geniuses and artists working together.”

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