What time is the Tokyo Olympics 2020 opening ceremony? Date, TV channel and how to watch in the UK

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The Olympic Games officially get underway on Friday as the opening ceremony takes place in the National Stadium and the Olympic cauldron is lit after a turbulent build-up in Tokyo.

A state of emergency in Japan means that no spectators are being permitted to enter venues while less athletes will be able to attend the flag procession due to coronavirus protocols, meaning it will be a slightly scaled back spectacle.

Follow Tokyo Olympics live: Build-up to opening ceremony

There was further disruption to the preparation as the ceremony’s director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was sacked just 48 hours ahead of the event after historical footage that showed him making jokes about the Holocaust emerged on social media.

Japan recorded a six-month high of positive Covid cases on the eve of the ceremony, but organisers insist the Games will go ahead, with some events, including the men’s and women’s football, already underway.

Here is everything you need to know about the opening ceremony:

When is the opening ceremony?

The opening ceremony for the Games will take place on Friday 23 July at 8pm local time, which is 12pm BST.

How can I watch the opening ceremony?

The ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer with coverage beginning at 11:20am BST.

When do the events start?

The actual sporting events will begin on Saturday 24 July.

What is the schedule for the Games and which sports are involved?

A comprehensive day-by-day guide to the Olympics can be found by clicking here.

When do the Games end?

The final sporting events will be held on Sunday 8 August.

The closing ceremony also takes place on 8 August.

When are the Paralympics?

The summer Paralympic Games follows the Olympics. They will take place in Tokyo from Tuesday 24 August until Sunday 5 September.

What is the time difference?

Japan is eight hours ahead of the UK, 14 hours ahead of US Central time, 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard time and 13 hours ahead of Eastern time.

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