It’s rather telling that we may never really know how many people watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, one of the biggest television spectacles the world has seen. China almost certainly had the largest ever single audience for a television programme. In the United States, where coverage was delayed until prime time, it was apparently watched by a peak audience of 34 million, with 77 million watching at some point. In the United Kingdom, where it aired in the afternoon, the audience was a rather more modest 4.7 million. We do know, thanks to a BBC documentary, that the national electricity grid in Britain has to bring on an additional hydroelectric power station to cope with the surge in demand at the end of the popular soap opera EastEnders, apparently because the nation of tea lovers puts the kettle on as soon as it ends. We await their official data on the Olympics.