Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Billy on the Box: Boris Johnson goes out with a bang as Olympics ends again

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Mayor of London Boris Johnson, President of the IPC Sir Philip Craven MBE and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes perform the Paralympic flag handover ceremonyduring the closing ceremony on day 11 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Millions came to see those who had conquered the world at the Olympics and were then upstaged by a man who is undoubtedly as mad as a big box of hatters.

Even on a day when London’s streets were packed to pay homage to Team GB’s Olympians and Paralympians, and when you could barely move for swarms of presenters ambushing people in tracksuits, they all had to play second fiddle to Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

In fairness, the Mayor of London was given a good run for his money by the Beeb’s Hazel Irvine who was clearly giddy with the news that the heroes’ parade was the final final closing event, and wanted to go out with a bang.

“We just saw Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy but did you know they share a birthday with Sir Steve Redgrave, Mo Farah and Sir Roger Bannister — the 23rd of March,” revealed Hazel, leaving Huw Edwards’ ox well and truly flummed.

“So if you want to increase your child’s sporting chances you know the date to aim for.

“You’ve missed the boat for this next year but if you turn off your tellies towards the end of June 2013, you could have half a chance,” she added, and Huw’s gast was now so flabbered he dropped his 2013 diary in all the mayhem.

In an effort to clean things up and bring a more cerebral air to proceedings, Hazel then turned to Greece for a bit of inspiration.

Well, it was the Olympics after all.

“The success had touched us all,” she said. “Proof, if we needed it, that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Aristotle was onto something, you know.”

But with many viewers wondering who this Harry bloke was and what he was on about, it was time to dumb things down and Ben Shephard and Helen Skelton, the presenting equivalent of Same Difference, came onto stage.

Just what you need for a big occasion, a former GMTV sofa dweller and a Blue Peter girl who promptly made things a little more blue when her skirt blew up round her auxtas.

Only one word for that — absolutely brilliant, she might have said.

Then came David Cameron and the Princess Royal, the support acts for the main man — imagine Barnbrack and B*witched sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen — as Boris bounded on to show who’s the boss in London.

“We come to the final tear-sodden, juddering climax of the summer of London 2012,” he began as Huw nodded knowingly that his diary markings had gone to pot.

“You routed the doubters and you scattered the gloomsters and for the first time in living memory you caused Tube train passengers to break into spontaneous conversation with their neighbours about subjects other than their trod-on toes,” he began.

“And speaking as a spectator, you produced such paroxysms of tears and joy on the sofas of Britain that you probably not only inspired a generation but helped to create one as well — I can get away with that, can’t I?”

Indeed you can, although having a pop at the French and the Germans and even the Aussies was a bit OTT, and carried on with the patriotic fervour feel of the last day of the Poms the bold Boris continued unabashed.

“You brought sport home to a city and a country where by and large it was invented and codified — athletics, rowing, cycling, judo I’m not sure about judo,” and then he was gone, to be replaced by Katherine Jenkins.

Sorry Katherine, there’s only room for one blonde in my life now and he’s called Boris.

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