Pandora: No Romanian holiday for Boris?

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The Independent Online

Boris Johnson became the first London Mayor to open the World Travel Market last week, riding by train to the venue to cut the ribbon.

It's quite an honour; organisers prefer to steer clear of political endorsements (during his tenure, Ken Livingstone was invited to attend but not take part in an opening ceremony – the same year, incidentally, that he generously furnished the event with its own bus shuttle service).

Still, not everyone was charmed by Bozza's presence. We're told that Romanian delegates were left with feathers ruffled after Johnson failed to visit their stand, where they had hoped to convert him to the educational benefits of travelling to their country. Johnson memorably left the last Romanian ambassador disgruntled when he credited his Latin scholarship with enabling him to read newspapers in Rome, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon and Athens but neglected to cite Bucharest, despite Romanian deriving just as much from Latin as the other languages.

While the Greek WTM stall distributed leaflets advertising Johnson's comments, the Romanian tourist office hoped to extract an endorsement of their own. Alas, it wasn't to be. "Instead of coming to see for himself, he still goes on television, talking about Latin's influence," complained the office's director. "I like Boris and admire him, but it would be nice to get some recognition," she complains. Perhaps a free trip might sweeten the deal?

Button moonie?

Quick! The breaks! News that Mercedes is to buy Brawn's F1 team has caused alarm in some quarters. The deal increases the odds that Jenson Button will join McLaren for the 2010 season, a development once deemed so unlikely that the Daily Express F1 correspondent Bob McKenzie swore to run around McLaren's factory naked if it ever came to fruition. McKenzie has form on this subject. In 2004 a similar punt saw him sprint before of a crowd of 100,000, wearing nothing but a Scottish sporran. Watch out!

Tamara tries life in the other lane

Not for Tamara Ecclestone the indolent life of a millionairess-in-waiting. The glossy daughter of F1 boss Bernie – whose steps on the career ladder have thus far been limited to a slot hosting Sky Sports' racing coverage and a stint as the face of sloaney jewellery makers Moussaieff – assures us she is plotting a career of her own.

"I've been going to auditions in Los Angeles, actually," she told Pandora at Kelly Hoppen's party in aid of the Prince's Rainforest Foundation. "I love Formula One, but I don't want to just do that. I want to broaden my presenting into fashion, travel and other girly areas." Whatever will her father say?

Sam stretches her new beau

Want to date one of the art world's leading lights? Time to get acquainted with your spiritual side. Sam Taylor-Wood has wasted no time in introducing her new, young fiancé, Aaron Johnson, to the delights of yoga. She was seen arranging a private lesson for the couple at north London's trendy Alchemy studio. "She had to explain to the tutor that Aaron was very new to it all," says our mole. Johnson, of course, is only 19. Plenty of time for him to learn the ropes, then.

Ronnie fills in for Bruce (again)

Ronnie Corbett surprised Strictly viewers with his appearance on Saturday's programme, in lieu of the flu-struck Bruce Forsyth. Last night Corbett filled Brucie's shoes again, at the Norwood Annual Dinner. Forsyth was due to host the event but was still recovering so Corbett offered to help. "It was very gallant," remarks our source.

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