A sort of homecoming: Boris Johnson hits NYC
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Friday 08 June 2012
Boris Johnson is breaking America. Or at least, he's promoting his new book there: Johnson's Life of London was published in the US last week, and on Wednesday evening the Mayor of London appeared as a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman.
During his interview, Johnson told the chatshow host that he regretted his vow not to run for a third mayoral term; described the capital's bike-hire system as "a Communist scheme"; claimed Londoners were less overweight than New Yorkers; and extolled the virtues of the reborn Routemaster bus – all to the charmed delight of the studio audience.
Letterman got the night's biggest laugh when he asked the Mayor – who was born in New York – how long he'd been "cutting [his] own hair". Americans are just becoming accustomed to Johnson, so they're still cracking the jokes about his hair and bumbling persona that once pursued him in Britain, before it became apparent that beneath the blonde thatch was a formidable, ferociously ambitious political operator. In a brief exchange with The New York Times, Johnson was again asked about hair and buses.
Like his book, Johnson's US tour can reasonably be explained as a publicity exercise on behalf of London. The trip does, however, have the added benefit of introducing the mayor to America, on the off chance that he might someday return as Prime Minister. Both Letterman and the New York Times asked about his leadership prospects, and Johnson gave each of them a variation on his customary response: that he had more chance of being "reincarnated as an olive", "decapitated by a frisbee" or "blinded by a champagne cork". Given the circles he moves in, of course, the latter circumstance is not entirely statistically implausible.
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 4 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
- 5 Kate Moss on the naked Calvin Klein shoot and the obsession that ended her relationship
Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
Archaeologists discover 2,400-year-old gold bongs in Russia
Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after British tourists complain of 'awkward' holidays
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...
£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...