Inside Lines: Why Boris and his didgeridoo could put fun into the Games

Boris Johnson promises to be around for the 2012 Olympics opening "even if the Labour Government isn't". Politics apart, let's hope he's right. If his Beijing capering is anything to go by, the London mayor will bring a much-needed touch of fun to an event which threatens to take itself far too seriously. Bojo might even entertain us on the didgeridoo, an instrument he clearly took a fancy to when hosting overseas musicians last week. Shortly afterwards he was entertaining, literally, a small cluster of Olympics journos, telling us how, booted and suited, he raced his PR director down the 100 metres of the Bird's Nest track during an idle moment at rehearsals for the closing ceremony. Not for the first time were Chinese eyebrows lifted. He was still chuckling too, following his meeting to discuss Olympic legacy with a Chinese delegation which included the minister for construction, one Chen Gang.

Axed Edwards in demand

One consolation for the axed GB boxing coach Terry Edwards is that he is unlikely to be inactive for long. The promoter Frank Warren, who described his treatment as "disgusting", is meeting him to discuss a possible role in Warren's Sports Network set-up, who have signed three top Olympians, and the former sports minister Kate Hoey, now London's sports commissioner, wants Edwards' help with a youth- development boxing project. "What the hell is going on in amateur boxing?" she asks, while the shadow sports minister, Hugh Robertson, says the sport's governance has been "a cause for concern", adding: "It needs to sort out its problems as a matterof urgency."

Naz couldn't but Khan can

Those of us who witnessed Marco Antonio Barrera make Naseem Hamed look a mug eight years ago will cross our fingers that age has caught up with the Mexican legend, who fights Amir Khan in Manchester on 14 March. Barrera was 35 yesterday (a birthday he shares with Muhammad Ali, 67) but William Hill still make him 2-1 on to beat Khan at the MEN Arena where Amir was upended by Breidis Prescott in November. This is an inspired piece of matchmaking, and a brave gamble by Khan, who says he'll be on the blower to Naz asking for tips. One will be to prepare more thoroughly than the cocky Hamed did. Barrera may be slightly off the boil but he is still capable of scalding.

Catching them Justin time

There was a curious choice for the starter of the Pensacola Kids Marathon in Florida last weekend. It was Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100 metres champion who was banned in 2006 for four years for taking drugs. He told the runners: "It feels good to know you young athletes are dedicated to what you believe in." Unlike the starter, it would seem.

Brits on top Down Under

Young Brits have again gone prospecting for gold in Australia, unearthing a huge number of nuggets for 2012 in the Youth Olympic Festival. Among them is the gymnast Sam Oldham, 15, whom we tipped as a future star last week. He won gold with the male artistic team and, carrying a foot injury, silver on the pommel horse. As of yesterday Britain had accrued 46 medals, 18 gold. No wonder the Aussies were reluctant to invite us, fearing it might prove an uncomfortable pointer for 2012.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Sport
footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

£55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

English Teacher (Bristol and South Gloucestershire)

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: English teachers for day to day cover,...

Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Year 6 Teacher RequiredThis teaching...

SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's Stortford / Stansted

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SharePoint Administrator - Bishop's ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week