Mayor on Wire: Boris Johnson’s London Hangup Is Comedy Gold

After Mayor Boris Johnson got stuck on a zip wire, Twitter has been inundated with images of him superimposed onto various London landmarks

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Lee Medcalf / AP

This mobile phone photo provided by Lee Medcalf shows Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, dangling in midair above the crowds at an open-air viewing site at east London's Victoria Park, on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.

On the day Britain finally started winning gold medals at the London Olympics, the city’s mayor hit comedy gold, albeit unintentionally.

Johnson was the first person to take a turn on a zip wire above Victoria Park, London, where the Games are being shown on large screens, when he lost momentum. The mayor, who is considered a serious contender to take over from British Prime Minister David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party, was left dangling somewhat gracelessly for five minutes.

Wearing a hard hat, and two Union Jack flags in hand, Johnson made light of the situation. He told onlookers: “This is great fun but it needs to go faster,”  and later asked them to “Get me a rope, get me a ladder.”

Within minutes, his mishap went viral. Videos of the mayor in suspension quickly circulated and Twitter has been inundated with images of him superimposed onto various London landmarks, including dangling from one of the hands of  Big Ben, from an Olympic ring on Tower Bridge, and at the Olympic Ceremony, suspended in space.

He’s also gained a firm fan in CNN host Piers Morgan, who tweeted: “Boris Johnson’s got London in terrific order for the  #Olympics and he’s making us all laugh. I think it’s time he was Prime Minister.”

Meanwhile, his journalist sister Rachel joked on Twitter that “he has won gold in the flying coxless wedgie.”

A spokesman for Johnson has since commented: “The Mayor has survived his first zip-wire experience relatively unscathed. Clearly the judges will rightly be marking him down for artistic impression and it is unlikely he’ll be taking any gold medals home today. But he remains unbowed.”