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Boris rows with BBC over Sherlock and calls Nick Clegg a condom

All in a day's work: Rowing with the BBC and calling Nick Clegg a condom (Scott Heavey/Getty Images) All in a day's work: Rowing with the BBC and calling Nick Clegg a condom (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
8:23 AM

The BBC says a description of an “incoherent” Mayor of London with “hair-brained” schemes which featured in an episode of Sherlock was not an attack on Boris Johnson.

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Eagle-eyed viewers would have seen the comments in a spoof newspaper story which flashed up briefly on screen during Sunday’s edition of the BBC1 show.

And Mr Johnson said it was up to the BBC if it wanted to use licence fee cash to attack Conservative politicians, which he claimed was the corporation’s “raison d’etre”.

Viewers who paused the programme could have read the mock article which flashed briefly on screen and revolved around the “current Mayor of London” turning the Thames into an express waterway to beat congestion.

It said: “The hair-brained scheme involved chartering disused boats, paying for their conversion into a version of London’s famous bus, the Routemaster, but this plan has already foundered after pilot schemes revealed that customers were walking straight off the boat and into the icy currents of the Thames.

“When asked to explain how the system might move forward, or even be profitable, or perhaps even to explain the point, the Mayor, who was at a self-promotion event, was found to be dithering, incoherent, and self-interested.”

Mr Johnson - who was not named in the story - was reported to have responded to the wording by saying: “It is elementary my dear Watson, I deduce a simple case of BBC bias.”

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “Sherlock is a fictional drama series. Both the newspaper and Mayor featured in the episode were entirely fictional and were not named or politically affiliated.”

Boris Johnson appeared to compare Nick Clegg to a condom yesterday morning in his latest attack on the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Mayor of London said the Liberal Democrat leader was a “prophylactic protection device” to shield Prime Minister David Cameron when he makes decisions that “cheese” people off.

The two men, who both take part in regular phone-in shows on LBC 97.3 have repeatedly taken potshots at one another in the past, with Mr Clegg branding the mayor a “slacker” for only hosting a monthly call-in on the station while Mr Johnson claimed the DPM was an “idle bum”.

Johnson told radio station LBC 97.3: “I don’t want to get into some sort of endless ding dong with poor old Cleggers.

“He’s there to fulfil a very important ceremonial function as David Cameron’s lapdog come prophylactic protection device for all the difficult things that David Cameron has to do that cheese off the rest of the....”

Presenter Nick Ferrari interjected saying he had “never heard it called that before” prompting the Mayor to reply “you know what I mean”.

Mr Ferrari said: “Actually, I don’t know what you mean and I don’t think I want to hear what you mean in that particular..”

Mr Johnson said: “He’s a kind of shield, he’s a lapdog who has been skinned and turned into a shield to protect.”

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