Sunday 24 August is the most significant date for those running the London 2012 Olympics since the city won the right to host the Games in 2005.

London will then officially take over from Beijing as Olympic host city. The handover is part of the Beijing closing ceremony and London will be given an eight minute slot to show the world what it can expect in four years.

Today I was invited along with other media representatives to a venue just off the Mall to hear more about London's plans for 24 August.

There is to be a free party for 40,000 people in front of Buckingham Palace, but the bigger event will take place in Beijing, as there will be about a billion people watching on TV.

Not much has been given away. There will be three dance groups involved in London's segment, and nobody is denying reports that a London bus will enter the arena carrying David Beckham and X-Factor winner Leona Lewis.

We also know London's new mayor Boris Johnson will be there. He has the task of receiving the Olympic flag. It's at that moment that London becomes the Olympic city, so Johnson will be a key figure, and that perhaps is enough to worry some of those involved in the London Games.

Anybody who has seen Johnson on television knows he loves to perform. He can be hilarious. But how will he be received in IOC circles? He's not a man known for his diplomacy. Remember his "grovel tour" of Liverpool after an article in the Spectator accused the city of "wallowing in victim status".

The IOC do things rather differently. Anybody who speaks out of turn is not a welcome member of the club. Humour is not top of any list of attributes required to impress the IOC.

And today we saw how just hard it is going to be for those running the London Olympics to keep the Mayor "on message".

Johnson spoke alongside the Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell. Their working relationship is never going to be easy, as Jowell ran the campaign for Ken Livingstone against Johnson in the recent mayoral election. But London 2012 is meant to be above politics. So in theory there shouldn't be a problem.

Boris Johnson

Well, up steps Johnson to make his speech, Jowell watching, and this is his opening line.
"Don't worry I won't go on too long, unlike the Labour government....."

For the media, Johnson is going to gives us plenty to talk about over the coming years. You never know what he's going to say next, and that is a journalist's dream.

His advisors are going to have to try to teach him one sport at which those involved in the Olympic movement are expected to specialise - the art of walking on egg shells.

If not then the egg could end up on the face. But on behalf of all those who will report the build up to the London Olympics I can only mischievously hope that he doesn't learn too fast.

The speech that he gave today was far off message and I'm sure bore little relation to the one that he'd been briefed to deliver, but it made us laugh.

We can only dream that that could yet be one skill that rubs off on some of the IOC's frostier members.

James Pearce is sports news correspondent for the BBC News Channel. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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