Boris Johnson 'very nervous' about Pippa Middleton 'wiff-waff’ king challenge

London Mayor Boris Johnson showcases his table tennis skills
London Mayor Boris Johnson showcases his table tennis skills Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has said he is "very nervous" about playing Pippa Middleton at ping-pong after she challenged him to a match.

Yesterday, the London Mayor accepted Ms Middleton's offer after she said she would like to see whether the Middleton or Johnson family was the most competitive.

Writing in The Spectator, about her recent disappointment when an avalanche prevented her from completing a endurance ski challenge, the Duchess of Cambridge's younger sister said:

Back home in London after my Alpine challenges, I can now pursue less demanding hobbies in my spare time, such as ping-pong.

I’m informed that Boris Johnson, former editor of this magazine, wants to be ‘whiff-whaff’ world king even more than he wants to be Prime Minister.

I’m also told the Johnsons are almost as competitive as the Middletons.

So I’d like to lay down a challenge to the Mayor.

My only stipulation is that I can use my favourite Dunlop Blackstorm Nemesis bat, which I used when I played in the Milton Keynes U13 National Championships, don’t you know.

Bring it on, Boris.

Pippa Middleton taking part in the 90 km long cross country skiing competition Vasaloppet last year Credit: Sofi Sandberg/Scanpix/Press Association Images

In response, Mr Johnson said he was "game" in a tweet to the Spectator's editor Fraser Nelson:

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@frasernelson I’m game if she is. Happy for Pippa to join me on a visit and see the benefits of our £22m Sports Legacy Fund in action

Today, during a visit to Ealing studios, after announcing a £750,000 investment in London's TV and film industry, Mr Johnson said:

"I feel very nervous clearly because she seems to be very good. Well, she claims to be very good.

"But I'm very happy to do this because it's a chance to promote what we're doing with sports legacy London. If Pippa's kind offer can be used to promote that then I'm all for it."

He then seemed to confuse Ms Middleton with her sister the Duchess of Cambridge, and asked himself: "Pippa Middleton. She's a duchess is she? Or isn't she just a sister of a duchess?"

Boris Johnson taking part in a performance capture session at Ealing Studios
Boris Johnson taking part in a performance capture session at Ealing Studios Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

A table tennis club in Holborn has warned Mr Johnson to watch out for Pippa Middleton's skills at the table.

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@mayoroflondon @frasernelson @olifranklin But be warned Mr Johnson, Pippa has visited us before and has a devastating backhand smash...

The mayor famously told the story of the origins of table tennis -or 'wiff-waff' when he accepted the Olympic flag on behalf of London at the end of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The mayor said that ping pong was invented on the dinner tables of England and was known as 'wiff-waff'.

He will be hoping that he fares better than the Prime Minister did when he teamed up with US President Barack Obama two years ago.