It was Sunday, Monday, HAPPY DAYS for one editor at BBC News.
James Landale, BBC’s Deputy Political Editor, was doing a man-on-the-street thing about the expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport when a man carrying shopping bags scurried by. “Are you a voter?” Landale asked.
“I’m not. I’m an American,” replied HENRY WINKLER.
Yes, it was The Fonz himself, just having a jolly good time in merry ol’ England. The best part is that the convo didn’t end there. Winkler stuck around for nearly a minute to shoot the shit with Landale and ask some thoughtful questions about the Heathrow expansion.
What a mensch. “He’s very good.”
Landale later took to the BBC News website to write about the experience in a piece called “How I ended up quizzing the Fonz about Heathrow.”
Anyway, there I was, getting into my stride when suddenly a middle aged man hove in to view, scarf round his neck, shopping bags to hand.
He looked a promising interviewee so I lunged forward, began my spiel and immediately realised I was addressing no less a figure than the Fonz.
Instantly I became a gabbling, star-struck idiot, asking if he had a vote here (doh! he’s an American actor), how his pantomime was going and even if he had a view on Heathrow (what was I thinking?).
He also wants you to know that this was NOT PLANNED AT ALL (because that’s what everyone was thinking, right?)
For the record, it was not a set-up, it was a totally random meeting; I did know he was Henry Winkler but it took a moment to sink in; and yes, as a resident of Richmond – albeit a temporary one – he has just as much a right to an opinion as anyone.
The only regret was my last question. I asked if he was relaxed about the plans. When of course I should have asked if he was cool about them. Perhaps while giving an interrogatory thumbs up.
England is so cute.