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Ayyy, England: The Fonz Somehow Finds Himself On BBC News

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Marisa Kabas

By Marisa Kabas on December 19, 2013

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.”

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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.

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