A BBC reporter doing street interviews about the expansion of Heathrow Airport did not recognize The Fonz until it was too late to refrain from asking him about the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

James Landale, the Deputy Political Editor for the BBC, was going about his business, conducting inane man-on-the-street interviews, when he stopped an unsuspecting passer-by who turned out to be none other than Henry Winkler.

Winkler, best known for playing The Fonz on Happy Days (or Barry Zuckerkorn on Arrested Development, to a different crowd), has been staying in southwest London while performing in a pantomime, a musical/comedy show that’s common in the UK around Christmastime.

So Landale asked Winkler, a temporary resident of the area during the show’s run, what he though about plans to expand the nearby airport. “Richmond is a lovely place, I watch the planes go every day, I hear nothing,” Winkler gamely replied.

Landale writes of the encounter, adding that he did recognize Winkler but it “took a moment to sink in: ‘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?).

“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,” he writes.


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