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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