BBC interviews random man on the street who turns out to be the Fonz

Also known to later generations as Barry Zuckerkorn from "Arrested Development"

By Prachi Gupta

Published December 18, 2013 9:47PM (EST)

During a recent "vox populi" segment, in which the BBC interviews random people on the streets of London to get their take on current affairs, BBC deputy political editor James Landale caught a guy who is a bit more well-known than the average joe-- "Happy Days" and "Arrested Development" actor Henry Winkler.

Landale was just going about his job, which "involves me standing on street corners with a producer and cameraman, sticking a microphone under people's noses and persuading them to express an opinion in a brief coherent way," he wrote on the BBC's Web site, which features the full interview. "It is not as easy a task as you might imagine."

Landale then encountered "a middle aged man" with a "scarf round his neck, shopping bags to hand" -- the perfect person for such a segment. "Hello, can I ask you a question?" he began, lunging into the man's face. "Are you a voter?"

But when Landale realized he was talking to the Fonz, "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?)."

Nevertheless, Landale didn't come across as fawning, and Winkler was gracious and offered his opinion on London's airport (he's a general fan, saying, ""Heathrow is a lovely place.")

"For the record, it was not a set-up, it was a totally random meeting," clarified Landale in his post.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Bbc England Heathrow Airport Henry Winkler Journalism London The Fonz Video