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Under The Ground 14: John Cole

May 24, 2011

It should be that you see lots of famous people on the tube. There are plenty of people who travel by tube, and surely enough of them are famous. But you don’t. Because famous people can afford to travel more slowly. I’ve seen Jeremy Bowen, Evan Davies (on an escalator, holding court to some bored acolyte), and best of all, John Cole. John Cole was my hero, and used to be Political Editor for the BBC. You’d see him standing outside the Houses of Parliament in his special herringbone overcoat, holding forth in his Ulsterman brogue about the issues of the day. And now he’s sitting opposite me, in a sparsely populated carriage, reading a book about politics. How appropriate. Do I talk to him or respect his privacy? Would he like to know about my admiration for his work? Would he appreciate my impression of him? “This is Jaaan Coooole, reporrrting from Westminstorrr. Now baaack to you in the studio Petorrrr.” Before I can decide he gets off.

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