The bread and butter politics of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson
Chicken and mayo. That was my then lunchtime choice. Usually on white bread. Sometimes brown. Iâ€™d pop over to the sandwich bar opposite ITN in Grays Inn Road and it became something of a ritual.
All sorts of people frequented that little shop. Some youâ€™d know. Some you wouldnâ€™t.
One day I arrived at the door alongside a chap who frankly looked like Billy Bunter. A mop of uncombed hair. Scruffy jacket. And a vocabulary to match.
â€œCrickey,â€ he said. â€œYouâ€™re more famous than me. Youâ€™d better go in first.â€ This was my first encounter with our new Prime Minister.
At the time Boris Johnson worked around the corner and I was a regular national television face.
â€œThatâ€™s very good of you,â€ I probably said. Canâ€™t remember my exact words. And we tumbled in together. Boris with hands pressed deep into his pockets. Me with no jacket but a tell-tale fancy tie with a big knot. Well, it was the 1990â€™s.
We exchanged pleasantries. Nothing grand. Certainly nothing in Greek or Latin. Just banter. He had a look in his eye as if searching for another joke.
This episode was repeated many times. I knew who he was of course. Not for one moment though did I think he knew who I was. Just a familiar face heâ€™d seen on the box.
Our new Prime Minister doesnâ€™t appear to have changed much in the intervening years. Not even sure heâ€™s changed that jacket to be honest. But he was and is a character that somehow grabbed centre stage despite his â€œafter youâ€ behaviour.
Throughout my career, Iâ€™ve interviewed prime ministers, rock stars, film stars, sports stars. Never have I seen any of them in a sandwich shop or swapped idle chit-chat with them.
But thatâ€™s Prime Minister Johnson for you. Heâ€™s different. A one-off. A compelling character whether or not you approve of his politics or his private life or his governmental record.
The foreseeable future should be â€¦â€¦â€¦interesting.