“Excuse me,” said the elderly gentleman. “Are you the chap from ConservativeHome?”
That happened yesterday afternoon on the train back to Tonbridge. “Er, no. I’m Iain Dale,” I said. Flattering, though it is, I am not Tim Montgomerie! “Ah yes, I see you on Sky News in the evening,” he then said. Not any more he doesn’t.
To be honest, I have never been very good in responding to public recognition. I just don’t know what to say. I’m not saying it happens every day, but it is happening more often, and bizarrely in taxis. In taxis I often get recognised by my voice.Talk about weird. “Love your programme, mate,” is what usually follows. I mutter some thanks and say ‘how kind’ or words to that effect, and then become completely tongue-tied. Very unusual for me.
Someone tweeted me earlier to say they had seen me having lunch with my LBC colleague and the editor and news editor of THIS MORNING at the Oxo Tower.
“Just seen you at the oxo tower for lunch with @PetrieHoskenLBC but was too shy to say hello. I think you’re both great.”
I tweeted back and quite a conversation the ensued. Turns out he is a Spurs supporter. That’s what I love about Twitter. It brings complete strangers together to talk about common interests. The only odd things about getting tweets like this is that it reminds you that whatever you do, someone could be watching. Some years ago I was on a train and David Starkey was sitting opposite. I tweeted or blogged about it at the time and asked people if they thought I should say hello to him. I didn’t in the end as I thought it was rude to disturb him. Then someone tweeted back to say they had been sitting opposite me on a train a few weeks earlier and wondered exactly the same thing. I am not sure I like the idea of always having to watch what I do or where I am in case someone recognises me, but I guess it comes with the territory to an extent.