Rather I'm talking about that meek, asthma-ridden Queen Vic bartender known as "Lofty," an original EastEnders castmember, whose alter-ego, actor Tom Watts, is one of Britain's leading football journalists.
Just my luck I chose to come to London in late May the day before Watt's one-man, fringe-theatre play, Fever Pitch, is closing.
The play was adapted from the book of the same name written by Nick Hornby, who chronicles his obsession with the Arsenal football team (which also counts among its ardent fans Susan "Michelle Fowler" Tully, Watts' erstwhile on-screen wife).
When Watt and I finally make contact on the telephone to set a time and place for our interview I realize that my timing couldn't have been worse since the Euro Cup competition was just starting and he was busy trying to firm up his press credentials for the opening ceremonies at Wembley Stadium. In addition to acting career, Watt writes a regular column on football for The Observer newspaper, and has authored two acclaimed books (The End and A Passion for the Game) about the sport, which he also covers for BBC Radio and a London cable television station.
We end up meeting in the lobby of late afternoon at the BBC's Broadcasting House where Watt was taping a session. A car is waiting for Watt, who apologizes for the abrupt introductions and invites me to take a ride with him to North London, near where he lives and grew up. It's not easy interviewing someone in a car, but I'm willing to give it a shot, considering I might not get any other chance.
It's apparent that EastEnders was nearly a lifetime ago for Watt considering he left the show nearly nine years ago. Yet the often-derided Lofty made Watt a recognizable face with the British public, which is not necessarily a bad thing for an actor.
I ask him if he's surprised that a publication like the Walford Gazette exists. Watt replies that he's not and remembers participating in a 1988 public television junket to America, in which he and several other castmembers met EastEnders' fervent New York fans at a downtown pub for a WNYC fundraiser.
WG: A sales clerk from Virgin's Megastore in London a couple of years ago told me you recorded a single of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
We're about to enjoy our drinks, when a motorist waiting at the traffic light on the corner interrupts, honks his horn and yells toward Watt, "YEAH, ARSENAL!!!" It's always nice being recognized, offers an embarrassed Watt.