Street Portrait (for and of Johnnie Walker), 2013

I’d just stepped onto Great Queen Street, London, UK, when I spotted this incredibly dapper man on the opposite pavement. To be fair it was his hat that got my interest. Anyway, I legged it across the road and asked if I could take his portrait. And he said yes, and was really nice about the fact that I couldn’t seem to stop taking shots. As I always do, I gave him a business card and asked his name. He told me and I wrote it on my hand, as I often do, and we said our goodbyes. It was an hour before it dawned on me who I had just photographed.

Johnnie Walker is a legendary radio DJ, who I listened to for years when he presented the drive time slot on Radio 2 and listen to now on his Sounds of the Seventies show. Johnnie was one of the original pirate radio DJs, first with Swinging Radio England and then with Radio Caroline. In 1969, he joined Radio 1 and stayed there until he fell out with management over the content of his show, and because (according to Wikipedia) he described the Bay City Rollers as “musical garbage”. Like I said, Legend. I hope he did it on air.

I could kick myself for not recognising him.

Anyway, thanks very much for letting me take your portrait, Johnnie! Hope you like it.