Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Aaay! It’s Happy Days again as Fonzie drops in

One of television’s coolest characters dropped in to Belfast yesterday to sign copies of his latest children’s book.

Henry Winkler — better known to many as The Fonz from hit show Happy Days — was guest of honour at a special event at Belfast’s Central Station.

Mr Winkler, who is a Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actor, director and producer, is the author of a series of 12 children’s novels entitled ‘Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Under-Achiever’.

The books are inspired by Henry’s own struggle throughout his education due to learning challenges with dyslexia.

His visit to Belfast coincided with the promotion of Translink NI Railways’ new Book Club which is aimed at getting passengers to read on trains.

And in true Fonzie style the pop culture icon took time to tell teatime commuters about the importance of learning their ‘Aaay, B, Cs’.

“The books are the story of my life, wherever my dyslexia bumped up against the world I put it in the book,” he said.

Among the hundreds of people who turned up for the book signing were diehard fans of Happy Days.

The hit show, which aired between 1974 and 1984, starred Henry as Arthur ‘The Fonz’ Fonzarelli. The Italian-American motor mechanic became the show’s biggest character during the show’s hugely successful run.

“He’s such a cool character,” said fan Myles Kavanagh, who travelled all the way from Kilkenny with his wife Mary for the event.

“The Fonz is just like Elvis Presley, he’s a legend. There’s just something about him, he has the charisma and charm. It’s well worth coming to Belfast for.”

East Belfast man Stuart Baxter also queued alongside other fans to meet the icon.

“The Fonz himself was a big Elvis fan, so there is a natural connection,” he said.

And Henry himself is still fond of the character that helped shoot him to stardom.

“I am such a lucky guy to have played that character,” he said.

“He was funny and it unlocked the entire world for me.”

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