It's an unusually hot, sunny day in London and British actor, Tom Walker, aka spoof TV reporter Jonathan Pie, is sitting in an obscure London cafe waiting to be interviewed while I'm stuck in a traffic jam on a bus that's going nowhere, fast.
As the appointed time comes and goes, his splenetic, red-faced rants-to-camera come to mind and by the time I race in, panting, I'm sure the next one will be directed at me.
The man sipping a coffee, laptop open, chocolate muffin half-eaten is unshaven, hair awry, wears an old T-shirt with baggy shorts and dismisses my apology with a tranquil, friendly smile.
This is not the motormouth, suit-and-tie TV reporter who "sticks the thermometer up the bum of contemporary politics" I'd half expected.
"People who think Pie is real the first time they see him," he says, "just means that I've done my job as an actor. What I find really weird is people who get angry or upset when he says something they don't agree with … Pie is a made-up character, I make him say whatever I want. He is fictional, he is not real.
"And sometimes I deliberately make him contrarian or make him wrong. And if you disagree with him, don't worry about it."
Walker, who turns 40 this year, studied drama at Manchester Metropolitan University. Jonathan Pie, he says, was born of professional desperation: he'd been out of work so often as an actor that he came close to throwing it all in.
Then, he came across a clip of BBC TV stalwart Peter Sissons, caught watching the game show The Weakest Link when he thought he was off air for the sport and weather.
"I'm an accidental political satirist," Walker says, "because for me originally, it was really all about the character. You can see Sisson thinks he's off air, he's sort of slumped at his desk and then you hear him say, 'Christ! [game-show host] Anne Robinson even has new tits'."
"I loved this idea. We all have different personas: there's the 'first date persona', 'lunch with mum persona', 'the job interview persona'. Being a newsreader is just a heightened version of that: they too have a formal way of behaving and then as soon as they cut to an ad break, they fart like the rest of us and say 'better out than in'."
Walker experimented with a fictional TV reporter character waiting to cross live-to-air – or talking to his studio producer after a live cross – but these early clips didn't take off so he reluctantly abandoned his baby.
Then, against all odds, Jeremy Corbyn won the British Labour leadership and Walker, a self-professed, old school, capital-S Socialist was bilious with fury over the British media's hostile treatment of Corbyn.
He decided he wanted to record a personal rant but felt it might be "vulgar just to shout into YouTube".
Instead, he revived his reporter-gone-rogue character and the rest, as they say in showbiz, is history.
"Someone found my clip and shared it on Facebook where it emerged from the corners of the internet and then it went viral. I remember the moment … " he says almost sheepishly. "I was in Birmingham, travelling to Taunton for a family christening and I got a phone call from my cousin who said 'You know that video of yours, it has been viewed 1 million times'.
"On the day of the christening itself, I was out in the middle of a field with my phone, trying to get a signal refreshing my phone over and over. I'm sure people thought I was terribly rude but by then it had gone up to 2.5 million … to be fair, that day, I thought I had maybe a fortnight to keep on at it. Three years later I'm still doing it, it's a career."
Pie has amassed nearly 1.2 million Facebook followers, his now infamous Trump diatribe (picked up by Breitbart as if it were real), has been viewed 150 million times and his weekly YouTube video regularly achieves views in the high hundreds of thousands.
His live shows, launched in a tiny studio space in Leicester Square in London two years ago now regularly sell-out Britian's 3000-plus seat venues. This month, he is taking Pie on an Australia tour.
Australia, says Walker, is significant to Pie because it is the place he first collaborated with writing partner Andrew Doyle. They were both visiting Sydney and interminable rain meant they ended up stuck in a cafe for days talking shop. The work they did together clicked and now they're colleagues.
His sister, Alex, has lived in Sydney for several years and his mum has just moved there so Walker jumped at the chance to take Pie Down Under.
"I suppose you can say my family live in Australia now," he says.
"I remember when I was out there visiting once and there had been some natural disaster in the world and thousands of people died and on the TV news it was third down in the pecking order, below a woman celebrating 30 years providing teas for her local cricket team. On the national news!
"I loved it, brilliant! You are quite insular, this massive island full of westerners in the middle of nowhere …"
Seeing Pie live is an eye-opening and very different experience from watching his video polemics. Walker's classical drama training and writing skills shine and he is balletic in his use and authoritative possession of the stage.
An hour and a half performing alone, he says is daunting but he is rarely nervous and loves the work.
Politics is, of course, front and centre of the show but Pie spreads his anger across the spectrum and the left as much bile-infused invective as the right.
"I am as frustrated with the left as Pie is. This obsession with identity politics … the left is obsessed with diversity – as long as it is not diversity of opinion. Pie is proper left. He hates Tony Blair more than Theresa May …"
The Aussie show, he says, will still contain plenty of British and European politics but the local content is being written "as we speak", he says poking his laptop back to life.
"Tell me, what is the Aussie equivalent of The Daily Mail? And The Guardian? Yeah, I know, there isn't much time but I'm a fast learner …"
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