Multi-millionaire Zac Goldsmith is keen to demonstrate he's a regular Joe just like the rest of us. His recently launched travel manifesto is littered with pictures of him using trains, trams and tubes – although no pictures of him on a bus, presumably because that’s Sadiq Khan’s territory.
We decided to replicate Zac’s day out to see how long it would take to get around town.
First stop – Northern line. Time: 3.37pm
We get on the Northern line at Stockwell, heading north. Zac's expression is slightly grimaced. Perhaps he's never been on the 'misery line' before? Perhaps he's not in the swing of it all yet? Who knows. We're having a great old time anyhow.
Second stop – Waterloo station concourse. Time: 3.54pm
Look at his face — this is much more like it, Zac. It seems like he's enjoying himself now. We stop by on the upper level of Waterloo's concourse to grab a bite to eat after posing for a picture. Because we don't want the picture to look too similar to all the rest, we follow Zac's lead and take off our coat.
Third stop – Waterloo station, platform 3. Time: 4.11pm
After plumbing for a Boots meal deal (unfortunately, Londonist doesn't have Zac's budget for anything more substantial), we head to platform 3 to pose in front of train — this time with the coat back on. Here we can almost hear the words of Zac's photographer: "Stand as if you're walking and mid-stride". This results in a rather odd pose which resembles a Thunderbirds puppet.
Fourth stop – Southwest train to Wimbledon. Time: 4.13pm
We head south on the Southwest train we've just posed in front of to get to travel to Wimbledon, just five stops away. Whilst en-route, we take the opportunity to have a quick snap standing in the carriage. We're so close to other commuters, we can almost smell them.
Fifth stop – Tram in Wimbledon station. Time: 4.40pm
We're not quite sure where Zac went to pose for his photo — even Londonist, with our encyclopaedic knowledge of this fair city couldn't quite place it, so we head to the Croydon Tram Link at Wimbledon station. Off comes the coat, the tie gets binned and we pop on our 'man of the people' jumper whilst the photographer shouts "pretend you come here all the time, that's it... beautiful."
Sixth stop – Circle line. Time: 4.44pm
Finally, we get on the Circle line for the climax of our day out. We pop our coat back on to celebrate. Unfortunately, our tube looks more sparsely populated than Zac's, but then are his real passengers? Could this be a carriage full of stooges in a North Korean-esque photo opportunity? Suspiciously, nobody seems to have noticed the potential Mayor of London is having a camera shoved in his face next to where they're sitting. Or are they just engrossed in their smart phones? We'll leave that one for you to decide.
Zac's day out in numbers:
- Total modes of transport: 6
- Total time spent: 1 hour 7 minutes
- Costume changes: 4
Judging by the above numbers, Zac's day out was quite successful. But if he's going to start using public transport more, he could do with brushing up a bit on his knowledge.
In a recent interview with the BBC's assistant political editor, Norman Smith, he failed to identify which station came after Tottenham Court Road going eastbound on the Central line.
Something that you, the discerning Londonist reader would no doubt have got in a heartbeat.