Broadcasting veteran David Dimbleby says he has never seen the country “so divided” as it is over Brexit.
The BBC stalwart, who has hosted coverage of every general election since 1979, spoke to protesters outside the Supreme Court as justices were asked to rule that Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.
People lined the streets outside the court in the heart of Westminster, holding signs saying “defend democracy”, “reopen Parliament” and “they misled the Queen”.
They included someone dressed as the Incredible Hulk who was seen being “arrested” by another in a Robocop costume, just as proceedings began.
Mr Dimbleby said: “I lived through Suez, the miners’ strike, I lived through the poll tax debate and the trouble then. I lived through the Iraq demonstrations – I’ve never seen the country so divided as this.
“The next six weeks are clearly critical. I’ve never known the country so seriously riven by argument.”
He said the court case was “not just dramatic – it’s really, really important for all our futures”.
“The prime minister is accused of lying to the Queen – let’s put it bluntly – and getting parliament suspended without good reason, and that’s big potatoes, it has to be,” he continued.
In front of signs protesting against the prorogation of Parliament, the Robocop impersonator was pictured handcuffing the Hulk, who was wearing a distinctive blond wig, in an apparent reference to Mr Johnson’s recent superhero metaphor.
The Prime Minister told the Mail on Sunday that the UK will break out of the European Union’s “manacles” like the character of Bruce Banner, a scientist who transforms into the giant green Hulk when angered in the Marvel movies and comics.
The man beneath the Robocop costume, Charlie Rome, 35, said: “Robocop, he stood for the rule of law in a kind of dystopian future where there was corruption rife across the police and the corporations.
“I think it’s quite fitting at this quite worrying juncture in our parliamentary democracy.”
Referring to his outfit, Mr Rome added: “The irony of being in a tin foil hat is not lost on me!”
Another protester could be seen campaigning against Parliament being silenced by wearing a bandage across her mouth.
Meanwhile, a single pro-Brexit supporter shouting “we voted leave”, “we want our country back” and “democracy deniers” was ushered away from anti-Brexit protesters outside of the court.