Alan Coren, veteran journalist and humorist has died of cancer at the age of 69 - far too young.
I became a fan of his at a relatively young age when reading his columns in the Sunday Times; they were a highlight of the day. Later I took pleasure in watching his appearances in the revived Call My Bluff, a staple of my student days.
Considering my love of politically inspired humour it is surprising that I have only recently switched onto the News Quiz on BBC Radio 4. Coren was a regular panelist and had been since the show began; one of only a few journalists amongst a growing number of comedians. Not that he had any trouble holding his own in the comedy stakes.
I recall learning about his fight against a flesh-eating bug last year. I read this in his own column in the Times following his recovery and felt quite unnerved. It was not unusal for the man to take normally dis-heartening or tragic events in his own life and find the meat of a humorous column within.
Today I found the news of his passing both shocking and distressing. Although I never knew the man on a personal level I feel that I have lost a little piece of my enjoyment of life with his death.
My thoughts go out to his family and friends.