There are points in a young man's life at which it seems all the forces of the cosmos vibrate in perfect harmony to produce an overwhelming flow of rightness; a guiding hand, if you will, supremely powerful in volition and perfect in its completeness. The front cover of the Radio Times of October 23rd, 1983, provided such a moment. It would take a modern Ruskin to paint in words the majesty of the image; a man, no longer in the first flush of youth, perhaps, but with a gaze of craggy, Homeric intensity, his pose startlingly virile in execution - caught mid-abseil, he's coiled, expectant, a hair-trigger set to release the strength of a thousand suns.
Over the subsequent weeks and years we grew to love this man add with love came understanding, an understanding of the human spirit, of Jersey, of irascible father-in-laws and of Triumph motor cars. Each episode was an essay in the vicissitudes of existence worthy of Montaigne, brought blinking to life by the language of Mr Dennis Spooner, the bard of Nether Wallop, unmatched in the English tradition. It's impossible, of course, to pick a firm favourite but I think perhaps the one where Bergerac had to drink orange juice with a man with a beard and the man with the beard had poisoned one of the glasses but Bergerac didn't know which one, was probably the best.