Well, we can't very well let him go unmentioned. This is a good one from Melvyn Bragg:
"Life was encircled around that place in Turville and he was the monarch of that," Lord Bragg said. "We went to pay court to him and, to be honest, you went just to laugh and to hear the latest gossip and the latest book he'd read and 'what do you think of this and what do you think of that?' "There was a whiff of erudition and scandal always around John and it was completely seductive and he'll be badly, badly missed."
You can't replace people like that. He was unique.Tangentially, how certain actors have become their fictional characters. Could you imagine anyone except Leo McKern in the role of Rumpole? How about Joan Hickson as Miss Marple or David Suchet as Poirot, Basil Rathbone as Holmes or Fry and Laurie as Jeeves and Wooster?
Could you add some others?