I am too young to remember Dave Allen in his pomp, and though my folks always spoke of him with reverence, he had little impact on me growing up.
In fact, as a great fan of Eighties' 'alternative comedy' (such a stupid, meaningless term in hindsight – especially as it included Ben Elton) I probably thought of Allen as an old school hangover.
I hope millions my age and younger caught the Dave Allen programme on BBC2 this week. It turns out the man was an absolute one-off – only Peter Cook could have claimed an equally compelling combination of wisdom and wit, philosophical depth and unerringly funny jokes.
Allen was also an anti-establishment poker of sticks, a kind, attentive father, and suave and handsome to boot. He loved individualism and courage in people, and saw creativity and imagination where others might have just seen a freak. Ah, the love letters I would've written, had I been born years earlier!