Indeed, I was genuinely sad to see the news on the BBC a few minutes ago. He always came across as one of lifes gentlemen. His comments on the Germans recently also made me smile. He was not one to forgive and forget.
I once saw him speak in public... After the introduction he appeared in a double breasted suit that looked a bit like a tent, leaned with his elbow on the front of the bench and then ,without notes, kept us all truly enthralled for an hour. He finished his lecture exactly on time as well... A real master who will be sadly missed.
Met him years ago when I was asked by the local amatuer astronomy club to repair a telescope he'd donated to them.
Mad as a box of frogs but a real classic and fascinating British eccentric. The world will be a little deminished with his passing.