I’m sorry to say that the great British novelist and television writer David Nobbs died a few days ago.

As many of you will know, David was one of my favourite writers. I first read his novel The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin in the mid-1970s, shortly after the TV series of the same name had started airing on BBC 1. It had the most profound effect on me. It’s no exaggeration to say that everything I try to do in my own writing - the combination of comedy and melancholy, of social commentary and farce - can be traced back to my encounter with this one novel. In a just world, it would now be published as a modern classic, and Reginald Perrin would be recognised as the British equivalent of Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, or Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe.

I was lucky enough to become friends with David and even luckier to have him adapt one of my own novels, What a Carve Up!, for radio - which he did brilliantly. We made several appearances at festivals together and these pictures are a memento from a trip we made to Barcelona last year...