Douglas Adams has died suddenly of a heart attack, aged 49.
I don’t generally get upset when the death of a celebrity is announced—after all, it’s not like I know them or anything. Sure, in some abstract sense I’m sad, but I don’t really feel like I’ve lost a friend. But this is different. I’ve spent so much time immersed in the various Adams worlds—from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Starship Titanic—that I feel like I know him.
The last time I was this upset by the death of someone famous was when Willie Rushton died. I doubt anyone in the US has heard of him, but he was well known in the UK. He was a cartoonist, satirist, author, children’s TV presenter, and regular guest on “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” on Radio 4. To me, he felt like an uncle. After all, he’d read stories to me when I was a kid.