There’s no story or observation here. I just need to mark and honour out loud the passing of Ralph Vicinanza, whose unexpected death on Sunday was announced late yesterday. A giant in the publishing industry, and yet the most gentle and intelligent human being you could hope to meet: friend, mentor, an extraordinary person in every way, a man whose passing leaves a terrible hole in the world.

Ralph was my agent for the last fifteen years, but also far more than that: he was a core part of the lives of my wife and I: a supportive, thoughtful, beaming spirit – both loving and loveable – whose warmth and kindness seemed to know no bounds.

I can’t believe he’s gone. He always was, and always will be, Uncle Ralph to us. Our thoughts go out to Terrance, and all the others he leaves behind.