John McCririck departed this life earlier today - at the age of 79.
For the last few decades, if you went anywhere in Britain and got into a conversation about horse racing with people who knew and cared next door to nothing about the sport, you could bet your bottom dollar there'd be two names they would know: Frankie Dettori and John McCririck.
He was the face of Channel 4 Racing for many years before he was sacked in 2012. Why was he sacked? Essentially, it was because he was non-PC in a world where survival in every social and professional situation depends upon one's being PC.
The only woman on Channel 4's regular team of racing presenters was Tanya Stevenson. John invariably referred to her as "the female" when doing his bits to camera. You can't get away with that in this modern day and age but the fact is that Tanya didn't mind at all. It wasn't intended to be disparaging: it was just John being John. The only people that objected to that turn of phrase were those who were offended on Tanya's behalf - and those people get up every morning with the sole purpose of spending their day being offended on other people's behalf.
When John left the Channel 4 team, I discussed his passing with Tanya and she seemed as sad as I was to see him go. Good for her, I say!
RIP John - you were a one-off and there will most certainly never ever be another.