I am so sad to hear of the death of Sheridan Morley at the ridiculously young age of 65. He passed quietly in his sleep, according to reports.
There's much I could write about him but I think I'll save it for another time. He was unquestionably one of our best old-school theatre critics - I was personally sorry that he became the butt of so many jokes in his later years: his tendency to fall asleep once the curtain rose being one reason. He'd never really got over his dismissal from Punch.
Most people didn't know that he was diabetic, and I don't think he controlled the condition very well. High blood sugar can be soporific - along with much that passes for West End theatre. When he should have focused more on his health he worked obsessively, but the reviewing gigs began to dry up as he also battled with depression.
The imbecile Boris Johnson replaced him at the Spectator with the utterly inept Toby Young. Morley wrote to Johnson: "My objection is that I might as well have been replaced by Sooty and Sweep or the Beverley Sisters." Of late, he'd been dumped by the Express and replaced by the likes of Paul Callan and other know-nothings-in-particular.
His knowledge of musical theatre was nonpareil and I think he was still the trustee of the Noel Coward estate: he'd told me that his preferred successor would be the Coward biographer Philip Hoare.
Last I'd heard he planned to make a new life in New York. Farewell, Sherry, for now.