But journalism's loss was television's gain; and only a bigoted traditionalist would argue that 'Arfur' Daley was a comic creation inferior to Sam Weller or Bertie Wooster. I met Leon only once or twice - when he moved out of his mother's flat in, by then, a salubrious part of Hampstead, I moved in as a lodger - but his laconic wit delighted me. He recounted, hilariously, his meeting with a literary agent who had told him, 'Three things are doing very well now: Sex, Crime and Real Life.' Leon Griffiths, to his credit, chose real life.
How much of his character he owed to his remarkable mother is not for me to assess, but a book could be written about her and it would be more than a slim volume. I remember how the genteel woman who lived on the ground floor, apparently unaware of Sadie's political background, inquired: 'But why won't you put up a Conservative poster in your window, Mrs Griffiths?' To which the answer, conveyed in the richest of Glaswegian accents but mild in the circumstances, was: 'Because I don't want the buggers to get in]'