Just wanted to say a quick thank you to Sir Terry Pratchett, who sadly passed away yesterday. I bought a plain white hoodie once when I was 12ish and then bought some fabric pens and drew a picture of Discworld on it because I bloody loved Discworld. I also bought Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and genuinely made several of the recipes from it. I still know the entire script of Discworld Noir off by heart. He once told me my writing was "actually pretty good," and it meant the world to me. And I know how horrible it is when people cash in on the deaths of famous people to go "Guys, guys, guys, I really really liked him and here's some examples!" but you genuinely do spend years as youngsters shaping your lives around people who inspire you and when they go it's actually very shocking. There is honestly a very strong chance that I wouldn't be doing any of the stuff I do today were it not for his influence. When I was eight, I liked Spider-Man and Tintin and that was pretty much it in terms of what thoughts ran through my head. I didn't have much sense of what I wanted to do when I grew up. When I was nine I liked Discworld and I knew I was going to be a writer. Admittedly, there were many years of trying to be a novelist and a playwright and a poet and the like long before I settled into writing comedy, but he was responsible for setting me on the path that led me to today, so I owe him a lot.
Across the course of the first fifteen years of my life, there is not one single person who comes close to him in terms of helping me to understand how important imagination and storytelling is. He was smart because he'd lure you in while you were young by having lots of dragons and wizards to excite you, then by the time you'd been reading him for a few years you suddenly realised that, without your even realising it, he'd taught you loads about what it means to be a human being and to have a mind and to use it sensitively and creatively. What an amazing man.