The BBC's Arts editor yesterday (no, no, he's not dead, he's just talking about it):
I was not entirely awake on Monday 11 January 2016 when my phone rang around 6.55am. It was a producer at the Today programme.
Had I heard the news, he asked? M…maybe - I hedged. What news? David Bowie is dead, he said.
Oh no! Oh no for lots of reasons. Firstly, it was awful news. I loved David Bowie; couldn't imagine him dead. He was still making great records. He wasn't particularly old, and now - well - he was no longer here.
And then, oh no - I had to make sense of his incredible life, without much time to pause for thought. Six minutes later, I was on-air talking to Today's Nick Robinson.
I got home late from work that night, put Heroes on and thought… sad day, but thankfully rare - a once-a-year occasion at worst.
But three days later came another call from another producer. Had I heard the news…?
Oh dear. Alan Rickman was fine actor whom one generation fell for Truly, Madly, Deeply, in 1990, and a new generation got to know and eventually love as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.
By the time news emerged of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's death on 14 March, we had already paid our tributes to Pierre Boulez, Harper Lee and Sir George Martin. All titanic figures, but at least they had led full lives.
(more, more, many more...)
On 11 November at 1:15am - a call from a producer on the Today Programme. Had I heard the news?
"Who's dead?" I said.