Surprised and sad to hear the actor Pete Postlethwaite died on Sunday aged 64 after “a long battle with cancer”. No one has said what sort. He had testicular cancer diagnosed in 1990 but was treated (surgically) for that so one has to assume there were metastases that developed later. Probably in the lung. As if that matters.

I admit to being pretty uncommitted where most actors are concerned, but he was in a short list where seeing his name on the cast made me more likely to watch. It may not be ‘King Lear’ in gravitas, but I thought he made the most compelling psychopath ever as “Sweet William” in Sharpe.

Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him much
That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.

(King Lear)