Les Dawson was a Northern lad who climbed out of the slums thanks to an uncommonly brilliant mind. Married twice in real life, he had a third wife in his comic world - a fictional ogre built from spare parts left by fleeing Nazis at the end of World War II - and an equally frightening mother-in-law.
He was down to earth, yet given to eloquent, absurd flights of fancy.
He was endlessly generous with his time, but slow to buy a round of drinks.
He was a mass of contradictions. In short, he was human, he was genuine, and that's why audiences loved him.