Dermot O'Leary is mourning the death of a "cherished" friend. Taking to Instagram on Tuesday evening, the This Morning star revealed his grief to fans in a touching post dedicated to Eric Carter.
Alongside a series of photos - including one showing the two men together - Dermot wrote: "Very sad to hear of the passing of this wonderful man. Eric Carter, WW2 Pilot.
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"To be honest, sad isn't really the right word," he continued. "Passing away in your sleep at 101, with your body and mind in fairly decent shape isn't a bad way to check out. I'm just grateful to have passed him along the way.
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"A chance but memorable meeting in 2013 ended up leading to a cherished friendship, and I had the privilege of penning the foreword to his brilliant book. His telling of the story of the defence of Murmansk was honest and stark.
Dermot has paid a touching tribute to his "cherished" friend, Eric Carter
"A funny, charming, kind man, with a glint of mischief never far away. Thank you Eric, honoured to have spent time in your company."
Dermot, 48, completed his dedication by sharing the poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, a World War II Anglo-American Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot who was killed in an accidental mid-air collision over England in 1941.
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It reads: "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
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