Not Roger Moore! I coped so well with all the celebrity deaths last year but Roger Moore is a death too far.

In the midst of my grief, however, I was also irritated.

Perhaps Roger Moore was James Bond but to me he is, was, and always will be Simon Templar – The Saint.

I loved that TV series. In fact, the most exciting two moments of my life in the UK were when I bought a box set of all the early episodes of The Saint and then, a couple of years later, all the colour episodes.

The only person who has his face on more DVDs in my home is Elvis – and it’s a close contest.

He was so handsome. He was debonair when I didn’t even know what the word meant. If someone had given me a definition, though, I would have immediately replied: “Oh! Like Simon Templar!”

I don’t watch much TV nowadays. That doesn’t mean there are not some excellent programmes. I was as gripped as anybody by Line of Duty and I love programmes like Have I Got News For You and The Last Leg .

But TV is definitely not what it was.

For a start, women have a far more interesting place in modern fiction. They are no longer just eye candy for the hero – although in my early teen and even pre-teen years, I would have happily been eye candy for Roger Moore!

But setting my feminist issues and political correctness aside, our heroes were real heroes.

They were NOT real men. They sometimes gave way to human emotion such as worry or sadness but soon pulled themselves together.

They sometimes spoke about fear – “only fools never feel fear” – but that was only to reassure someone else and you knew that they had no such emotion.

It wasn’t just Simon Templar. I still record episodes of Bonanza and Rawhide which are shown in the early morning on one of the film channels.

I have a box set of Laramie and Riverboat and am looking out for a DVD of one of my other favourite cowboy series, Tenderfoot .

These stories were not true to life. Sometimes they showed something that normal people could identify with but usually their adventures took them far away from anything that was our norm. These programmes were sheer fantasy.

There were no anti-heroes and certainly no blurred line between good and evil.

Good was great, evil was horrendous and good would always triumph.

Nowadays television is far more likely to reflect real life with the hero who is neither really good nor really bad but, like the rest of us, struggling somewhere between.

It is hard for me to judge life in the 1950s and 60s when I was aged between 0 and 19.

I saw things through the inexperienced eyes of a child and my life was black and white – good and evil.

Now life is different for me and for the rest of the world.

As the horror in Manchester showed, the villains no longer wear black hats (if they were cowboys) or have shifty eyes and probably a scar (if they were criminals).

Now our enemies go among us as one of us and we don’t know who they are until we have an atrocity such as the Manchester arena.

I was going to say we need more Simon Templars. But, actually, during the Manchester horror, we saw many of them. They maybe weren’t as good looking, they didn’t have the same kind of eyebrows and probably weren’t wearing white hats. But they worked and helped, they showed compassion and they stood together.

They didn’t have fast cars, fast horses, gadgets or guns. They were just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They were heroes too.