Although they saw less of one another in the last few years before Walters' death, John remained terribly fond of him. They had a closeness that was quite touching to observe. John frequently characterised their relationship as being like that of a man and his dog, but with each plainly believing the other to be the dog. Walters came up with his own analogy, likening John to Eeyore from A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories. 'Everybody's having honey while he's in some damp corner of a field, alone and ignored, with nothing but thistles,' noted Walters. 'If I call to remind him that he has a programme on Bank Holiday, it's: "Everybody gets a holiday but me." If I say he's got the day off to make way for some sort of Radio 1 special, it's: "They're trying to get rid of me." Either way it's thistles and I suspect he finds them rather reassuring.'