Simon and Kieren: the way they change each other.
He had a unique and driven and asymmetrical personality – he was very high-functioning, he had great empathy levels and was especially caring and had a great affinity with children. He had this unfettered ability to communicate with people and not feel that he was constrained by the usual platitudes, the status quo interaction demanded of a man who was so focused and slightly shy. He was seen as an odd fish, “an odd duck” as his mum called it. He was so capable, so fast-thinking, and so healthy. He was a very physical man – he ran marathons to near-Olympic standard and competed in cross-country events. He would run from his house in Wilmslow to work at Manchester University, a 20 kilometer round trip. I talked to people who had known him during his Manchester days and they all said how extraordinarily kind he was, polite and diffident. He didn’t often make direct eye contact, but when he did, you felt bathed in a very humane, intrigued, witty and rather lovely personality. He was very focused and often deemed to be in his own world, in his own line of thinking, in his own thought pattern and he would do some very eccentric things, but he was very open about them. He was a remarkable human being, a very kind soul, a very benign, slightly gauche, but a very doggedly determined, single-minded human being of extraordinary talent and ability. The tragedy of his life is not only that it ended so early, but that he was persecuted in a time of intolerance for his sexuality — Benedict Cumberbatch on Alan Turing. (x)