The theme of Jonathan Rendall's writing life was risk.
He came to prominence in the late 1980s as a vital new voice covering that most literary of sports, boxing, and captured in urgent, seductive prose the risk to life and limb that assails a fighter every time he enters the ring. Rendall wrote about playing the odds in a book called, ominously, Twelve Grand.
The book has characteristically thrilling passages, but also has something of the pantomime horse about it.
The payday came when Channel 4 commissioned him to front the much admired documentary series The Gambler (which is to be repeated from this weekend).
He also itched to turn what was conceived as an investigative story into fiction.
Not for the first time he found himself locking horns with an editor.
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