We marvel at his word play, and often take note of his criticisms.
Improbably enough, Eric Dickens is a literary translator from Estonian.
Yet he values Newsnight for its reportage on more worldly issues such as the NHS, schools, devolution, immigration, energy supply, transport, crime and various other very unliterary topics.
The surname is an entire coincidence and he claims not to be related in any way to his famous namesake.
Born in Dewsbury in the West Riding of Yorkshire (as it then was) and growing up in Solihull, Warwickshire (as it then was), Mr Dickens attended UEA in Norwich (as it still is) in the 1970s and has since then lived in several countries.
His view of what happens in Britain therefore remains that of an expat: offshore, but not aloof.