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Writer and Broadcaster Clive James Dies at 80, A Month after Laying Down His Pen for The Last Time

James died "peacefully and at home, surrounded by his family and his books" in Cambridge, eastern England, on Sunday, United Agents said in a statement.

AFP

Updated:November 27, 2019, 11:00 PM IST
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Writer and Broadcaster Clive James Dies at 80, A Month after Laying Down His Pen for The Last Time
A file photo of Clive James. (Courtesy: www.unitedagents.co.uk)

London: Clive James, the Australian broadcaster, writer, critic and poet who charmed generations of Britons with his humour and wit, has died at the age of 80, his agents said Wednesday.

James died "peacefully and at home, surrounded by his family and his books" in Cambridge, eastern England, on Sunday, United Agents said in a statement.

A private funeral attended by family and close friends took place on Wednesday in the chapel at Pembroke College in Cambridge University, where he read English literature as a student.

The avuncular broadcaster, who left Sydney for England in late 1961 and made his career in Britain, fought a long battle with leukaemia.

"Clive died almost 10 years after his first terminal diagnosis and one month after he laid down his pen for the last time," UA said.

"He endured his ever-multiplying illnesses with patience and good humour, knowing until the last moment that he had experienced more than his fair share of this 'great, good world'."

He first made his name as The Observer newspaper's television critic for a decade from 1972, where he turned the TV review into somewhat of an art form.

His own hit TV show, "Clive James on Television", fronted with his wise-cracking presenting style, put some the world's most bizarre programmes under the spotlight -- notably clips of the Japanese game show "Endurance".

Another regular guest was the Cuban singer Margarita Pracatan, who paid tribute to James' intelligence and talent.

James, who also presented a series of travel documentaries, received the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal, Australia's premier award for poetry, in 2003.

After an unsuccessful operation to remove a cancer on his cheek in February this year, James set about compiling an autobiographical anthology of poems called "The Fire Of Joy", which was finished a month ago.

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