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Wednesday 11th December 2019

Clive James dies aged 80 after long battle with leukaemia

The broadcaster was loved for his clever and dry wit

Broadcaster and writer Clive James has died at the age of 80.

The much-loved presenter was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010, and told it was terminal in 2014.

Read more: TV chef Gary Rhodes has died aged 59

A statement on his website confirmed he died at home in Cambridge on Sunday.

He was born Vivian James in Australia in 1939, and moved to England in 1961 where he forged a brilliant career as a TV critic.

He became a household name, famous for his dry wit, on shows such as Clive James On Television.

In the programme he introduce UK viewers to TV clips from around the world, most famously from the Japanese game show Endurance.

His agents broke the news on social media.

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

"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 was grateful to the staff at Addenbrooke's Hospital for their care and kindness, which unexpectedly allowed him so much extra time."

It still appals me the amount of time I've spent watching moving images. Film and then TV, and now box sets.

In 2015, Clive admitted he was appalled at himself for spending the last years of his life watching box sets, despite having a long list of activities left on his bucket list.

He said at the time: "It still appals me the amount of time I've spent watching moving images. Film and then TV, and now box sets.

"If you're a grown man, indeed more than a grown man, if you're a man who has grown old to the point of death and you're sitting there watching a box set of Game of Thrones, you're bound to ask yourself, 'What is life for? Why am I waiting for Sean Bean to get executed? What is going on here?'

"Well I suppose the Americans would call it the thrill of the story. I don't know what it is. It's rather fun to be in the same conversation as everyone else.

"My family watch The West Wing continuously, forever. Fairly soon, my daughter and I , who are the binge-watching shock troops of our family, will be sitting down to watch The West Wing again and I think for our generation, Josh and Donna, it's like Romeo and Juliet.

"It's a language of reference that everyone shares and I like being in it. I wouldn't be in it if I didn't find it enjoyable."

Tributes have begun pouring in on social media.

Read more: Tributes pour in for ex-Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, who has died at the age of 55

BBC news journalist John Simpson said: "Deeply sorry to hear the news of Clive James's death.

"A magnificent, witty, hugely talented man, whose company was always a pleasure."

Singer Alison Moyet also left a tribute: "Ah, Clive James. You bright, beaming boy.

"Our loss."

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