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Clive James, TV personality, author and critic, dead at 80

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Clive James
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Reuters
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Clive James, the broadcaster, poet and critic, died on Sunday at the age of 80 after a long illness.

A statement from his agent on behalf of his family said that James had been diagnosed with terminal illness ten years ago.

It said he had endured "multiple illnesses with patience and good humour, knowing to the last moment that he had experienced more than his fair share of the 'great, good world'".

James died on Sunday and a funeral took place in Cambridge on Wednesday.

James began his career as a freelance journalist in the UK and rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s as a TV personality and critic.

In 2007 James, who always wanted to be a respected poet, spoke ruefully that the literary establishment had not taken him seriously because of his success on television.

“My reputation as a poet has been very slow to grow because of my work on television,” James told Reuters. “The literary establishment assumes as soon as you work in television that you have sacrificed your integrity."

James authored dozens of books from the 1980s onwards and his most recent book of memoirs was published in 2018.

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