Posted by: Gregoryno6 | November 28, 2019

Clive James, 1939-2019.

We lost a good one today. A really good one.

Clive James, RIP.

He was often riotously funny as he skewered celebrities with finely honed witticisms. Aging romance novelist Barbara Cartland wore so much makeup, Mr. James wrote, that her eyes looked “like the corpses of two crows that had flown into a chalk cliff.”

The Washington Post gives Clive an excellent send off at the link above.

Here in Clive’s homeland, Andrew Bolt presents a Clive James obituary written by none other than Clive James, which Clive said will serve as a cheaper obituary than anything most newspapers are likely to have in the freezer. 

An excerpt regarding Clive’s work as a tv critic:

The Sunday newspaper The Observer hired him as a television reviewer in 1972, and for ten years his weekly column was one of the most famous regular features in Fleet Street journalism, setting a style which was later widely copied. (Selections from the column were published in three books — Visions Before Midnight, The Crystal Bucket and Glued to the Box — and finally in a compendium, On Television.) During this period he gradually became a prominent television performer himself, and over the next two decades he wrote and presented countless studio series and specials, as well as pioneering the “Postcard” format of travel programmes, which are still in syndication all over the world. His major series Fame in the Twentieth Century was broadcast in Britain by the BBC, in Australia by the ABC and in the United States by the PBS network.

Clive was a prolific writer. His memoirs are hugely popular around the world, but I have to confess I’ve only read one of his books.

To be fair, though, it was a damn BIG book. Cultural Amnesia runs to more than 900 pages. A series of essays, each centred around a particular historical figure – some well known, many not. The sort of book you can pick up once a week and then set aside again. Although Clive’s style with words made the book hard to put down.

When someone says “They don’t make them like Clive James any more,” they won’t be lying.

(Image source: Hollywood Reporter)


  1. He was a man of some erudition and wit. RIP CJ.

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