Clive James has died aged 80

Clive James poses for a portrait at the 2004 Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. (David Levenson/Getty Images)

The poet, critic and broadcaster Clive James has died at the age of 80, his agents have said.

In a statement announcing the death, United Agents said: "Clive James, poet, critic and broadcaster, died at his home in Cambridge on Sunday 24th November 2019. A private funeral attended by family and close friends took place in the chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge on Wednesday 27th November.

"Clive died almost 10 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. His family would like to thank the nurses of the Arthur Rank Hospice at Home team for their help in his last days, which allowed him to die peacefully and at home, surrounded by his family and his books."

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A popular face on television during the 1980s and 1990s, his ITV show Clive James On Television was famous for shining a light on bizarre TV formats from around the world. He went on to host a number of chat and travel shows for BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Liza Minnelli joins Clive James for The Clive James Show. (Neil Munns – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

He was also a prolific writer, penning a number of novels, memoirs and non-fiction books, and also published poetry. His most recent publication Somewhere Becoming Rain: Collected Writings On Philip Larkin, released on 3 October, 2019, gathered all his writing about the Hull poet into one volume.

James married academic Prue Shaw in 1968 and the couple had two children together.

Following media speculation about his health, James confirmed in 2011 that he was suffering from B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and was undergoing treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

In 2012 he told Radio 4’s Meeting Myself Coming Back: "I'm getting near the end,” adding that he’d "been really ill for two and a half years" and "almost died four times in that period".

Clive James at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2007. (Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

In 2015 he wrote in a column for the Guardian that a new chemotherapy treatment was “holding back the lurgy, leaving me stuck with the embarrassment of still being alive”, and continued writing the weekly column – titled Reports Of My Death – until June 2017.

Actor and theatre director Samuel West said: "We were lucky to have him for so long after his diagnosis. We were lucky to have him at all. RIP Clive James."

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Clive James, 80. A brilliantly funny man."

Born Vivian Leopold James in 1939 in Kogarah, a southern suburb of Sydney, he changed his name to Clive as a child, choosing the name from a wartime Tyrone Power film.

He moved to England in 1962, later earning a place at Pembroke College Cambridge reading English Literature, where he studied alongside Germaine Greer, Simon Schama, and Eric Idle.

He served as the television critic at The Observer from 1972 to 1982, before breaking into television as a guest commentator on various programmes including Tony Wilson’s So It Goes, which gave the Sex Pistols their TV debut.

With reporting by PA.