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Clive James dies at home in Cambridge aged 80

Clive James, writer and broadcaster, has died aged 80.

Clive James Picture: United Agents(22708362)
Clive James Picture: United Agents(22708362)

The Australian-born TV critic passed away at his home in Cambridge on Sunday (November 24) almost 10 years after his first terminal diagnosis.

A private funeral attended by family and close friends took place in the chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge today (Wednesday, November 27).

A statement released by United Agents on behalf of Clive James’ family 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.

“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.”

Following his death, Daniel Zeichner said: “Clive James was a near neighbour held in huge affection by so many in Cambridge. He brightened our lives in so many guises over many years.”

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1939, Clive James came up to Pembroke to read for a BA in English in 1964.

During his time at Pembroke, he represented the College on University Challenge and was an active member of Cambridge Footlights, serving as its president in 1967.

He was made an Honorary Fellow of the College in 2010.

Lord Smith of Finsbury, Master of Pembroke College, said: “Pembroke was Clive James’ college, and we were proud to count him amongst our most distinguished alumni. We were even more proud, a couple of years ago, to host the launch of his most recent and wonderful collection of poems. We mourn his loss with great sadness. He truly lit up the world.”

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