Ailing Clive James nears his 'terminus'

00:06, Jun 22 2012
Clive James
WRITER: Clive James' career took off when he moved to London in the 1960s.

Writer and broadcaster Clive James says he is "getting near the end" of his life, after several years of serious illness.

London-based James told the BBC he was now too sick to travel back to his native Australia.

The 72 year old was diagnosed with leukaemia, kidney failure and lung disease in 2010.

"I'm getting near the end. I don't want to cast a gloom, an air of doom, over the program but I'm a man who is approaching his terminus," he told BBC Radio 4.

In the show, to be broadcast on Saturday in the UK, James said he had  "been really ill for two and a half years" and "almost died four times in that period".

"I've been so sick I'm not allowed to fly.

"You couldn't get enough oxygen aboard a plane to get me to Sydney. I used to be in Australia for five or six times a year but now I can't go.”

Born in Sydney, James moved to London in 1961 where he made a career in journalism, rising to prominence as a literary critic and television columnist.

He later moved into  TV work, and was best known for Clive James On Television and his commentary on programmes such as the Japanese gameshow Endurance.

James is married to academic Prue Shaw. The couple have two children.