Following the sad news about Gary Rhodes, it is has been announced that Clive James, the Australian-born critic, author, poet and TV host, has also died aged, 80
Remembered best for his Television appearances here, James developed his television career as a guest commentator on various shows, including as an occasional co-presenter with Tony Wilson on the first series of So It Goes, the Granada Television pop music show. On the show when the Sex Pistols made their TV debut, James commented: “During the recording, the task of keeping the little bastards under control was given to me. With the aid of a radio microphone, I was able to shout them down, but it was a near thing … they attacked everything around them and had difficulty in being polite even to each other”.
James subsequently hosted the ITV show Clive James on Television, in which he showcased unusual or (often unintentionally) amusing television programmes from around the world, notably the Japanese TV show Endurance. After his defection to the BBC in 1989, he hosted a similarly-formatted programme called Saturday Night Clive (1988–1990) which initially screened on Saturday evening, returning as Saturday Night Clive on Sunday in its second series when it changed screening day and then Sunday Night Clive in its third and final series. In 1995 he set up Watchmaker Productions to produce The Clive James Show for ITV, and a subsequent series launched the British career of singer and comedian Margarita Pracatan. James hosted one of the early chat shows on Channel 4 and fronted the BBC’s Review of the Year programmes in the late 1980s (Clive James on the ’80s) and 1990s (Clive James on the ’90s), which formed part of the channel’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In the mid-1980s, James featured in a travel programme called Clive James in… (beginning with Clive James in Las Vegas) for LWT (now ITV) and later switched to BBC, where he continued producing travel programmes, this time called Clive James’ Postcard from… (beginning with Clive James’ Postcard from Miami) – these also eventually transferred to ITV. He was also one of the original team of presenters of the BBC’s The Late Show, hosting a round-table discussion on Friday nights.