Entertainment & Arts

Clive James honoured at Bafta TV awards

Clive James
Image caption James has worked on television for five decades

Author, critic and broadcaster Clive James has been honoured at the Bafta TV awards in London.

The tribute, which was led by writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker, included a short film highlighting some of the 75-year-old's best-known work.

James received a Bafta Special Award earlier this year.

In 2010, he was diagnosed with terminal leukaemia. Amanda Berry, Bafta chief executive, called him an "incredible talent".

In a recorded message broadcast at Sunday's awards ceremony, he questioned whether he was right to retire in 2001:

"I suppose I could have struggled on for a bit. After all, when I ended my career, Bruce Forsyth was just beginning his - and he did his first shows under Queen Elizabeth I," he joked.

"But I couldn't dance like him, all I could do is speak - and I've spoken too long, so I'm going to sign off by saying: 'Thank you so much'."

Ms Berry said James was "a great influence on many working in television today" and "a warm, witty and knowledgeable presenter whose programmes [have] left a vivid impression on so many viewers, myself included".

'Lungs of dust'

Born in Sydney, Australia, James was educated at Sydney University and Cambridge, where he was president of the Footlights dramatics club.

He began his career as a journalist with The Observer in 1972 and went on to present countless television series and specials.

Image caption The Australian writer and broadcaster has presented many travel programmes

He wrote his first autobiography in 1979 and followed it with more essays, books and, more recently, poetry.

Last year, the author said he had "started saying goodbye" through his work.

He wrote of having "lungs of dust" in the poem Sentenced to Life.

"Inevitably, you start saying goodbye," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

In 2014, he was awarded the President's Medal of the British Academy.

The British Academy Television Awards were hosted by Graham Norton at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London.

Producer and writer Jeff Pope received a special award and Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow was given a Bafta Fellowship.

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