BROADCASTER CLIVE JAMES has criticised media reports in recent days which suggested that he was near death.
The 72-year-old hit out at journalists after quotes from an interview due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this evening were used in a number of articles in newspapers and websites to suggest that he was very close to dying.
“In the radio interview I say that I am getting near the end of my life. Well, at my age everybody is,” James writes in the Daily Telegraph today.
The broadcaster said that the quotes used from the show gave the impression that he was “practically expiring in the arms of the journalist assigned to register my dying breath”. He wrote:
I’m not objecting, because I haven’t got time. In the interview I am represented as saying that I am losing my battle with leukaemia. Well, of course I am. Eventually I must. But the main thrust of the broadcast is, I can assure you, quite merry.
James says that his chief aim is to “live longer so that I can do more”.
He said that the quotes attributed to him had been accurate but the context was missing.
“What I might say for the radio, where the tone of voice is under my control, would not be the same thing as I might say to a newspaper journalist, where the tone of voice is more under his control than under mine,” he wrote.
Quotes from the interview in which James said he was “getting near the end” and had become a “recluse” as he dealt with serious illness were used in articles around the world ahead of the radio show.
The writer and critic, who is Australian but has lived in Britain for the past fifty one years, rose to prominence for his TV work and his writings about television and literature.