Clive James: 'I'm embarrassed to be alive'

By October 12, 2015 Recent News

NZ Herald 10 October 2015
Broadcaster Clive James said he is “embarrassed” to be living a year after he predicted his imminent death.
The writer and critic, 76, last year revealed he was suffering from terminal leukaemia and had “written himself off”.
But to the delight of friends and family, he has survived another year – leaving him “stuck with the embarrassment of still being alive”.
“People are still sympathetic, except perhaps for some of my Australian critics, the most scornful of whom has always wanted me dead anyway,” he told the Guardian.
James’s prediction was made in a poem published in September 2014 called Japanese Maple.
In the piece, he suggested browning leaves on a tree in his garden signified the “end game” of his life.
Instead, he now says: “Winter arrived, there has been a whole other summer, and now the maple is just starting to do its flaming thing all over again, with my shyly watching.”
Before his prediction, the Australian-born TV critic joked that he was trying to fend off the terminal cancer in order to impress former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughters.