Clive James found "imminent death" good for the concentration
Another old friend who left us last week was poet, critic and broadcaster Clive James who died at the age of 80 after a long battle with leukaemia and multiple health issues.
Australian born James first found fame in the UK as a TV critic, writing a weekly column in The Observer that sparkled with wit and original thought.
He would go on to broadcast regular, appearing on many radio shows and become a familiar face on TV with series like Saturday Night Clive and The Clive James Show.
Equally at home with high and low brow subjects he was well-read, erudite and well-versed in the classics. he also wrote songs and performed with musician Pete Atkin.
Back in the early noughties he did a thirty two date tour with Clive Conway Productions promoting his best selling diaries at that time.
Diagnosed with leukaemia, kidney failure and lung disease in 2010, he was philosophical about his condition and continued writing throughout the final years of his life.
In one of his final interviews, conducted for a BBC Radio 4 Front Row Special, he spoke at length with the academic and historian Professor Mary Beard about living with illness.
He told her: "I recommend imminent death for any writer, it concentrates the mind wonderfully. I am sitting here either reading or writing or getting ready to write. What else am I going to do?” It’s good for concentration."