CLIVE JAMES photo   Clive James

Brief Biography

Clive James was born in Sydney in 1939. He was educated at the University of Sydney where he was literary editor of Honi Soit and wrote for various university magazines. He was a contemporary of Germaine Greer and Robert Hughes.

After graduating he worked for a time for the Sydney Morning Herald before departing for England in 1962 where he has lived ever since. James attended Cambridge University and received a second degree. After that he has earned his living as a journalist, poet, novelist and reviewer. From 1972 to 1982 he was the respected television critic for The Observer. He has published three volumes of these reviews: Visions Before Midnight, The Crystal Bucket, and Glued to the Box. In recent years he has appeared in a series of television programs examining modern culture and television.

James's most famous works form a three part autobiography (Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England and May Week was in June), although strict adherence to the facts in these books is not James's strong point.


Brilliant Creatures 1983
The Remake 1987
Brrm! Brrm! 1991
The Silver Castle 1996

The Fate of Felicity Fark in the Land of the Media : a moral poem 1975
Peregrine Prykke's Pilgrimage Through the London Literary World 1976
Britannia Bright's Bewilderment in the Wilderness of Westminster 1976
Fan-mail: seven verse letters 1977
Charles Charming's Challenges on the Pathway to the Throne 1981
Poem of the Year 1983
Other Passports: poems 1958-1985 1986
The Book of My Enemy 2003

The Metropolitan Critic 1974
Visions Before Midnight : television criticism from the Observer 1972-76 1977
At the Pillars of Hercules 1979
Unreliable Memoirs 1980
The Crystal Bucket : television criticism from the Observer 1976-79 1981
From the Land of Shadows 1982
Glued to the Box : television criticism from the Observer 1979-82 1983
Flying Visits : Postcards from the Observer, 1976-83 1984
Falling Towards England 1985
Snakecharmers in Texas : essays 1980-87 1988
May Week Was in June 1990
The Dreaming Swimmer: non-fiction, 1987-1992 1992
Fame in the 20th Century 1993

Song Lyrics
The following collections of lyrics are sung by Pete Atkin:
The Party's Moving On 1969
     (all lyrics by James except for 3 tracks)
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger 1970
Driving Through Mythical America 1971
A King at Nightfall 1973
The Road of Silk 1974
The Secret Drinker 1974
Live Libel 1975
The Rider to the World's End (compilation)
Master of the Revels 1977 (compilation)
Tounch has a memory 1990 (compilation)
Pete Atkin at Monyash 1997, live
     (all lyrics by James except for "Ballad of an Upstairs Window" and "The Original Original Honky Tonky Night Train Blues")
The Lakeside Sessions, Volume 1: History and Geography 2001
     (all lyrics by James except for "Over the High Side")
The Lakeside Sessions, Volume 2: A Dream of Fair Women 2001
     (all lyrics by James except for "Just for Me (Amy's Blues)")
The following song-book was written with Pete Atkin:
A First Folio 1974 (features songs from The Road of Silk and The Secret Drinker)

Drama etc
Involvement in the Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club:

1965 - worked on the script for "My Girl Herbert"
1966 - worked on the script for "This Way Out"
1967 - President, directed and worked on the script for "Supernatural Gas"
1968 - Committee, worked on script for "Turns of the Century"
1969 - worked on script for "Fools Rush In"
1971 - sketches for "Gone with the Clappers"

Television Programs
(Please note that this list is incomplete - I'll attempt to finish it as soon as I can.)
Clive James on Television 1982 (series)
The Late Clive James 1983 (series)
Clive James on TV 1987 (series)
Saturday Night Clive 1988 (series)
Postcard from Miami 1990
The Clive James Interview 1991 (series)
Postcard from London 1991
Fame in the Twentieth Century 1993 (series)
Sunday Night Clive 1994 (series)
Postcard from Berlin 1995
Postcard from Bombay 1995
Postcard from Las Vegas 1996
Postcard from Mexico City 1996
Postcard from Chicago 19?
Postcard from Melbourne 19?
Postcard from Sydney 19?
Clive James Show 1996 (series)
Clive James on TV 1997 (series)
Postcard from Hong Kong 1997
Postcard from Nashville 1998
Postcard from the North Pole 1998
The Clive James Show 1998 (series)
Clive James Meets Jane Fonda 19?
Clive James Meets Damon Hill 19?
Clive James Meets Mel Gibson 1998
Clive James Meets the Supermodels 1998
Clive James Meets Barbra Streisand 1998
Postcard from Havana 1999
Monday Night Clive 1999 (series)
Clive James Talking 2001 (series)

Acting Resume
Barry McKenzie Holds His Own 1974
The Secret Policeman's Ball 1981

Presence on the Web:
You can read an interview with Clive James conducted by at random magazine from 1999, following the American release of his novel The Silver Castle.
James is curently involved with two major web sites: Aussie in London, which is a site dedicated to Australians living in London; and Welcome Stranger, (taking its name from a well-known Australian gold nugget) providing web-casting in video and audio.
Obiturary for Peter Cook.

This page and its contents are copyright © 1999-2003 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: October 31, 2003.