TV veteran Clive James is battling leukaemia

Veteran TV presenter and broadcaster Clive James is undergoing treatment for leukaemia after being diagnosed with the disease last year.

The 71-year-old Australian, who lives in England, was found to have leukaemia in January 2010 after being hospitalised for other health issues.

He disclosed details of his illness in a letter to the Australian Literary Review after turning down requests to write for them.

James said in the letter he was diagnosed during treatment for kidney failure 15 months ago.

“I was immediately diagnosed for everything else as well, including several lung diseases and a version of leukaemia that is supposed to develop slowly but in my case couldn’t wait to get started, mainly in my lungs,” he wrote.

He also revealed that he was working on a number of other projects including several books.

His wife Prue Shaw told The Mail On Sunday: “Clive has been ill for around 15 months and is being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“He is suffering from CLL – Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia – which if you must have the condition is the kind you want because they can monitor it.”

James, a former journalist for The Observer, was a familiar face on TV in the 80s and 90s with a string of shows including Clive James On Television and Saturday Night Clive – which looked at quirky television from around the world.

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