Clive James: interview

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Poet, critic, pundit, broadcaster, comedian, journalist and ex-pat Australian all-rounder, Clive James is one of Time Out London’s 40th birthday heroes

  • Clive James: interview

    'The real threat of the future is that there will be nothing but media'

  • See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

    You’ve been chosen as one of Time Out’s all time London heroes, how do you feel about that?

    Astonished.

    Who are your London heroes?

    Sir Thomas More.

    What’s the biggest development in the media you’ve seen during your career?

    'Well nowadays it’s not employing me, that’s a big change. I used to more or less write it all back in the ’70s. There’s more of it, much more of it. It must be harder to start off. I don’t know how they do it actually.'

    What’s your favourite place in London?

    'The National Gallery.'

    What’s your favourite place to eat/drink?

    'There’s a coffee bar near my place called the "Café Nero"; I thought it was the only one.'


    What’s you’re favourite personal moment in London?

    'I’ve had nothing but favourite moments. I was doing a postcard programme about London for television and we went to the Royal Ballet School to watch the ballerinas warming up in the morning, and Prima Bellerina Alessandra Ferri was there. I watched her doing her bar exercises and I thought: That’s the most beautiful thing I’m ever going to see in my life. And that remains true to this day.'

    What’s the future of media in London?

    'It’s enormous. The real threat of the future is that there will be nothing but media. Everybody will work in it and there will be no one left to actually consume it. One of these days I’m going to read a newspaper instead of write it.'

    What does Time Out mean to you?

    'It means a lot. For one thing, I’ve always been drop-dead envious of the whole enterprise. There were several listing mags around at the time it started, a lot of people had the same idea at once, but Tony got it right. It’s just indispensable. Being indispensable is a big secret in life.'

    Complete this sentence. London is…

    '…still the big adventure.'
    See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

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