May 2, 2012

Rundle: I feel (inexplicably) sorry for Clive James

The universe is conspiring to make one feel empathy for Clive James. Being "exposed" by A Current Affair for an alleged eight-year affair with Sydney Harbour flotsam Leanne Edelsten took the cake.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Goddamit, the universe is conspiring to make one feel empathy for Clive James. How the hell did that happen?


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16 thoughts on “Rundle: I feel (inexplicably) sorry for Clive James

  1. robinw

    A beautiful piece of comic writing. Pity the subject matter is so tacky with lashings of pathos but certainly improved by your style.

  2. puddleduck

    I 0nly know about this because it featured on Media Watch on ABC 1 on Monday night.

    Far be it from me to quibble, but “He called her “Mr Wolf”, she called him “Miss Hood”, “. Now that’s different.

  3. Dawn Baker

    As a Clive James fan, including ‘Cultural Amnesia’ which I also enjoy as an audiobook, I’m sad that he yielded, and even sadder that there is now a kiss an tell expose. I feel sorry that the Kogarah Kid is in this dismal position, and that the unmerrygoround has speeded up when he is so ill.

  4. Aphra

    I feel sorry for the old roue, too, not to mention his wife. Not because he’s been sprung, but because he’s old, sick and dying, has no home, and has been treated so badly by his ex-lover and those slimy prats at Channel 9.

    I know a few people who’ve been friends with Clive James for decades and I’m told that he’s always been a flirt but the measure of the man should be far more than that. When he was the Observer’s tv critic he wrote some really good stuff and his poem ‘The book of my enemy has been remained’ always made me smile. I also loved many of his interviews – particularly the one with the beautiful Gloria Steinem and the Spice Girls at the height of their popularity: he showed how ’tis done with much wit and elan and managed to not offend anyone.

    I also know that under great pressure of work and implacable commitment, he nevertheless made time for a great act of personal generosity and kindness to someone overwhelmed by the griefs of the world. I hope that James’ friends do as much for him.

  5. michael r james

    Aung San Suu Kyi

  6. zut alors

    ‘…Sydney Harbour flotsam Leanne Edelsten…’


    The point raised in the final sentence is a valid one – has any ACA viewer ever opened a book, let alone one of James’s?

    But at least the heroine of the story need fret no longer on the whereabouts of those risque photos – they are safely in the hands of the ACA producers… exactly where she put them.

  7. Kerry Lovering

    How about the same sort of sympathy for Lara Bingle
    Some balanced reporting needed

  8. LJG..............

    Funny thing is Media Watch probably gave him more publicity with his reading public than “A Current Affair”.
    Now with your revelations I don’t feel sorry for him much at all – he’s a bit more than a ‘flirt’. I feel sorry for his wife who has finally had enough and probably feels forced to kick him out. It’s not just being caught but his choice in Women clearly meant that it was going to happen at some stage.

  9. Holden Back

    The poetry on the other hand . . .

  10. Meski

    Clive, funny to the last. And you did a good job on the obit, Guy.

    @Kerry: Lara? The toon in Tomb Raider? What’s she up to now?

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