Brooker, ó Briain and Mangan take to Twitter to cheer Clive James
Charlie Brooker, Robert Webb and Graham Linehan are among comedy's leading lights who have voiced their support for the Australian writer and broadcaster.
The BBC reported earlier today that James is 'getting near the end' and people from the worlds of comedy and media have written on Twitter about how he has affected their careers.
James was diagnosed with leukaemia, kidney failure and lung disease in 2010.
However, during the middle of the day, journalist Michael Deacon reported that “I've just spoken to Clive James by email and he'd like to reassure everyone that he's in 'reasonable shape and keen to go on writing'”.
He later added: "Clive James says he's touched by all the tributes on Twitter. 'You can't imagine how stunned I feel to find myself rating as a celebrity'."
Charlie Brooker wrote: “Only just read about Clive James being ill. He made me want to write for print and do TV about TV. Impossibly perceptive & hilarious writer...When I was writing TV columns, I went back and reread some of his old Observer columns and was profoundly shaken by my comparative shitness.”
Robert Webb wrote: “He made tea for everyone & we nattered about Footlights. In the interview I asked, what can poetry do that novels and plays can't? 'It does what the nucleus of the atom can do that the rest of the atom can't: it's the stuff itself.' He talked like he wrote: every other sentence a bullseye that made you want to go and live in a library till you're as smart & funny as him.”
Dara ó Briain said: “Touching to see so many tweets about the great Clive James. An inspiration to so many here, myself included. Only this week had a format idea sold to me with the words, "Y'know... like Clive James". That has happened maybe 1,000 times in my career.”
Stephen Mangan added: “This sad news about the ailing Clive James is reminding me I really ought to live this life all I can while I can.”
From Julian Clary: “Time to tell Clive James how very loved he is. A brilliant, funny, twinkly eyed man.”
Graham Linehan wrote: When I was a journo, I used to read James as a warming-up exercise. He could make the language do anything he wanted. It was inspiring.”
Chris Addison described him as 'one of his first heroes'.
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