Clive James On Television
A hilarious journey through the life and television of the 1970s and 80s, this nostalgic time capsule collects the treasured columns of Clive James.
'The funniest writer in Britain' – Sunday Times
Clive James is the man who created TV criticism as a genre, bringing to it all the breadth of reference, intelligence and delight that he brought to more conventionally highbrow art forms. At a time when there were only three TV channels in the UK, and a primetime show might gather a simultaneous audience of 20 million people, he was commenting on the hitherto overlooked major cultural phenomenon of the era.
From the Olympics to the fall of Richard Nixon, from the Eurovision Song Contest to the rise of Thatcher, from endless Star Trek reruns to the election of Reagan, and from Charlie's Angels to Michael Foot's Labour Party, Clive James's inimitable commentary brought sense and humour to his huge audience.
In Clive James On Television are collected all three volumes of the brilliant, uniquely Jamesian humour that saw hundreds of thousands of devoted fans turn to his column each Sunday morning. It is together a hilarious, insightful portrait of the time – whether or not you were there the first time around.
'His contribution to the art and enjoyment of TV criticism over the past ten years has been immense. His work is deeply perceptive, often outrageously funny and always compulsively readable' – British Press Awards, on Clive James (Winner, Critic of the Year 1981)
This book combines the three volumes of Clive's collected columns: Visions Before Midnight, The Crystal Bucket and Glued To The Box.
Clive James (1939–2019) was a broadcaster, critic, poet, memoirist and novelist. His much loved, influential and hilarious television criticism is available both in three individual volumes and collected in Clive James On Television.
Praise for Clive James:
'The perfect critic' – A.O. Scott, New York Times
'There can't be many writers of my generation who haven't been heavily influenced by Clive James' – Charlie Brooker
'A wonderfully witty and intelligent writer' – Verity Lambert
James reinvented the style of TV criticism. Described by Sheridan Morley as 'far and away the funniest writer in regular Fleet Street employment', James was the first critic to prostrate himself before the flow of the medium in all its manifestations
The funniest writer in Britain
One of the few columnists who makes you laugh aloud . . . if there were angels he would be on their side: and that would certainly include Charlie's Angels
Melvyn Bragg, broadcaster and author