On a busy day for the Grim Reaper in the UK, Clive James claimed top billing – and was the 12th name to go on this year’s Drop 40. James was the last of his kind – an intellectual who traded in his literary aspirations for the glamour of the cheapest kind of television. Part of an Australian intellectual scene in his late teens that also included Germaine Greer and poet Robert Hughes, James moved to the UK and – after a few years as Driving Miss Daisy director Bruce Beresford’s roomie – studied at Cambridge. Instead of concentrating on his studies he became president of the Footlights and started off on what would be the role that tied his high and lowbrow cultural interests together: critic. He was hired by The Observer as a TV critic in 1972 and went on to appear on TV in a variety of guises. He was a regular pundit on Formula 1 coverage, there was satirical news show Saturday Night Clive, the regular hosting of the BBC’s year-end show and, maybe most famously, Clive James on Television where, for 15 years, he presented a mixed bag of laughing at Japanese gameshow clips and talking to Mar-ga-ree-tah-Prah-cah-tahn. He was first diagnosed with terminal leukaemia in 2010, but this didn’t slow him down: indeed, he managed to carry on an extra marital affair for the next two years before his wife caught him out. A long-time DDP pick favourite, he has now finally lost his Endurance (that was the name of the Japanese gameshow, geddit?) and 144 teams cash in – including both current leader Thomas Jefferson Survives, and last year’s winner Pity Da Foolz, who climbs into second.