Clive James's daughter has "high hopes" that her famous father won't succumb to cancer anytime soon.

Claerwen James says although her dad, 73, is not well, he's in much better shape than he was last year.

"He is not as robust as one would wish, but I have high hopes he will be with us for some time," the 43-year-old artist told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"He's frail but he's working. He's cheerful and he's writing a lot of poetry, which I'm thrilled by."

Two years ago, Mr James nearly died a couple of times but it's been 18 months since his last urgent hospitalisation, his daughter said on Thursday.

The broadcaster and writer was diagnosed with leukaemia and lung disease in 2010.

He is presently living in Cambridge to be close to Addenbrooke's Hospital and his family.

Mr James in August publicly apologised to his wife for having an affair behind her back for eight years.

He'd previously been thrown out of the marital home after his partner of 44 years, Prue Shaw, discovered he'd cheated on her.

"I don't think I was a bad father, but I was a terrible husband, much to my regret," he said at the time.

"I deserve everything that has happened to me.

"I am a reprehensible character who needs to clean up his act."

Ms James this week said her parents were now "back on speaking terms".

Asked if learning of the affair made her angry, Ms James replied: "I wasn't thrilled."

"(But) for me, I guess, his illness was a very immediate concern that slightly eclipsed everything else."

Mr James was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in January for his contribution to cultural and intellectual heritage.


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