Seriously-ill poet and writer Clive James has said that he welcomes daffodils and the return of birds as another Spring he "never expected to see" arrives.

The acerbic, merciless TV critic and mischievous, fun-loving TV presenter has been battling leukaemia, emphysema, and various carcinomas for the past few years.

Writing in his Guardian column, the much-loved 76-year-old mentions that his latest blood test "went pretty well"  but that this was not necessarily encouraging, "because for someone in my condition, even a good result is a reminder that you have to go on throwing a double six to stay in the game."

Gloom, he writes, was dispelled in the taxi home from the blood test in his adopted hometown of Cambridge by the sight of the flowers on the lawns of the world famous University. "Good of them, though, to arrive just in time for me to notice," he writes of crocuses and daffodils, mentioning plans for "yet another in the string of springs that I never expected to see." 

"This year, with the help of my family, I intend to be better ready to play host to any birds that choose to visit my back garden," he enthuses.

"People are howling with scorn that I can’t identify the birds more precisely. These people are unaware that I once wouldn’t have cared about any small creature at all."