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Tributes are paid to broadcasting legend Sir David Frost

Tributes are paid to broadcasting legend Sir David Frost

TRIBUTES have been paid to the broadcasting legend Sir David Frost who has passed away suddenly at the age of 74.

In a career which spanned more than 50 years, Sir David presented shows which ranged from current affairs, which included in-depth interviews with world leaders, to comedy and light entertainment.

The son of a Methodist minister, the future broadcasting legend was born in 1939 in Kent. Abandoning plans to become a preacher, he went to Cambridge. While there he joined the Footlights Dramatic Club, working with the likes of Peter Cook and Graham Chapman.

After Cambridge, Sir David began developing his broadcasting skills with ITV in London. He was then invited to present a new show on the BBC called That Was The Week That Was.

The show, which ran between 1962 and 1963, cast a satirical eye over the week's news and was hated by the establishment. Sir David followed up with The Frost Report, which brought together John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett in the famous class sketch. By this stage Sir David was using his catchphrase "Hello, Good Evening and Welcome" which was to be much mimicked over the years.

Moving away from comedy, Sir David began to sharpen the interviewing skills which were to make him a household name across he world.

In The Frost Report, he interviewed the likes of The Beatles, Noel Coward and Prince Charles. Sir David was also becoming a well-known figure in United States where he presented The David Frost Show.

In 1977, he pulled off a broadcasting coup when former U.S. President Richard Nixon agreed to take part in a series of interviews (see below). Two years before, Mr. Nixon had resigned the Presidency in the wake of the Watergate scandal. The interviews, which were watched by an audience of 45 million, were to cast new light on the scandal and resulted in Mr. Nixon admitting his part in the episode and coming close to apologising to the American people.

In recent years the story surrounding the interviews was first turned into a stage play before being made into a movie in 2008 — Frost/Nixon — which starred Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon.

Back in Britain, Sir David went on to present a range of programmes over the years including Breakfast With Frost and Frost On Sunday. On the lighter side he hosted the panel show Through The Keyhole in he 1990s in which contestants had to guess the identity of a celebrity whose house was featured.

When the broadcaster Al-Jazeera launched its English language service in 2006, Sir David was signed up.

During his distinguished career, Sir David had interviewed many world leaders. He interviewed every Prime Minister between 1964 and 2010, as well as every U.S. President between 1969 and 2008.

Sir David died after suffering a suspected heart attack on he cruise ship Queen Elizabeth where he had been due to give a speech.

He is survived by his wife Lady Carina and three sons.

To view an excerpt from the Frost/Nixon interviews, click here.

To view an interview in which Sir David discussed his book Frost/Nixon, click here.

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