Sir David Frost was a television mainstay for over half a century and remained active in TV well into his later years
Sir David Frost, one of British television's most recognisable faces and most respected personalities, has passed away at the age of 74. The journalist, comedy writer, interviewer, broadcaster and all-round everyman was reported as dead late Saturday (31 August) night after suffering a suspected heart attack on board the cruise liner the Queen Elizabeth, with his death prompting an avalanche of messages from well-wishers, friends and family for the iconic Brit.
A youthful David Frost in his 60's heyday
A statement from his family, released shortly after his death, revealed that the broadcasting great was onboard the Queen Elizabeth giving a speech when he was struck down by a suspected heart attack. He was air-lifted back to shore, where he was declared dead, with an inquest into his passing getting underway almost immediately. A statement released on behalf of his family read, "His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time. A family funeral will be held in the near future and details of a memorial service will be announced in due course."
After leaving Cambridge University, where he was secretary of the Footlights club - where he met such comic greats as Peter Cook, Graham Chapman and John Bird, Frost went to work for ITV in his first job in television. In 1962, he began working for the BBC, a working relationship that would last for decades to come, as the host of the comedy series That Was The Week That Was.
Frost was roundly praised for his revealing interviews, particularly his discussion with Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal
The satirical show was then followed by The Frost Report, which brought together such revered comedic writers as John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker and where his catchphrase "hello, good evening and welcome" became his signature quote. He continued to work on televisioon, in news broadcasts and daytime television, for a number of decades before gradually retreating from TV in the last decade. His interviews are what he will perhaps be best remembered for though, namely his one-on-one with former US President Richard Nixon, a revealing discussion that was turned into an award-winning Broadway show and eventually a Oscar-winning film in which he was portrayed by Michael Sheen.
His death has since prompted a number of tributes, from politicians such as Gerry Adams and David Cameron, to broadcaster Steven Fry and business guru Lord Alan Sugar. Such was the tremendous impact he had on modern broadcasting and the icon figure he carved for himself, Sir David Frost will not soon be forgotten.
PM: David Frost was an extraordinary man - with charm, wit, talent, intelligence & warmth. He made a huge impact on TV & politics.— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) September 1, 2013
Oh heavens, David Frost dead? No!! I only spoke to him on Friday and he sounded so well. Excited about a house move, full of plans … how sad— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) September 1, 2013
R.I.P David Frost great presenter.— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) September 1, 2013
Sir David Frost; 1939 - 2013