The revered British broadcaster Sir David Frost has passed away following a suspected heart attack. Aged 74, the TV icon, perhaps best known internationally for his revealing, post-Watergate interview with former US President Richard Nixon, tragically passed away whilst travelling aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship on Saturday, 31 August, after giving a speech to some of the passengers.
Sir David Frost was a mainstay on British TV for much of his lifetime
The news of his death came as a shock to many and has evoked an emotional response from individuals from all fields. His sudden death on board the cruise liner on Saturday night was completely out of the blue as Frost had not been complaining of any serious medical problems prior to his unfortunate passing, making his death all the sadder. A statement from his spokesperson reads, "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." (The BBC)
Born in 1939, Frost first flirted with fame when he became secretary of the Cambridge Footlights, where he met and befriended such future comedy mainstays as John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Peter Cook to name a few. After initially getting a job at ITV, his move to the BBC began a long and fruitful relationship that saw the formation of some of comedy's greatest troupes, including Monty Python, the Two Ronnies and Cook & Moore. His starring shows, The Frost Report and That Was The Week That Was helped initiate the boom in satire in modern British television and undoubtedly went on to change British comedy and British television on an unprecedented scale.
He was able to make Nixon admit fault and apologise to the American people during his interview
His move back to ITV with The Frost Programme saw him move away from comedy and towards a more serious angle, where he usually discussed and interviewed prominent people from the world of politics, royalty and important celebrities. During this time he gave such interviews as his famous discussion with then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the Falklands War and perhaps most famously of all, his post-Watergate interview with former US President Richard Nixon. His discussions with the president were later turned into a successful stage play and eventually an Oscar-winning film, Frost vs. Nixon, in which he was portrayed by Michael Sheen.
As well as working on The David Frost Show in America around this time, Frost began to broaden his scope to more light-hearted television, producing and co-hosting the series Through the Keyhole with Lloyd Grossman. He became Sir David in 1993, the same year he moved from evening to morning television with the long-running Breakfast With Frost, in which he continued to interview important figures. Ending in 2005, Frost continued to work on television, signing a lucrative deal to become an anchor on the newly launched English arm of Gulf-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera in 2006.
He leaves behind his second wife, Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard; who he married in 1983, and their three sons. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Sir David Frost: 1939 - 2013