Sunday Open Thread: David Frost Dead at 74Posted: September 1, 2013
Mona isn’t feeling well, but will try to get her scheduled post up later on today. Meanwhile here’s an open thread for early risers.
Famed British broadcaster Sir David Frost has died of a presumed heart attack while giving a speech on a cruise ship. He was 74. The Guardian reports:
Sir David Frost, the journalist and broadcaster whose lengthy career covered everything from cutting-edge 60s satire to heavyweight interviews and celebrity gameshows, has died of a heart attack on a cruise ship, his family said.
The 74-year-old, whose programmes included That Was The Week That Was and The Frost Report, was to have given a speech on board the Queen Elizabeth, which had set sail from Southampton on a cruise to Lisbon.
Frost, who was knighted in 1993, helped establish London Weekend Television and TV-am. He was famed for his political interviews, most notably with Richard Nixon in 1977, in which the US president conceded some fault over Watergate for the first time.
From BBC News:
Born in Kent, Sir David studied at Cambridge University where he became secretary of the Footlights club, and met future comedy greats such as Peter Cook, Graham Chapman and John Bird.
After university he went to work at ITV before he was asked to front the BBC programme That Was The Week That Was, which ran between 1962 and 1963.
Casting a satirical eye over the week’s news, the show boasted scriptwriters including John Cleese, John Betjeman and Dennis Potter.
The Frost Report brought together John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett in a sketch show which would influence many comedy writers including the Monty Python crew.
Much more at the link.
Of course Frost was best known for his interviews with Richard Nixon after Watergate forced Nixon to resign the presidency.
He…conducted a series of interviews with Mr Nixon, who had resigned the presidency two years earlier, in which the former president came close to apologising to the public for his role in the Watergate scandal.
Their exchanges were eventually made into a film – based on a play – which saw Michael Sheen portray Sir David Frost to Frank Langella’s Nixon. Sir David himself appeared at the premiere of the film in 2008.
David was regularly scoffed at by fellow broadcasters for his allegedly non-aggressive style of questioning.
But he invariably had the last laugh because he almost always extracted more intriguing information and revealing reactions from his subjects than other far more acerbic broadcasters who boasted about their hard-hitting treatment of their “victims”….
But there were many other historic moments, including one when he suddenly introduced the word “bonkers” during a tense interview with the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher over the sinking of the Argentine warship the Belgrano during the Falklands conflict. She was furious.
A few clips from Frost’s long and illustrious career in broadcasting.
From That Was The Week That Was (TW3), 1963