2 Sep 2013

Broadcaster David Frost dies

10:59 pm on 2 September 2013

The British journalist and broadcaster Sir David Frost has died at the age of 74.

A family statement says he was aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was to give a speech, when he suffered a heart attack.

Sir David first came to fame in Britain as the host of the satirical television show That Was the Week That Was in 1962 and went on to become well known internationally for his interviews with celebrities and leading political figures.

His interviews with former American president Richard Nixon were made into a film, Frost/Nixon, the premiere of which in 2008 Sir David himself attended.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says Sir David was an extraordinary man who made a huge impact on television and politics. BBC director-general Tony Hall says that "from satire to comedy to the big political interviews, for more than 50 years he brought us the history of the world we live in today".

In Australia, former Channel 9 producer Gerald Stone has recalled working with Sir David as an extraordinary experience: "He had so many things going on, he was like an acrobat with 50 balls in the air at once - different business deals and things always happening. He would be very charming to you and then all of a sudden his eyes would glaze over and you knew that your time was up, he's on to something else."

Sir David also visited New Zealand in the early 1970s and did a series of television interviews, including one with Prime Minister Norman Kirk.

He was knighted in 1993 and also wrote 17 books, produced several films and started two British television networks, London Weekend Television and TV-am.

He is survived by his second wife, Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard, and their three sons.