He Practically Invented Political Satire on TV, Years Before ‘SNL.’ And He Was One of the Best TV Interviewers Ever. And He Did All This Both in the U.K. and the U.S. Sir David Frost Dies at 74

Sep 1, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"Veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost has died at the age of 74 after a suspected heart attack while on board a cruise ship," reports the BBC.

The story continues, "A family statement said he had been giving a speech aboard the Queen Elizabeth on Saturday night."

The story adds that Frost "conducted a series of interviews with [former U.S. president Richard] 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 the film ‘Frost/Nixon’ – based on a play – which saw Michael Sheen portray Sir David Frost to Frank Langella’s Nixon.

"Playwright Peter Morgan said: ‘He was a legendary broadcasting figure and a member of the British broadcasting landscape for two generations and in many ways his success was very un-English. He was a pioneer. He combined being a satirist and someone who one satirised. It was an extraordinary, four-dimensional, vivid career…’ "

Frost had extraordinary success on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1962 and ’63 in the U.K., Frost hosted a groundbreaking political satire show titled "That Was The Week That Was," or TW3 for short. Many Americans first came to know Frost when NBC rebroadcast an episode of that show that was produced the day after president John Kennedy was assassinated. TW3 dropped its usual satirical format and presented instead a moving, poignant, memorable tribute to JFK. 

After TW3 was canceled in the U.K., the series, with Frost, came to America, on NBC. It ran from January, 1964 through the beginning of May, 1965.

Frost later had a syndicated talk show in the U.S. that ran from 1969 to 1972. He replaced Merv Griffin’s talk show when Griffin left syndication to go to CBS to challenge Johnny Carson and the "Tonight" show.

The BBC article adds, "BBC director general Tony Hall said: ‘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, that’s the mark of the man.’

"Sir David joined broadcaster Al-Jazeera in 2006 when it launched its English-speaking service.

"He married his second wife, Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard, in 1983 and they had three sons."

Here’s a terrific overview of Frost’s career, produced by the BBC:

One Comment

  1. Sensational video ! Thank you for providing a look back at a man who often exemplified the best of the medium.
    I saw him at an event a few years ago and “sang” the opening lines of That Was the Week That Was (“it’s over let it go, oh what…”) and he seemed delighted!
    Now I have a few dozen David Frost videos to catch…

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