David Frost

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Sir David Frost OBE

Frost during an interview with Donald Rumsfeld
BornDavid Paradine Frost
(1939-04-07) 7 April 1939 (age 73)
Tenterden, Kent, England
NationalityBritish
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge
OccupationTelevision presenter, journalist, comedian, writer
Years active1961–present
Known forThat Was The Week That Was, Through the Keyhole,Breakfast with Frost, Frost On Sunday (TV-am)
ReligionMethodist
Spouse(s)Lynne Frederick (1981–82)
Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard (1983–present)
 
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Sir David Frost OBE

Frost during an interview with Donald Rumsfeld
BornDavid Paradine Frost
(1939-04-07) 7 April 1939 (age 73)
Tenterden, Kent, England
NationalityBritish
Alma materGonville and Caius College, Cambridge
OccupationTelevision presenter, journalist, comedian, writer
Years active1961–present
Known forThat Was The Week That Was, Through the Keyhole,Breakfast with Frost, Frost On Sunday (TV-am)
ReligionMethodist
Spouse(s)Lynne Frederick (1981–82)
Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard (1983–present)

Sir David Paradine Frost, Kt., OBE (born 7 April 1939) is a British journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and daytime TV game show host best known for his two decades as host of Through the Keyhole and serious interviews with various political figures, the most notable being Richard Nixon. Since 2006, he has been hosting the weekly programme Frost Over the World on Al Jazeera English.

Contents

Early life

David Paradine Frost was born in Tenterden, Kent, on 7 April 1939 as the son of a Methodist minister of Huguenot descent, the Rev. W. J. Paradine Frost, and his wife Mona, and with two elder sisters.[1] While living in Gillingham, Kent, he was taught in the Bible class of the Sunday school at his father's church (Byron Road Methodist) by David Gilmore Harvey, and subsequently started training as a Methodist local preacher, which he did not complete. He attended Barnsole Road Primary School in Gillingham, then Gillingham Grammar School and finally Wellingborough Grammar School.[2] He subsequently won a place at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a degree in English. Throughout his school years he was an avid football (soccer) and cricket player,[1] and was actually offered a contract with Nottingham Forest F.C., which he turned down in order to attend university.[3]

At Cambridge, he was editor of both the student newspaper, Varsity, and the literary magazine, Granta. He was also secretary of the famous Footlights Drama Society,[1] which included actors such as Peter Cook and John Bird.

After leaving university, he became a trainee at Associated-Rediffusion and worked for Anglia Television.

That Was the Week That Was (TW3)

Frost was chosen by writer and producer Ned Sherrin to host a pioneering satirical programme called That Was The Week That Was, alias TW3. This caught the wave of the satire boom in 1960s Britain and became a popular programme. TW3 was the last piece of scheduled programming broadcast by the BBC on a Saturday, and regularly overran its time slot.[citation needed]

After a pilot episode on 10 November 1963, a 30-minute American version of TW3 featuring Frost ran on NBC from 10 January 1964 to May 1965. In 1985, David Frost produced and hosted a television special in the same format, That Was the Year That Was, on NBC.

After TW3

Frost fronted a number of programmes following the success of TW3, including its immediate successor, Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life, which he co-chaired with Willie Rushton and P. J. Kavanagh. More notable was The Frost Report, 1966 and 1967, which launched the television careers of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. He signed for Rediffusion, the ITV weekday contractor in London, to produce a "heavier" interview-based show called The Frost Programme. Guests included Sir Oswald Mosley and Rhodesian premier Ian Smith. His memorable dressing-down of insurance fraudster Emil Savundra was generally regarded as the first example of "trial by television" in the UK.

In 1963, a tribute to the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy on That Was the Week That Was had seen Frost's fame spread to the United States. His 1970 TV special, Frost on America, featured guests such as Jack Benny and Tennessee Williams.[4]

From 1969 to 1972, Frost kept his London shows and fronted The David Frost Show on the Group W (U.S. Westinghouse Corporation) television stations in the United States.[5] In 1977, he met US President Richard Nixon in a series of interviews for American television.

That same year Frost was the executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated The Slipper and the Rose. Frost was an organiser of the Music for UNICEF Concert at the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. Ten years later, Frost was hired as the anchor of the new American tabloid news program Inside Edition. However, he was dismissed after only three weeks, and then-ABC News reporter Bill O'Reilly was recruited in his stead.

During the 1980s, 90s and 2000s, he presented the panel game Through the Keyhole on daytime TV, which featured a long running partnership with Loyd Grossman.

After transferring from ITV, his Sunday morning interview programme Breakfast with Frost ran on the BBC from January 1993 until 29 May 2005. The programme originally began in this format on TV-am in September 1983 as Frost on Sunday until the station lost its franchise at the end of 1992. Later it transferred briefly to BSB before moving to the BBC.

Since then he has worked for Al Jazeera English, presenting a live weekly hour-long current affairs programme, Frost Over the World, which started when the network launched in November 2006. The programme has regularly made headlines with interviewees such as Tony Blair, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Benazir Bhutto and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua. The programme is produced by the former Question Time editor and Independent on Sunday journalist Charlie Courtauld. He was one of the first to interview the man who authored the historic fatwa on terrorism, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.[6]

During his career as a journalist he became one of Concorde's most frequent fliers, having flown between London and New York an average of 20 times per year for 20 years.[7][8]

In 2007, Frost hosted a discussion with Libya's leader Gaddafi as part of the Monitor Group's involvement in the country.[9]

In 2012, Frost presented a programme on BBC Four called "Frost on Satire", looking at satirical works on television, such as Spitting Image. Celebrities who appeared on the programme included Rory Bremner and Ian Hislop.

Achievements

Frost was instrumental in starting up two important ITV franchises: London Weekend Television in July 1968 and as one of the Famous Five who launched TV-am in February 1983. Ironically,[citation needed] both had plans that were considered highbrow and both suffered launch problems with low audience ratings and financial difficulties that led to outside parties taking large stakes in the companies and significant changes in business strategy before stability was achieved.

On 20 and 21 July 1969, during the British television Apollo 11 coverage, he presented David Frost's Moon Party for LWT, a ten-hour discussion and entertainment marathon from LWT's Wembley Studios, on the night Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Two of his guests on this programme were British historian A.J.P. Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr.[10] Taylor was sceptical about the proceedings and believed that the moon landing was actually a mock-up being broadcast from a Hollywood studio.[citation needed]

Frost started the production company David Paradine Productions, and was also part of a consortium with Richard Branson that failed to acquire three ITV franchises under the CPV-TV name.

Frost's longest television association was with the daytime panel show Through the Keyhole. The programme, produced by his David Paradine Productions company, ran on various channels from 1987 until 2008, with Frost acting as host throughout. To younger generations, Frost is chiefly known for his role on this show, alongside Loyd Grossman.

Frost is the only person to have interviewed eight British prime ministers serving between 1964 and 2010 (Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron) and the seven US presidents in office between 1969 and 2008 (Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush). He was also the last person to interview Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.[11]

He is a patron and former vice-president of the Motor Neurone Disease Association charity, as well as being a patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, the Hearing Trust,[12] East Anglia's Children's Hospices, the Home Farm Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.[13][14][15]

After having been in television for 40 years, Frost is worth £200 million.[16] This valuation includes the assets of his main British company and subsidiaries, plus homes in London and the country.

Frost/Nixon

Originally a play by Peter Morgan that was developed from a series of interviews, Frost/Nixon was presented both in London and on Broadway. The play was adapted into a motion picture, starring Michael Sheen as David Frost, Frank Langella as Richard Nixon, directed by Ron Howard, and released in 2008. The film was nominated for five Golden Globe awards: Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score,[17] as well as five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing.

In February 2009, David Frost was featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC-TV) international affairs programme Foreign Correspondent in a report titled "The World According To Frost", reflecting on his long career and portrayal in the feature film Frost/Nixon.[18]

Personal life

Before his present marriage, Frost was known for several liaisons with beautiful and famous women, and he is also known for remaining friendly with most of them. In the mid 1960s, he dated British actress Janette Scott, between her marriages to songwriter Jackie Rae and singer Mel Tormé; in the early 1970s he was engaged to American actress Diahann Carroll; between 1972 and 1977 he had a relationship with British socialite Caroline Cushing; and in 1981 he married Lynne Frederick, widow of Peter Sellers, but they divorced the following year.[1] He also had an 18-year on-and-off affair with Carol Lynley. On 19 March 1983, David Frost married Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard (born 20 February 1952), daughter to the 17th Duke of Norfolk, and they have three sons.[1]

Selected awards and honours

Publications

References

  1. ^ a b c d e TimeLine Theatre Company, Chicago: Frost/Nixon Study Guide Retrieved 2011-10-02
  2. ^ Wellingborough Grammar School Archive copy at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "My Life in Media: Sir David Frost". The Independent. 2 May 2005. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050502/ai_n14608735.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c Zajacz, Rita. "FROST, DAVID". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/frostdavid/frostdavid.htm.
  5. ^ The David Frost Show
  6. ^ “”. "Frost over the World - Rafael Moreno and Muhammad Tahir al-Qadri". Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoS5w-HVLA8. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  7. ^ Orlebar, Christopher (2004). The Concorde story. Osprey Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-85532-667-5.
  8. ^ Quest, Richard (3 October 2003). "Why Concorde mattered". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/why-concorde-mattered-583699.html.
  9. ^ U.S. Firm Under Fire For Gadhafi Makeover Contract : NPR, by Peter Overby, 2010 3 10, via www.npr.org on 2011 03 10
  10. ^ "ITV Moon Landing Coverage". British TV History. http://www.tvhistory.btinternet.co.uk/html/moon_itv.html. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  11. ^ Gordon, Bryony (10 June 2010). "Daily Telegraph: ''Sir David Frost's charm offensive''. 10 Jun 2010". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/7819054/Sir-David-Frosts-charm-offensive.html. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  12. ^ "Hearing Trust". Hearing Trust. http://www.hearingtrust.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  13. ^ Elton John AIDS Foundation patrons
  14. ^ CaritasData (2006). Who's Who In Charities 2007. ISBN 1-904964-27-3.
  15. ^ "Patrons page at Alzheimer's Research UK". Alzheimersresearchuk.org. http://www.alzheimers-research.org.uk/aboutus/whoweare/people.php?type=Patrons. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  16. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (2006). The "Sunday Times" Rich List 2006-2007: 5,000 of the Wealthiest People in the United Kingdom. A & C Black Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-7941-7.
  17. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ifcdf033a039397d33af1e1010cab7e66?pn=2 (subscription required)
  18. ^ Corcoran, Mark (17 February 2009). "The World According to Frost". ABC Online. http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2009/s2494109.htm.

External links