Book festival tributes to TV legend Frost

Sir David Frost arrives at the Borders Book Festival 2012 in advance of his talk hosted by Rory Bremner. Taken 15th June 2012''Harmony House in Melrose, The Scottish Borders''pictures by Lloyd Smith/Writer Pictures
Sir David Frost arrives at the Borders Book Festival 2012 in advance of his talk hosted by Rory Bremner. Taken 15th June 2012''Harmony House in Melrose, The Scottish Borders''pictures by Lloyd Smith/Writer Pictures

There was shock among his many local fans at the sudden death at the weekend of Borders Book Festival favourite Sir David Frost.

The veteran broadcaster and legendary interviewer died after a heart attack on Saturday night while on board the cruise ship the Queen Elizabeth.

Frost appeared last year at the book festival, drawing a sell-out audience to hear about a career in journalism and broadcasting spanning half a century.

One of the fathers of the satire boom of the early 60s, Frost was the only person to have interviewed eight serving British prime ministers and seven US presidents, including most famously, his 1977 conversations with Richard Nixon.

Speaking to The Southern this week, Borders Book Festival founder and director, Alistair Moffat, paid tribute to one of the giants of television journalism.

“Everyone who worked in television admired David Frost, he was such an innovator and one of the first pure TV performers and producers,” Mr Moffat said.

“Many had come from theatre or radio, but David was a child of TV. And because I worked in ITV for 20 years, I was so pleased to meet him when he came to the Borders Book Festival.

“I found out David had died when Rory Bremner called me at home. We talked about David’s superb interview, roles reversed, at Melrose and what a great man he was. It is very sad to see him die relatively young and with so much more to do.”

The son of a Methodist minister from Kent, David Paradine Frost was a broadcasting legend on both sides of the Atlantic.

It was in 1962 that he joined the BBC to host That Was The Week That Was, which heralded a ground-breaking, less deferential, style of news coverage and interviewing.

His next series, The Frost Report, launched the careers of The Two Ronnies, The Monty Python team and The Goodies.