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Sir David hailed as 'giant of TV'


Sir David Frost has died aged 74

Sir David Frost has died aged 74

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sir David Frost has died aged 74

Friends and admirers of Sir David Frost have hailed his "extraordinary" life after "one of the giants of television" suddenly died from a heart attack aged 74.

Sir David's family said they had been left "devastated" by his death last night on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was giving a speech.

Known for his incisive interviews - above all with disgraced US president Richard Nixon - he spent more than 50 years as a television star.

As soon as the news broke, there was an outpouring of tributes for a man who began his career as a satirist and went on to interview virtually every US president and British prime minister during his working life.

Fellow chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson said he had spoken to his friend of 40 years for the last time just a few days ago and they had arranged to meet in the coming week. "He was just an extraordinary guy, non-judgmental in that he didn't bring any prejudices to his work," Sir Michael said. "But it's not right to say he was a 'soft' interviewer - he had a totally persuasive interview style which led to the unmasking of a scoundrel."

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry, who spoke to Sir David on Friday, said he had sounded well and was "excited about a house move, full of plans".

David Cameron described him as "an extraordinary man - with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure" who had "made a huge impact on television and politics".

Peter Fincham, director of television at ITV, described him as the "epitome of old school charm" and "one of the giants of television", while playwright Peter Morgan, who wrote the film Frost/Nixon, described him as a "pioneer".

Those who knew him well pointed to his cherished role as a loving husband to wife Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard and father to their three sons.

Sir David's award-winning interview style was considered non-aggressive, affable and effusive - but he had a talent for extracting intriguing information and revealing reactions from his subjects.