Veteran TV host dies

LONDON - David Frost, the veteran television host, author and producer, has died at the age of 74 following a heart attack.

The only person to have interviewed the last seven presidents of the US and the last six prime ministers of the UK, Frost had been with Al Jazeera English since its launch in 2006.

“David died of a heart attack on Saturday aboard the Queen Elizabeth which is a Cunard (cruise) liner where he was giving a speech. His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time,” the Frost family said in a statement read on BBC television yesterday.

Cunard said its vessel had left the English port of Southampton on Saturday for a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, immediately paid tribute to him.

“My heart goes out to David Frost’s family. He could be — and certainly was with me — both a friend and a fearsome interviewer,” Cameron said on Twitter.

David Frost is most famous for his interviews with Richard Nixon, the former US president, in 1977 during which he apologised for the Watergate scandal when his Republican party staff bugged the opposition Democrats’ offices. They achieved the largest audience for a news interview in history.

He has been awarded all the major television awards — the Emmy Award (for The David Frost Show — twice); the Royal Television Society Silver Medal and the Richard Dimbleby Award in the UK and, internationally, the Golden Rose of Montreux.

In 2005, he was awarded BAFTA’s highest honour, the BAFTA Fellowship. He was honoured by the Museum of the Moving Image in New York in 1998 and by the Museum of Broadcasting in New York in 1999.

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