Tributes have poured in for “peerless broadcaster” Sir David Frost after he died from a heart attack aged 74.
The veteran BBC interviewer died on Saturday night on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was giving a speech.
Known for incisive interviews with the leading figures of his time – and perhaps most famously disgraced US president Richard Nixon, Sir David spent more than 50 years as a television star.
David Cameron was quick to pay tribute and described Sir David as “an extraordinary man – with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure” who had “made a huge impact on television and politics”.
“The Nixon interviews were among the great broadcast moments – but there were many other brilliant interviews,” the Prime Minister said.
“He could be - and certainly was with me - both a friend and a fearsome interviewer.”
Actor and comedian Stephen Fry said he had spoken to Sir David only on Friday and he had “sounded so well” and was “excited about a house move, full of plans”.
Former prime minister Tony Blair referred to Sir David as a “huge figure in broadcasting, a great professional and a good friend”.
“He had an extraordinary ability to draw out the interviewee, knew exactly where the real story lay and how to get at it, and was also a thoroughly kind and good natured man,” Mr Blair said.
“Being interviewed by him was always a pleasure but also you knew that there would be multiple stories the next day arising from it.”
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.
His roster of interviewees included virtually every US president and British prime minister during his working life.
During his series of five interviews with Nixon in 1977, the notoriously slippery former president known as “Tricky Dicky” dramatically admitted that he had “let down the country”.