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David Frost, Nixon TV Interviewer, Dies at 74, BBC Says

U.K. Journalist David Frost
A file photo shows veteran British television journalist David Frost attending the world premiere of director Ron Howard's film 'Frost/Nixon' in London on October 15, 2008. Frost, who gained international fame from his series of interviews with former U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1977, has died at the age of 74. Photographer: Shaun Curry/AFP via Getty Images

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Veteran British television interviewer David Frost, whose interview with former U.S. President Richard Nixon was made into a Hollywood movie, died at the age of 74, the BBC reported today, citing a family statement.

Frost died after giving a speech on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship late yesterday, according to the statement.

“His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time,” the family statement said. “A family funeral will be held in the near future and details of a memorial service will be announced in due course.”

Frost’s career spanned journalism, comedy writing and daytime television presenting, including “The Frost Report” and “That Was The Week That Was.”

He presented news programs during his career for the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera English. He interviewed seven U.S. presidents, and British prime ministers including Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron, Tony Blair and Harold Wilson.

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

Frost gained international fame with his series of interviews in 1977 with Nixon for U.S. television. The encounters formed the basis for “Frost/Nixon” (2008), directed by Ron Howard, in which Frost was portrayed by Michael Sheen while Frank Langella played the disgraced former president.

“Michael was fantastic,” Frost said in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper in May this year. “He stopped just short of doing an impersonation of me, which would have easily slipped into caricature. He put his own intelligent interpretation; he read my character. It worked. I’m tremendously grateful.”

Frost was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Harrison in London at mharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Charles W. Stevens at cstevens@bloomberg.net

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