Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

F

DAVID FROST

David Frost is, arguably, the most famous television interviewer in the world, one whose talents are recognized as much in America as in his native Britain. As an interviewer, Frost has been described by Life ( March 22, 1968) as "an intellectual Milton Berle" and by British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge as the representative of "modern mediocrity." As N. R. Kleinfield wrote in the New York Times, "His interviewing style seems so harmless, and often it can be infuriatingly docile. His strongest talent is for being able to put someone so at ease they practically forget they're awake." Certainly, as an interviewer, David Frost is far less abrasive in the 1990s than he was a decade earlier. He has perhaps become a little too friendly with many of his subjects. It is, for example, fascinating to watch Frost's early combative interviews with Margaret Thatcher and to compare them to recent encounters in which the two are on first name, and obviously cozy, terms.

Frost was born in Tenterden, Kent, on April 7, 1939. His father was a Methodist minister, and, despite his often acerbic commentary on society and the political scene, Frost's roots lie firmly in fundamental religion. In 1965 and 1966, he presented a series of short, religious programs on the BBC. While attending Gonnvillea and Caius College, Cambridge, Frost began appearing in satirical revues and also appeared on Anglia Television. Upon graduation, he joined the London-based commercial television company, Associated Rediffusion, where he appeared on several programs but was generally considered unphotogenic.

While appearing at the Blue Angel nightclub, Frost was seen by Ned Sherrin and invited to join the cast of a new television program that Sherrin was creating for the BBC. The program, called That Was the Week That Was, made television history with its attacks on the establishment and its

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Some Joe You Don't Know: An American Biographical Guide to 100 British Television Personalities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • A 1
  • B 13
  • C 39
  • D 55
  • E 59
  • F 67
  • G 75
  • H 85
  • Bibliography 117
  • I 121
  • J 123
  • K 141
  • L 147
  • M 161
  • Bibliography 181
  • O 191
  • P 193
  • R 203
  • Bibliography 232
  • T 235
  • W 243
  • General Bibliography 257
  • Index 259
  • About the Author 273
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