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Tributes to broadcaster David Frost
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.
His family said in a statement: "Sir David Frost died of a heart attack last night aboard the Queen Elizabeth where he was giving a speech. His family is devastated and have asked for privacy during this difficult time. A family funeral will be held in the near future and details of a memorial service will be announced in due course."
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."
Former prime minister Tony Blair referred to Sir David as a "huge figure in broadcasting, a great professional and a good friend". Mr Blair added: "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. Being interviewed by him was always a pleasure but also you knew that there would be multiple stories the next day arising from it."
Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell also paid homage, saying: "To be interviewed by David Frost was never a chore, even when trying to defend the indefensible. But his scrupulous and disarming politeness hid a mind like a vice. David Frost could do you over without you realising it until it was too late. He was a peerless broadcaster."
Peter Fincham, director of television at ITV, said Sir David was the "epitome of old school charm" and "one of the giants of television". Mr Fincham said: "He was a major presence on screen for five decades, able to switch effortlessly from light entertainment to interviewing world leaders. And he was the most courteous and generous man you could hope to meet, always making it seem that it was his great good fortune to know you, rather than vice versa."
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: "You couldn't write the history of broadcasting today without realising the huge influence David had on it. From satire to comedy to the big political interviews, for more than 50 years he brought us the history of the world we live in today, that's the mark of the man. I had lunch with him just three weeks ago to discuss a new series on his work. As a broadcaster and as a friend he was always warm, enthusiastic and brilliant. David was one of the BBC greats and he will be hugely missed."