Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Those Radio Times!: "Hello, Good Evening and Welcome!" - Remembering Sir David Frost

Frost on Vinyl
Remembered for his famous catchphrase, "Hello, Good Evening and Welcome" there's no doubt David Frost never ceased to bring a smile to viewers faces across the world.

Few people could move from the world of TV satire into that of political inquisitor as smoothly or successfully as he did. His death at the weekend was not only a  loss to the golden age of television but also to the world of broadcasting and documentary, something of which he was still very much a part of.

As I was growing up, I was very much aware of the serious side of his career, particularly the Richard Nixon interview or giving Margaret Thatcher a severe grilling on Breakfast TV.

TW3 makes the cover
of Radio Times
It was probably around the early 1980s I became aware of his earlier work on shows such as That Was The Week That Was which also featured William Rushton, Roy Kinnear, Kenneth Cope, Lance Percival and Millicent Martin and The Frost Report which included John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett and Sheila Steafel. 

Both series were a great reflection of the British ability to laugh at changing trends in the then revolutionary age of the 1960s. A decade rapidly moving away from post-war values of the public at large and the stiff upper lipped attitudes that Auntie Beeb had upheld since the 1920s. TW3 and The Frost Report were earthy and real satire that the viewers could identify with.

The Frost Report even featuring one of the most iconic sketches of the 60s, The Class Sketch featuring Cleese, Barker and Corbett which was later resurrected for The Two Ronnies.

A vintage TW3 preview
from a Radio Times special
Sir David Frost of course didn't lose his knack of appealing to the masses and for many years hosted a diverse range of series including Through The Keyhole, Breakfast With Frost and also a series of programmes examining the Christian faith via the Alpha Course.

In recent years a successful play based on his 1970's interviews with disgraced American President Richard Nixon highlighted one of Frost's career peaks, it was later dramatised as a film starring Michael Sheen.

Sir David Frost appeared on Desert Island Discs three times, in 1963, 1971 and 2005. You can find out his choices and download extracts from his appearances here.

Also check out some more Vintage Frost on the radio courtesy of fellow blogger Andy Walmsley.

Sir David Frost OBE April 7 1939 - August 31 2013

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