LONDON — David Frost may be best remembered for his post-Watergate interviews with former President Richard Nixon, but the veteran British broadcaster was equally at ease as a satirist, game show host and serious political journalist.
In a television career that spanned half a century across both sides of the Atlantic, Frost interviewed a long list of the world's most powerful and famous, including virtually every British prime minister and U.S. president of his time. He also was a gifted entertainer, a born TV host, and his amiable and charming personality was often described as the key to his success as interviewer.
"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 British Prime Minister Tony Blair said.
Blair's former communications chief, Alastair Campbell, added on Twitter that Frost was "one of best interviewers because his sheer niceness could lull you into saying things you didn't intend."
Frost, 74, died of a heart attack on Saturday night aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was due to give a speech, his family said. The BBC said it received the statement from Frost's family saying it was devastated and asking "for privacy at this difficult time." The cruise company Cunard said its vessel left the English port of Southampton on Saturday for a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean.
Prime Minister David Cameron, one of the first public officials to send condolences, praised Frost for being an "extraordinary man with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure," while BBC executives lauded him as "a titan of broadcasting."
Frost began his career almost fresh out of college as the host of an early 1960s BBC satirical news show "That Was The Week That Was," then a pioneering program that ruthlessly lampooned politicians. The show gained a wide following, and Frost's signature greeting, "Hello, good evening and welcome" was often mimicked.