15 items from 2013
Satire has always been scarce on television; this new programme shows that wit and mockery can be successful
If it was greatly daring of the BBC to start a satirical commentary on current affairs, "That Was The Week That Was" on Saturday night certainly justified the venture. Satire has always been scarce on television; this programme shows that wit and mockery can be successful. Uneven wit and mockery, but excellent at its best. The programme was too long, and tried to get in too much. These are teething troubles. One should have the feeling that what we do see is a distillation of much material; it must be only the cream, and best cream at that.
Great as I think the interest of politics on television, I felt over the "little general election" last week that the presentation was ludicrously over-done. Psephologists and commentators beat the air with words until »
Closer to 80 than 70, the man works.
Nov. 8: Red Bank, N.J.
Nov. 14: Great Falls, Mont.
Nov. 15: Missoula, Mont.
Nov. 16: San Bernardino, Calif.
That’s Bill Cosby’s performance itinerary for the past two weeks. Then come the next two weeks. Nov. 21: Virginia Beach, Va. Nov. 23: Columbia, S.C. Nov. 29: Las Vegas. Nov. 30: Boston.
In between, on Nov. 23, Comedy Central will air “Far From Finished,” Cosby’s first televised comedy special in three decades. Need a milestone for the last time a live Cosby performance was recorded for air? You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than this: “The Cosby Show” hadn’t yet premiered on NBC. (That last special, “Himself,” provided the basis of the material for the show widely thought to have saved the television sitcom.)
If you track careers based on how often people appear onscreen, you’d »
- Jon Weisman
Sir David Frost's final BBC project is to be made, it has been announced.
The broadcaster - who died aged 74 earlier this month - was said to be "extremely excited" to be working on a new programme entitled That Was the Year That Was before he passed away.
Lord Michael Grade will step in to present the show in his memory, the BBC has confirmed.
Broadcast on BBC Radio 2, the programme will focus on 1963, the year Frost presented That Was the Week That Was.
It will look back at news stories that took place during his early career, including the Profumo affair, the Great Train Robbery, James Bond's launch and the assassination of JFK.
The programme will begin recording this week, and will be broadcast later in 2013.
BBC Radio 2's Bob Shennan »
James Martin's Food Map Of Britain
Erroneously supposing that what's been missing from cookery shows is a light aircraft, chef and pilot James Martin flies to different regions in Britain to show us how "this land has influenced our larders". He begins this weeknight series in the south-east, amid the boats-on-the-beach charm of Hastings, where freshly caught Dover sole is on the menu. Martin then heads to Kent, where he prepares a cherry trifle. "With trifle," the gruff Martin rather incongruously intones, "more is more." Jonathan Wright
The Fried Chicken Shop
9pm, Channel 4
Following the Cutting Edge documentary that aired earlier in the year, this three-part fly-on-the-wall series catches up with the staff and customers of Rooster Spot in south London. »
- Jonathan Wright, Rachel Aroesti, Julia Raeside, Hannah Verdier, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, Gwilym Mumford
Despite his on-screen career lasting for a neat half-century, his enduring influence on the TV industry will not be as a presenter
Unusually among broadcasters, Sir David Frost chose to list in Who's Who every single programme he had ever made, with the result that his entry eventually occupied almost 20cm between the diplomat and businessman he alphabetically divided. These credits ran from That Was the Week That Was, for the BBC in 1963, to Frost on Sketch Shows, shown on BBC4 this year. But, despite this on-screen career lasting for a neat half-century, his enduring influence on the TV industry will not be as a presenter.
Frost, who died on Saturday of a suspected heart attack onboard a cruise ship, first emerged as host of satire shows – not only TW3, but also The Frost Report and Not So Much a Programme – and then as a topical interviewer. However, while the »
- Mark Lawson
Former producer describes process leading up to ex-president's apology and emphasises late presenter's impact on British TV
Lord Birt, the former BBC director general and producer of the late Sir David Frost's celebrated interview with Richard Nixon, has told how the veteran broadcaster ended "the age of deference" and ushered in a new era that made programmes like Newsnight and the Today programme possible.
Birt, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday following Frost's death at the weekend, spoke of the lengths he went to get the Nixon interview and how after months of preparation they thought they would never extract the famous Watergate confession in which the disgraced president told the American people he had let them and the country down.
After two months of interviews in which Nixon persisted with his line that he had done nothing wrong, he cracked, Birt recalled. "It was like being at a birth, »
- Lisa O'Carroll
Pioneering entrepreneur and interviewer, most famous for drawing a confession from disgraced Us president Richard Nixon
Such was the longevity and breadth of Sir David Frost's career in television that arguably any one of a good half-dozen of his achievements would have been sufficient to secure his place in broadcasting history.
Over more than 50 years, from a post-Cambridge traineeship with the Associated-Rediffusion ITV franchise to a role with al-Jazeera, Frost was the interviewer of eight UK prime ministers and seven Us presidents, a pioneer of TV satire and comedy, the tormentor-confessor of Richard Nixon, a TV entrepreneur and early innovator of self-production, a master of the chatshow sofa and a long-running gameshow host.
Frost's first brush with showbusiness came as secretary of the Cambridge Footlights revue, where contemporaries remember the cast's bemusement when on tour to see posters declaring David Frost presents The Footlights.
After his traineeship with Rediffusion, »
- Peter Walker
Veteran broadcaster who started out in the 60s satire boom and found worldwide fame with his TV interviews
For half a century, Sir David Frost, who has died aged 74 of a heart attack, was hardly ever off our television screens, from 1960s satire on the BBC to encounters with the great and good on al-Jazeera. In the process, he became the world's most celebrated television interviewer.
At the outset, the very success of this man in a stupendous hurry proved somewhat alarming to some – as the author and translator Kitty Muggeridge said of him in 1967: "He has risen without a trace." Worse than that, he was nicknamed the "bubonic plagiarist", for allegedly appropriating Peter Cook's gags and sketches from Beyond the Fringe for his television show That Was the Week That Was, and so piggybacking on the achievements of others.
No matter. In the decades that followed, Frost »
- Stuart Jeffries
It was possible to imagine him leaning across the sofa to ask: 'And now, Herr Hitler, where did you go on holiday this year?'
As Philip Larkin mournfully observed, the sexual revolution of the 60s actually began around 1963 ("which was rather late for me"), but the satirical rejection of establishment values that accompanied it had already reached Britain's TV screens a year earlier. Extraordinary as it may now seem, the 23-year-old most conspicuously leading the charge at the barricades was the future Sir David Frost, duke's son-in-law and favourite interviewer of the global great and not-so-good.
As the anchorman for That Was The Week That Was (TW3), Frost was the man students came home from the pub to watch on a Saturday night. Impish, irreverent and sporting combed-forward hair with a quiff at the front, the former Cambridge Footlights star, a Methodist minister's son from Kent, seemed to embody the new, »
- Michael White
The broadcasting world lost one of its longest-serving and most respected journalists yesterday when Sir David Frost passed away at the age of 74.
Known for his unique interviewing style and hosting TV shows such as That Was the Week That Was and Breakfast with Frost, his death has prompted tributes from a whole host of public figures - from Prime Minister David Cameron to actor Russell Crowe.
Click through the gallery below to view some of the highlights of Frost's career, which spanned over five decades: »
Tributes have been paid to Sir David Frost, who has died suddenly at the age of 74.
During his lengthy career, Frost was at the forefront of major changes in broadcasting and used his skill, creativity and persistence to provide viewers with some of the most memorable moments in television - and in some cases, world history.
Digital Spy looks back at six ways in which Sir David Frost made his mark on broadcast media below.
1. That Was the Week That Was (TW3)
That Was the Week That Was - or TW3, as it was often known - made politicians and the establishment fair satirical game in the early 1960s at a time when the Profumo affair was dominating headlines. Commissioned by the BBC, Frost was chosen to anchor the programme by its creator Ned Sherrin.
TW3 lampooned the class system, Britain's waning influence on the world stage (as in the clip below) and foreign affairs, »
Sir David Frost died yesterday (August 31) after suffering a suspected heart attack on board the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.
Frost was born in Kent in 1939, the son of a minister. A keen footballer, he was offered a contract with Nottingham Forest Fc while at school, but chose to study English at Cambridge University instead.
It was here that he started out in journalism, editing the student newspaper Varsity and literary magazine Granta. He also became secretary of the Footlights club, where he met future comedy stars such as Peter Cook, Graham Chapman and John Bird.
Upon graduating, Frost became a trainee at ITV and was soon asked to host satirical show That Was The Week That Was in 1962. He went on to front a Us version of the programme for NBC, before presenting The Frost Report from 1966 to 1967, helping to launch the careers of John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. »
Sir David Frost, the veteran broadcaster and writer, has died of a suspected heart attack while traveling aboard the Queen Elizabeth where he was delivering a speech on Saturday night, according to the BBC. He was 74. Frost’s long career spanned journalism, heavy-hitting TV interviews, game show hosting and comedy writing. He notably conducted a series of televised sit-downs with former president Richard Nixon in 1977. They were the basis of a 2006 play by Peter Morgan, which was then adapted as Ron Howard’s 2008 film, Frost/Nixon. Michael Sheen played Frost and the film was nominated for five Oscars. In the early 1960s, Frost hosted the satirical program That Was The Week That Was on the BBC and also featured on an American version for NBC from 1964-1965. In 1968, he helped launch London Weekend Television, which is now part of ITV. His other on-air TV credits included The Frost Report, The David Frost Show, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Introducing our look at the year that defined the modern era, the veteran writer recalls the extraordinary collision of politics, culture and social upheaval that he witnessed as a student
Was it a prefigurative year? I think so. Not that one thought of it as such at the time or even a few years later, when it was totally forgotten in the turbulence that engulfed the world. I am trying to recall that year, to find deep down some memories, even a few impressions on the basis of which I could reconstruct a misted-up past without too many distortions.
When I arrived to study at Oxford in October 1963, the bohemian style was black plastic or leather jackets for women and black leather or navy donkey jackets for men. I stuck to cavalry twills and a duffle coat, at least for a few months. The Cuban missile crisis had temporarily boosted »
- Tariq Ali
BBC director general who resigned after a series of rows during the Thatcher era
When Alasdair Milne, who has died aged 82, was appointed director general of the BBC in 1981, he must have seemed the ideal choice. He had known no career other than broadcasting and no employer other than the BBC, though he had once left the corporation briefly to set up an independent production company. Furthermore, he had come up from current affairs television, by then the recognised launchpad to the top.
Yet his term as director general ended prematurely, in January 1987, when he resigned to avoid the ignominy of being sacked. The ostensible cause was a succession of public gaffes by the BBC in 1985-86, plus a costly out-of-court libel settlement over a 1984 edition of Panorama, all of which Tory ministers, the Times, the Daily Mail and others were able to exploit. Politics was at the root of all the complaints, »
- Philip Purser
15 items from 2013
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