David Frost's most memorable interviews
File - David Frost, left, talks with former President Richard Nixon in this March 1977 b/w file photo prior to the taping of his interview with the former President. Veteran broadcaster David Frost, who won fame around the world for his interview with former President Richard Nixon, has died, his family told the BBC. He was 74. Frost died of a heart attack on Saturday night aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was due to give a speech, the family said. The cruise company Cunard says its vessel had left the English port of Southampton on Saturday for a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean. (AP Photo, File) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
LONDON (AP) — Veteran British broadcaster David Frost set a milestone in TV history when he drew extraordinary admissions from disgraced former President Richard Nixon in 1977. Armed with ambition, talent and a remarkable contacts book, Frost sat down with many other world leaders and the biggest names in show business over half a century. Here are some highlights from some of his most prominent interviews.
RICHARD NIXON, 1977
Over almost 30 hours of interviews with Nixon, who resigned three years earlier in disgrace over the Watergate scandal, Frost pressed the ex-president to acknowledge and apologize for his wrongdoing in office. Frost managed to get the following remarkable responses.
Frost: "I think people need to hear it, and I think unless you say it, you're going to be haunted for the rest of your life."
Nixon: "I let down my friends. I let down the country. I let down our system of government and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into government but will think it is all too corrupt and the rest. .... And I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life."
Frost: "So what you are saying is that there are certain situations ... where the president can decide that it's in the best interest of the nation or something, and do something illegal?"
Nixon: "Well when the president does it that means that it is not illegal."
Frost: "By definition?"
MUHAMMAD ALI, 1974
Frost interviewed the legendary heavyweight boxer, then 32, inside a boxing ring, ahead of his landmark fight with George Foreman, when most people wrongly thought Ali would lose. But Ali was animated and brimming with confidence in the interview.
Ali: "I think it is befitting that I go out of boxing just like I came in, defeating a big, bad monster that nobody could destroy... Listen David, when I meet this man, if you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait till I whip Foreman's behind."
The boxer continued, partly talking directly to the camera, then standing up to caricature Foreman: "Listen, George Foreman, people are afraid of George Foreman. They talk about how hard he hits. The world has been deceived. You listen to me. You listen to me now, I never told you wrong. The man don't hit hard."
MARGARET THATCHER, 1985
In 1985 Frost grilled the prime minister about the sinking of the Argentine ship Belgrano by a British submarine that killed 323 sailors during the Falklands conflict.
As Frost pressed on with questions about what had happened, a visibly ruffled Thatcher sternly defended her decision to attack the ship. After being confronted with a barrage of questions, Thatcher finally said in frustration: "Do you think, Mr. Frost, that I spend my days prowling round the pigeon holes of the Ministry of Defense to look at the chart of each and every ship? If you do you must be bonkers."
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, 1993
In an interview with the former Soviet Union leader, Frost asked about communism, his legacy, and his relationship with, and views of, Thatcher.
Gorbachev: "It was not too easy to begin with ... but I felt from the start I could deal with her. I regarded her as an outstanding woman and a major political force. I was far from sharing all her opinions. ... Many sharp words were exchanged. I could never agree to the way she felt about nuclear weapons. She was too attracted to nuclear weapons."