Veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost has died at the age of 74, his family said.

Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes to the journalist, saying he was "both a friend and a fearsome interviewer".

Frost's career, spanning journalism, comedy and presenting, included his famous interviews with disgraced US President Richard Nixon.

A statement said: "His family are devastated and ask for privacy at 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
My heart goes out to David Frost's family. He could be - and certainly was with me - both a friend and a fearsome interviewer.

Frost - who probably interviewed more world figures from royalty, politics, the Church, show-business and virtually everywhere else, than any other living broadcaster - was the most illustrious TV inquisitor of his generation.

He not only won virtually all the major television awards available, but his professional activities were so diverse that he was once described as "a one-man conglomerate".

He was regularly scoffed at by fellow broadcasters for his allegedly non-aggressive style of questioning.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW

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  • Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards - London

    Sir David Frost, who was awarded the Harvey Lee award for outstanding achievement, arriving for the Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards, at the Theatre Royal in central London.

  • Jack Dee receives honorary degree

    TV personality Sir David Frost poses in cap and gown outside Winchester Cathedral where he has been awarded an honorary degree by the city's university.

  • South Bank Sky Arts Awards - London

    Sir David Frost arriving for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at the Dorchester Hotel, London.

  • Orient Express: A Personal Journey launch

    Sir David Frost at a photo call on Platform 2 of Victoria Station in London, at the launch the publication of James Sherwood's Orient Express: A Personal Journey.

  • Orient Express: A Personal Journey launch

    Sir David Frost on Platform 2 of Victoria Station in London, at the launch the publication of James Sherwood's Orient Express: A Personal Journey.

  • Sports For Peace - Fundraising Ball - Inside

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: Sir David Frost speaks at the Sports For Peace Fundraising Ball at The V&A on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Charles celebrates 21st anniversary of Amar Foundation

    Sir David Frost (centre) shares a laugh with The Prince of Wales, Patron of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation, during a reception to mark the charity's 21st anniversary, in the Royal Gallery at the House of Lords, central London.

  • Sir David Frost dies

    File photo dated 12/03/2013 of Sir David Frost arriving at the Sky Arts South Bank Awards in London, as the veteran broadcaster has died at the age of 74, his family said in a statement today.

  • Sir David Frost dies

    File photo dated 08/09/2011 of Sir David Frost (left) interviewing British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London for Frost Over the World, as the veteran broadcaster has died at the age of 74, his family said in a statement today.

  • David Frost appearing in "That Was The Week That Was"

  • Paul McCartney of The Beatles chats to Television Presenter David Frost at the Savoy Hotel, where the pair were attending the Variety Club of Great Britain Luncheon.

  • David Frost at London Weekend Television's centre on the South Bank, London

But he invariably had the last laugh because he almost always extracted more intriguing information and revealing reactions from his subjects than other far more acerbic broadcasters who boasted about their hard-hitting treatment of their "victims".

He was as affable and effusive off-screen as he was on it. And his cheery trademark introduction, "Hello, good morning and welcome" to his long running BBC1 Sunday programme Breakfast With Frost set the amiable tone for what was to follow.

'I LET DOWN THE COUNTRY' (STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

His interview with the doomed American President "Tricky Dicky" Richard Nixon was a TV classic. During it, Nixon dramatically admitted that he had "let down the country".

But there were many other historic moments, including one when he suddenly introduced the word "bonkers" during a tense interview with the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher over the sinking of the Argentine warship the Belgrano during the Falklands conflict.

She was furious.