September 2, 2013
Everyone will be sad to hear that Sir David Frost has passed away at the age of 74.
Most people will know him for the public humbling of American president, Richard Nixon in a series of unforgettable television interviews. They were immortalised recently in the movie “Frost-Nixon.”
Less than two months ago I interviewed Sir David at Wimbledon, to ask him what he thought of Andy Murray and his chances of taking the title. It may even have been his last interview.
As you always find with the true legends of television and cinema, he was extraordinarily patient and as helpful as he could possibly be. Dignified, a class act; which was just as well, because, as Sir David knew only too well, it was quite a daunting task for any reporter to ask questions of the great interrogator himself.
Frost was born just three years after Fred Perry secured the last Men’s Singles Wimbledon title for a Brit back in 1936.
So how did he rate Murray’s chances of beating Novak Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final?
‘Do we have a new champion at last?’ I asked him.
‘Yes we do,’ he predicted confidently. ‘Murray’s sheer courage and his sheer skill will see him through. And he has something else to help him cope with the pressure: a marvellous self-deprecating humour, which people are getting to see now.’
As you can see, Sir David was generous of spirit to the end. He was also right. And now that he has gone, we can at least feel glad that he saw Perry’s Wimbledon successor achieve the dream at last.
Frost loved his tennis. It wasn’t the first time he’d been to Wimbledon and stopped to talk. But I’d be lying if I said he didn’t look a little frail on this occasion…older than his seventy-four years.
Sir David Frost had lived his life to the full. He had probably packed a hundred and fifty years of fascinating living into less than half that time.
I feel honoured to have met him…and Andy Murray should be honoured that such a great man thought so much of him.