Sir David Frost died unexpectedly recently, and it’s worth remembering him as the fine journalist he was. Through his illustrious career he interviewed 8 British UK Prime Ministers and 7 US Presidents, as well as the last Shah of Iran and Elton John. He was a charismatic interviewer; empathetic and understanding, but also had a unique style.
But there are plenty of interviewers who match all of the above. So what is it that made Frost stand out, and become so attractive to the many establishments he gained access to? Well, Frost managed to mix the factual with the entertaining whilst keeping what he did high-brow, and never trivial.
In the accompanying clip, Frost interviews Tony Blair, asking questions in no uncertain terms, and that’s where his mastery is; he’s fearless but unaggressive. Now, perhaps that comes with experience, but you can tell through how he pursues the interviewee that Frost has a natural aptitude at getting the best out of people, and at making them both comfortable and uncomfortable at his will. If he hadn’t become a journalist, he’d have been a great policeman.