Page last updated at 05:42 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 06:42 UK

Obituary: Sir Clement Freud


A look back at Sir Clement Freud's life

Sir Clement Freud, who has died aged 84, had a varied career as a Liberal MP, cookery expert, newspaper columnist and broadcaster.

His lugubrious expression and mournful voice launched him as a TV personality in the 1960s with a series of dog food commercials.

Born in Vienna in April 1924, Clement Freud was a grandson of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Another grandson was Clement's elder brother, the artist Lucian Freud.

The family moved to Britain in 1933, and Clement went to St Paul's School, in London, before going into the hotel business as an apprentice at the Dorchester in London.

After Army service, during which he was a liaison officer at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, he returned to the hotel business, at the Martinez in Cannes.

He started writing on cookery for newspapers and magazines in the 1950s, and expanded into a variety of subjects, including sport.

Clement Freud and Henry in a 1967 advert for dog food

His idiosyncratic pet food commercials with Henry the dog launched him on a long career as a television and radio personality - he was a stalwart of the BBC's Just a Minute for more than 30 years.

Clement Freud's political career began in 1973, when - against all the odds - he won the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberals.

Ten years later he transferred to North East Cambridgeshire after boundary changes, but lost the seat in 1987.

Sir Clement with Ian Hislop on Have I Got News For You in 2003
He appeared in Have I Got News For You with Ian Hislop in 2003

An energetic MP, he was party spokesman on education, the arts and broadcasting, and sponsored an anti-secrets Official Information Bill, which played a part in the collapse of the Callaghan government in 1979.

After a row over "wrecking" amendments to his Bill, the Labour Whips offered to facilitate it if he avoided voting to bring down the government. He refused, and the government fell.

Clement Freud was knighted in 1987. He was married, and had five children, including the television personality, Emma, and the PR guru, Matthew.

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