Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 16:24 UK

Stars pay tribute to Sir Clement


A look back at Sir Clement Freud's life

Tributes have been paid to writer and broadcaster Sir Clement Freud, who has died at his London home nine days short of his 85th birthday.

Stephen Fry, who starred alongside Sir Clement on Radio 4's comedy game show Just A Minute, described him as an "immensely generous and charming man".

The former Liberal MP is survived by his wife, the actress Jill Freud, five children and 17 grandchildren.

Sir Clement's funeral will take place in London next Friday.

A grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Sir Clement had a varied career as a cookery expert, press columnist and radio game show contestant.


Renowned for his lugubrious expression and mournful voice, he was a regular panellist on the BBC's Just a Minute for more than 30 years.

Comedian Tony Hawks, another regular on the long-running Radio 4 show, remembered him being a "formidable" character.

"I had listened to the show as a boy, so meeting him was like meeting a hero," he told BBC Breakfast.

"You always knew he would be a challenging performer. Through his great intellect he'd always bring out the best in you."

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry has also paid tribute, remembering Sir Clement as an "immensely generous, benevolent and charming man".

"My favourite memory is of him in full flow on Just a Minute, still able to trip up people a quarter of his age," he told Radio 4's Today programme.


Born in 1924, the young Clement Freud began his career in the hotel business before turning to journalism.

Sir Clement Freud
Sir Clement was elected the rector of St Andrews University in 2002

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

His idiosyncratic pet food commercials with Henry the dog, first broadcast in the 1960s, launched him on a long career as a television and radio personality.

His political career began in 1973, when - against the odds - he won the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberal Party.

Ten years later he transferred to North East Cambridgeshire, a seat he held until 1987. He was knighted the same year.

Sir Clement worked for a string of titles, including the Observer, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express.

Last year he wrote about his death in The Times, claiming his relatives would want to inherit his wine.

A gentleman of incredible intellect and wonderful dry wit
Colin W, Plymouth

"I took my children around our flat in turns to glean who wanted to have what when we died," he wrote.

"They all wanted all the wine, my wife's desk, my collection of cookery books and the same picture, so that will be no trouble."

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg also paid tribute saying: "Clement Freud was part of a generation of larger than life figures who kept the Liberal Party alive through thick and thin.

"It is astonishing to remember all the things he did, all the things he was - wit, raconteur, politician, chef, advertiser of dog food, writer, comedian, a devoted father, husband and grandfather and someone who could never resist a flutter.

"They don't make people like that anymore and he will be sorely missed by millions," he added.

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