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Sunday, 10 December, 2000, 13:20 GMT
Sir David Frost answers your questions

Sir David Frost has been broadcasting for 40 years, and during that time he has conducted many memorable interviews.

The BBC's Esther Rantzen put your questions to him about the highlights of his career.

Click on the button below to watch the forum.

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Transcript


Paul Nicholls, Canada

Do you still keep in touch with the cast of 'That Was The Week That Was?'


Sir David:

Well yes I had lunch with Bernard Levin just the other day. Bernard Levin who used to take on people he couldn't stand or groups he couldn't stand in a weekly confrontation. I love to see Bernard, and I saw Laurence Percival the other day - and Lily Martin came over for a Variety Club that I was doing three or four years ago and it was lovely to see her. Before that we all saw her on This Is Your Life. Ned Sherrin is great, we run into each other all the time


Mark Barlow, UK

I hear you'd like to see a reincarnation. Do really think it should come back.


Sir David:

Well I think it could but I think it should always be done by new people, I think 'That Was The Week That Was' was a great satire show. By 1962, the young had been yearning for a demolition job to be done on that lot in power. And so the times were ripe for us, we were ripe for the times. I think today, of course all of us can do satirical specials, but if they were a weekly show I think it should be done by a new generation really.


A question from Panama.

Please indicate your most difficult, your most pleasant and your most funny interview?


Sir David:

I think the most difficult interviews are usually interviews with an interpreter. Not Gorbachev's interpreter because he does a simultaneous interpretation and that's fantastic. I remember when interviewing an ex-King of Saudi Arabia, he insisted on having his interpreter who would then speak to my interpreter who would then speak to me, by the time we all went round he'd forgotten the question by the time you got the answer. The most difficult person emotionally for me was Zirhan Zirhan, because I found Robert Kennedy one of the most charismatic people I've ever met and to interview his killer was emotionally very difficult because I felt so strongly about Robert Kennedy and so on. Robin Williams was one of the funniest, he gives the sort of wonderful, unstoppable stories.


Eric from the UK.

What are the most effective tactics people have used to stop you getting at the truth?


Sir David:

Well that's changed over the years because there were certain ploys that politicians used in the '60s that then reached their sell-by date. For instance one of the big '60s things politicians would do would be that you would ask them a very specific question about something, and they'd just go into this long ramble in the hope that you forgot what the question was and it worked on occasions. But eventually the public got angry with that. There was another particular one they used to do which was to say, there are seven points I'd like to make in answer to that question, and then you'd say well I'm afraid we don't have time, maybe just three of them. And then they'd say well if I can't answer the question properly and do it justice I'd rather not answer it at all. That's quite a good way. And the third one that I remember was the kind that Robin Day got this one two or three times from people saying, 'you're interviewing the Minister of Defence, have you ever run a department spending 43 billion'. Well of course you haven't. I had a brilliant one the other day, General Schwarzkopf, Norman Schwarzkopf and I asked him about a story, but he didn't want to deal with that question, so he said I can go even further than that, and went on to something he was prepared to talk about. Very good. A very clever one I thought. It sounds so cooperative.


Steve Davis, Australia.

What do you do in your spare time, and what trade would you have taken up if you weren't a broadcaster?


Sir David:

Spare time for me is good restaurants, good food, good wine but most of all to be with Carina and time spent with the boys playing football, tennis or cricket. If I hadn't been a broadcaster, I think I'd have been a teacher. I had a year teaching before I went to Cambridge. I found it very rewarding and I would have been very happy to make a life out of that. .


Brian Monks

Have you ever spoken to the Queen?

Sir David:
Yes I have but I've never interviewed the Queen, nobody ever has. That would be a good ambition. The Queen Mother has never been interviewed. She's always said she doesn't want to be interviewed.

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