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Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

Despite having made his reputation in satire with That Was The Week That Was, Frost's TV career began several months before as a backroom boy on Associated Rediffusion pop shows like Needle Match and Let's Twist in Paris. His TW3 follow-up, A Degree of Frost, would have an occasional Beatle to interview, while his BBC weekly satire show The Frost Report from 1966 had California folkie Julie Felix as a weekly guest.

He went back to Rediffusion in 1967 when was offered the chance to host a news and current affairs show in front of an audience. The Frost Programme would play host to controversial figures in the news, but again the odd Beatle would turn up which suited both sides, Frost would get his stars, while it looked as though someone was taking the Fabs seriously with intelligent questions.

With the ITV franchises due for review in 1967 Frost's London Television Consortium (later renamed London Weekend) put in a bid and were eventually awarded the Friday evening to Sunday night contract from August 1968 onwards. The programme schedule would see David Frost hosting a show each evening, Frost on Friday / Saturday / Sunday. Defending his decision to appear each day a 'spokesman' for LWT suggested that each day would be needed "to exhibit Frost in all of his different facets." The Friday show would be a return to the current affairs format, the Saturday show would be a little lighter and have musical guests, while the Sunday show would centre on comedy by bringing back Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker from The Frost Report alongside more musical guests.

Frost landed a coup for the first Saturday show by playing host to John and Yoko, while The Rolling Stones also appeared on a later show performing an incendiary Sympathy For The Devil. The Sunday show would have Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll as regulars until a dispute saw them leave, then apparently return a few months' later.

When The Beatles' promo clips for Hey Jude and Revolution were being taped at Twickenham studios David Frost was on the set to film an special introduction for his show, with The Fabs attempting to play a version of his George Martin written theme tune as he spoke.

The show disappeared from the schedules from January to September 1969 but when it did return the Sunday show had been dropped. On Friday 3rd October 1969 he had as his guest Rupert Murdoch, then owner of the News Of The World. Murdoch felt slighted by Frost's questioning and plotted a none-to-subtle revenge. He started by becoming a shareholder of London Weekend, joining the board in November 1970 after buying GEC's seven-and-a-half percent stake. Then he waited.

Further upheaval for the show occurred at the beginning of 1970 which saw it reduced to a single show on a Sunday, however it had been moved up the schedule to mid evening. For the final show of that series in March 1970 Frost welcomed old chum Ringo Starr who brought with him promo clips from his debut solo album, Sentimental Journey.

The Frost Programme name was dusted off for his final series at the end of the year, and despite the controversy and front pages awarded him for the Yippie invasion in November it was too late.

London Weekend's arts-heavy programming which at first attracted the attention of the franchise commissioners at ITA soon turned sour for the channel as they not only failed to attract viewers, but also lost many of their previously loyal senior staff as a result. Despite viewers' derision at the station's programming the ITA insisted that London Weekend pursue its intended programming schedule. After prominent sackings, shareholder Rupert Murdoch launched a successful takeover bid and had David Frost and his Paradine Productions removed from the company in December 1970.


London Weekend

2nd August 1968 - 29th March 1970


19th September 1970 - 12th Decmber 1970