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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Tributes to Clement Freud

Clement Freud recording an edition of Just A Minute

Tributes have been paid to broadcaster and writer Sir Clement Freud, who died last night aged 84.

A former Liberal MP, Sir Clement was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute for more than 40 years.

Mark Damazer, Radio 4 Controller, posted a tribute this morning on the Radio 4 blog:

"It's a sad day for Radio 4 Comedy. He was a contestant on the first episode of Just A Minute in 1967 and had taken part in every series until his death. In 1974, he was elected Rector of the University of Dundee and served two three-year terms. He began with the likes of Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo and ended jousting with very different people – among them Paul Merton, Sue Perkins, Graham Norton and David Mitchell. And it worked. Part of the charm of Just A Minute in recent years has been the meshing – and sometimes the crunching – of generational gears.

"He had style and he had content. Call it what you will – dry, lugubrious, droll, deadpan – it was a unique way of dealing with the show's inherent verbal challenges – and with the other panellists. And his richly varied life gave him a reservoir of knowledge from which he could pull out stories, one-liners, anecdotes, aphorisms and quotations. He was a very clever man indeed.

"At a recent dinner for the Just A Minute team he was vivid, funny and gossipy and held forth with gusto. He told everyone he hugely enjoyed the programme. The audience hugely enjoyed him on the programme. When I became Controller of Radio 4 he was one of the first people to phone me up. We had not met. His opening line was 'I am a very young man you know and I intend to go on for decades'. He didn't quite achieve that – but he remained a terrific asset to Radio 4 throughout. He will be missed."

Radio 4 Publicity

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