The Frost Report

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The Frost Report
The Frost Report opening title.jpg
Opening title from series one
Genre Comedy
Written by Graham Chapman
Marty Feldman
John Law
Presented by David Frost
Starring Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie Barker
John Cleese
Sheila Steafel
Nicky Henson
Julie Felix
Tom Lehrer
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 26 (plus 2 specials)
Production
Producer(s) James Gilbert[1]
Running time 30 minutes
Release
Original network BBC1
Original release 10 March 1966 – 26 December 1967

The Frost Report was a satirical television show hosted by David Frost. It ran for 28 episodes on the BBC from 10 March 1966 to 26 December 1967. It introduced John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett to television, and launched the careers of other writers and performers.

Cast and writers[edit]

The main cast were Frost, Corbett, Cleese, Barker, Sheila Steafel, and Nicky Henson. Musical interludes were provided by Julie Felix, while Tom Lehrer also performed songs in a few episodes.

Writers and performers on The Frost Report later worked on many other television shows. They included Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor (of Goodies), Barry Cryer, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Dick Vosburgh, Spike Mullins (who would write Corbett's Two Ronnies monologues), Antony Jay (Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister), and future Python members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.[2][1] It was while working on The Frost Report that the future Pythons developed their writing style. The established comedy writer Marty Feldman, as well as the Frank Muir and Denis Norden partnership, were also contributors to the programme.[3]

A special compilation from series 1, titled "Frost over England" (featuring the classic Cleese/Barker/Corbett class sketch, which parodied the British class system) won the Rose d'Or at the 1967 Montreux festival. A special one-off reunion was broadcast on Easter Monday (24 March) 2008. It ran for ninety minutes and was followed by "Frost over England".[4]

Archive status[edit]

Almost half of the episodes produced (15 out of 28) are missing from the BBC archives. The 1966 series is complete in the archive; the lost episodes represent nearly all of series 2 and the "Frost over Christmas" special, although home recorded audio tapes are known to exist for all of these.[5][6]

Episodes[edit]

Cleese, Barker, and Corbett in the Class sketch broadcast in April 1966
Series Episodes Title Air date archival status
1 1 The Frost Report on Authority 10 March 1966 exists
1 2 The Frost Report on Holidays 17 March 1966 exists
1 3 The Frost Report on Sin 24 March 1966 exists
1 4 The Frost Report on Elections 31 March 1966 exists
1 5 The Frost Report on Class 7 April 1966 exists
1 6 The Frost Report on the News 14 April 1966 exists
1 7 The Frost Report on Education 21 April 1966 exists
1 8 The Frost Report on Love 28 April 1966 exists
1 9 The Frost Report on Law 12 May 1966 exists
1 10 The Frost Report on Leisure 19 May 1966 exists
1 11 The Frost Report on Medicine 26 May 1966 exists
1 12 The Frost Report on Food and Drink 2 June 1966 exists
1 13 The Frost Report on Trends 9 June 1966 exists
n/a Special Frost Over England 26 March 1967 exists
2 1 The Frost Report on Money 6 April 1967 lost
2 2 The Frost Report on Women 13 April 1967 exists
2 3 The Frost Report on the Forces 20 April 1967 lost
2 4 The Frost Report on Advertising 27 April 1967 lost
2 5 The Frost Report on Parliament 4 May 1967 lost
2 6 The Frost Report on the Countryside 11 May 1967 lost
2 7 The Frost Report on Industry 18 May 1967 lost
2 8 The Frost Report on Culture 25 May 1967 lost
2 9 The Frost Report on Transport 1 June 1967 lost
2 10 The Frost Report on Crime 8 June 1967 lost
2 11 The Frost Report on Europe 15 June 1967 lost
2 12 The Frost Report on Youth 22 June 1967 lost
2 13 The Frost Report on Showbusiness 29 June 1967 lost
n/a Special Frost Over Christmas 26 December 1967 lost

Similar shows[edit]

David Frost hosted similar comedy shows with similar casts. These included Frost on Sunday in 1968 with the two Ronnies, Josephine Tewson, and Sam Costa. Frost on Saturday in 1968. There was a reunion show The Frost Report is Back in 2008.[7]

"Lord Privy Seal"[edit]

A sketch in The Frost Report is responsible for the term "Lord Privy Seal", in the British television industry, to mean the practice of matching too literal imagery with every element of the accompanying spoken script. In the sketch, the practice was taken to an extreme by backing a "news report" about the Lord Privy Seal (a senior Cabinet official) with images, in quick succession, of a lord, a privy, and a seal balancing a ball on its nose. Richard Dawkins mentioned the practice in a film review.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Jimmy Gilbert, BBC producer who presided over a golden age of light entertainment – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Frost Report". BBC Comedy. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Clark, Anthony (2003–14). "Frost Report, The (1966-67)". BFI Screenonline. Retrieved 9 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "BBC revives 1960s satirical show". BBC. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Frost Report on Missing Episodes". Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Frost Report on LostShows.com". Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  7. ^ David Frost - IMDb
  8. ^ "Lying for Jesus? - Richard Dawkins". RichardDawkins.net. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 

External links[edit]