David Frost
David Frost at the GQ Men of the Year 2010 Awards at the Royal Opera House in London. He died at age 74 Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Reuters

Sir David Frost, the famed British broadcaster and interviewer, has died at the age of 74 after a suspected heart attack while on board a cruise ship, the BBC reports.

A family statement said he had been giving a speech aboard the Queen Elizabeth Saturday night.

Frost's career spanned journalism, comedy writing and daytime television presenting, including “The Frost Report.” In the U.S., he was most remembered for his probing interviews with former President Richard Nixon.

A statement was issued saying: "His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time. A family funeral will be held in the near future and details of a memorial service will be announced in due course."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Sir David was an extraordinary man, with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure. He made a huge impact on television and politics."

Frost studied at Cambridge University where he became secretary of the Footlights club, and met future comedy greats such as Peter Cook, Graham Chapman and John Bird.

After university he went to work at ITV before he was asked to front the BBC’s satirical news program “That Was The Week That Was,” which ran in 1962 and 1963 and spawned an American version.

Later, “The Frost Report” brought together John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett in a sketch show which would influence many comedy writers including the Monty Python crew.

Meanwhile, he began work on “The David Frost Show” in the U.S.

He later conducted a series of interviews in 1976 with Nixon in which the former president came close to apologizing for Watergate. Their exchanges were eventually made into the play “Frost/Nixon,” and then a film in which Michael Sheen portrayed Frost to Frank Langella's Nixon.

In 1993, the year he was knighted, he began presenting “Breakfast with Frost” - which had begun life on ITV - a Sunday show on BBC in which he interviewed newsworthy figures.

Frost joined broadcaster Al-Jazeera in 2006 when it launched its English-speaking service.

He married his second wife, Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard, in 1983 and they had three sons.