Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 29, 2009

new recording date

*** New Just A Minute recording date***

Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London W1A 1AA

Tuesday 21st July at 7.30pm

You can apply for tickets in the following way.

Online: follow the link below for your chosen show from the BBC Tickets homepage.


*** Tickets will be live on the BBC ticket website from 5pm Monday 27.04.09 ***

April 26, 2009

happy 10th - and last - birthday

My website turns 10 next month and Yahoo is coming to the party to make sure there won't be an 11th.

Yes, as you may have seen Yahoo is closing down Geocities the now venerable webhost that has hosted my JAM pages since May 1999.

Yahoo promises help with saving data but seeing as they haven't even written to me directly yet, I'm not all that optimistic that they will spend much time helping me.

Still they hosted it all for free for eight years and at minimal cost these past two years so I suppose I can't complain.

Nevertheless I am not looking forward to moving more than 800 pages to some other site, and adjusting the thousands of links.

I have a lot of thinking, and a lot of work to do.

April 25, 2009

Some pics from the funeral

The order of service at Clement's funeral

Nicholas Parsons at the service

Nicholas and Gyles Brandreth

Paul Merton

Paul and Graham Norton


Stephen Fry

Clement seen off

The funeral for Sir Clement Freud was held today and seems to have been quite an occasion.

Most of the British papers have extensive reports and photos.

Clement's JAM colleagues Nicholas Parsons, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Gyles Brandreth and Stephen Fry were among the mourners, as of course was Emma Freud. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, spoke at the service, and among others attending was Bono.

Among the anecdotes told at the service: A friend recalled dining with Sir Clement, who was tucking into the sausage rolls with gusto. "I thought you were trying to get in shape," said the friend. "I am," Sir Clement replied. "And the shape I have chosen is a triangle."

Some of his 17 grandchildren queued to read out their favourite quotes from Sir Clement, including the occasion on Just a Minute when he was asked what his favourite words were. “Unguent”, “parallelogram” and “ubiquitous” were all candidates — but his favourite words were: “Clement Freud, you are the winner.”

The funeral order of service referred to one of Clement's JAM jokes, including the words "best before" rather than "died".

Nicholas Parsons made this comment after the service: "It was the most brilliant funeral service I have ever been to. Clement would have approved. He would have found something sardonic to say but he would have been very flattered and happy. He would have been extremely moved but he would not have wanted to admit it."

Stephen Fry had this comment; "That was far and away the most wonderful funeral service I have ever attended, if a funeral service can be wonderful. It was touching, elegant, funny and beautifully organised. It was really remarkable. I couldn't sing, partly because I was standing next to Bono, which would have rather put my voice to shame, but also because one was so choked by it all. The whole thing was wonderful and I was proud to be there."

As the coffin left the church, the Just A Minute theme, the Minute Waltz, was played.

Some reports on the occasion are here
This is from the Telegraph
This is from the Times
This is from the Guardian

Pictures here
From The BBC site - selection includes pics of Nicholas and Gyles together, Paul and Graham together, and Stephen.

This is from the Daily Mail - includes pics of Nicholas, Paul, Graham and Stephen

Shows to come

I mentioned here that I'd seen in one of the papers that Clement had recorded a couple of shows that had not yet been broadcast.

Sadly, I've had a note from the BBC saying this is incorrect.


April 24, 2009

Clement's last joke against Nicholas

According to the Daily Mail, Clement didn't want Nicholas to attend his funeral, due to be held later today.

But Lady Freud has decided to allow him to attend, saying "hasn't Nicholas suffered enough?"

April 21, 2009

Recording date

Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, London W1A 1AA

Friday 8th May at 7.30pm

You can apply for tickets in the following ways.

Online: follow the link for your chosen show from the BBC Tickets homepage http://www.bbc.co.uk/tickets/

Phone: call BBC Studio Audiences on 0370 901 1227* during office hours (Monday-Friday 9am-6pm)

April 19, 2009

really nice piece on Barry Cryer

the some-time JAM guest is profiled in the Sunday Independent

April 18, 2009

48 hours...

It's about 48 hours since the sad news came out. It's been busy for the blog and it's been interesting to see the reaction to Clement's death.

I don't pretend to know how Clement would feel about the reaction. But I've been a little surprised by the intensity of it. Clement's death led the Today programme at 7.00 and they had a second hit after 8 interviewing Stephen Fry, whose kind and exceptionally generous comments have since been repeated everywhere. It seems to have been very prominent on newspaper websites - I obviously can't say how prominent in the papers themselves. As I mentioned, I spent some time collating some of his best remarks to help the BBC out with press requests and I've since seen some of those comments popping up here and there.

I am a little surprised I guess because, JAM apart, Clement didn't strike me as a significant public figure these days. Since leaving Parliament in 1987, he has hardly courted publicity. A spell as a Rector at a Scottish university, some newspaper work, but not much that would give him real profile. Although his time as a Liberal MP has been prominent in the obits, it could be argued that he was not an especially significant politician - a middling figure in a perenially third-placed party that was nowhere near as large as it is today.

The most prominent aspect in the obits has been his 42 years on Just A Minute and the reaction shows how much an institution the show is, and how Clement was so vital to it. Clement's challenges and ability to talk on, essentially his competitivesness was the key counter-balance to the silliness of Kenneth Williams. The show never quite became "The Kenneth Williams Show" because of Clement's skill at the game. Both Kenneth and Paul appreciated Clement's wit - but also I think appreciated the fact that he kept the show going as a game. Paul is of course competitive himself, but he does need someone to compete against or he begins to sound like a bully. He alludes to this on the most recent Just A Classic Minute CD, lamenting turning up to a show without Clement on the panel.

That was the magic that Clement brought to the show.

The reaction too has been very kindly. Clement seems to have had long-standing feuds with various people and there has been some interest in whether his brother will turn up to his funeral. But these comments are very much in a minority.

Many people have used the cliche that Clement is irrepaceable. There are others who bring gravitas, competitiveness and an interest in the rules to the programme - Tim Rice, Gyles Brandreth, Sheila Hancock... maybe Tony Hawks. I'd guess we may be hearing more from them.

But he is the last of the "original" gang of four on the programme, and it leaves Nicholas rather isolated - he is now 85, and will often now be 30 to 40 years older than the next oldest performer on the show. At 85 of course he must be thinking about when he would like to finish up - can he want to continue into his 90s? There must be a real chance that Nicholas's retirement or passing would be the end of the programme.

But the reaction also tells us something else - that Just A Minute has become an English institution. People love it, adore it, feel they've grown up with it. It's also a big part I'm sure in the continuing affection towards Kenneth Williams. Like Clue, I think it will be a hard show to shut down.

Clement had the reputation of being a grump, humourless, doleful, rude. I met him once, on a train going to a recording. My friend had a fit. All other passengers sat doing nothing. Clement enquired after him and came to his aid with assistance. He didn't have to. Not the actions of someone who had no interest in his fellow man, or who was selfish and uninterested. Thanks for that Clement, and thanks for all the fun you've given me.

April 17, 2009

Clement cartoon and pic

how about this from the Daily Mail?

and isn't this a great pic of Paul and Clement - who says Freud never smiled?

more from the press

This is the first piece I've seen where Nicholas is quoted - from the Times

Sir Clement Freud, who has died nine days short of his 85th birthday, was a man of many achievements. They included becoming a chef, nightclub proprietor, television personality, radio panellist, Liberal MP, amateur jockey and journalist — although for many years he had to endure being known as the doleful character in the dog food commercials. At least it made a change from being known as the grandson of Sigmund Freud.
If his performances promoting Minced Morsels with Henry the basset hound were an onerous legacy — children who saw him in public would shout out, “Where’s your dog?”, much to his annoyance — they were also lucrative. His terms for the advertisements were that he would write his own script, that he would not mention the product by name and that he would be paid the same as the Prime Minister’s annual salary. Astonishingly, the advertising agency agreed.
In later years he was best known for his appearances on the Radio 4 panel show Just a Minute, in which he was the master of the late interruption, and always sounded disappointed if he did not win. “He was very competitive,” said Nicholas Parsons, the programme’s host.
His wit was evident from an early age, as was its sometimes calamitous effect. At a hunt ball in the early Fifties a girl, on discovering that his grandfather was the founder of psychoanalysis, said: “I say, congratulations! May I dance with you?” He pointed out that Sigmund Freud was not keen on dancing, though he was strong on sex, at which point the girl went bright red and beat a retreat.
Times Archive, 1973: Cheering crowds thrill impassive Mr Freud
As the election result was announced, all the crowd wanted to do was cheer Mr Freud, who stood blinking, looking happy but stunned
His love of gambling was used to great effect when he contested the Cambridgeshire seat of the Isle of Ely for the Liberal Party. The bookmakers put him at 33-1, at which point he placed a sizeable bet on himself. “The word went round that the hot money was going on Mr Freud,” said Parsons, who helped him to campaign. “They all began to take him more seriously.”
His lugubrious, grumpy demeanour concealed a mischievous streak. A big international magazine once offered him a generous sum to write about his grandfather. He duly supplied 1,500 words — on his maternal grandfather.
That sense of mischief followed him into the Commons, where in his last term the painful courtship between the Liberals and the Social Democrats resulted in an alliance. A dinner was mooted in celebration and Freud was designated to find a restaurant.
“There was David Owen, and Roy Jenkins, who was no stranger to the sybaritic side of life,” recalled Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon. “Clay [as Freud was known to his friends] chose a vegetarian restaurant in a basement off the Tottenham Court Road. As we went down, the first thing which greeted was a sign which said that the lesbian callisthenics class was cancelled. The look of complete and utter distress on Roy Jenkins’s face, and the look of complete dislike on David Owen’s, was perfect. I know that Clay did it as a joke, and it is something I shall never forget.”

This is a great piece in The Independent - includes comment from early producer Simon Brett.

Although born in Germany, Sir Clement Freud came to be regarded as an essentially English character with an idiosyncratic gift for dry wit and a talent in many other spheres of life. In his multi-faceted career, he acquired the status of a minor national treasure as he progressed through roles which included celebrity cook, dog food advertiser, politician, broadcasting personality, author and raconteur. His unique persona included the incongruity of his looks, the rarity of his smiles and the counterpoints of his slow delivery and his devastatingly quick wit.
He will be remembered for his four full decades on BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute, which has been on air for more than 40 years. The programme, a national institution in itself, provided the perfect platform for his droll sense of humour, sharp intelligence and endless inventiveness. He had a particular chemistry with some of its regulars such as the host, Nicholas Parsons. He found it odd, he once said, that he was in the same class as Parsons at school, "and he's now 12 years younger than I am. I wonder where I've gone wrong".
Freud came from a famous family which included his brother, the painter Lucian Freud, and grandfather Sigmund, the founder of psychoanalysis, who he remembered as "benign and cigar smoking". Clement once admitted to losing valuable family heirlooms in the form of Sigmund's nightshirts.
Freud was born in Berlin in 1924 to the Jewish architect Ernst Ludwig Freud and his wife, Lucie. The well-off family fled Germany shortly after the Nazis came to power, moving from Berlin to England in 1933. He was sent to a school in Devon which he recalled as "appalling", describing it as "a tough, anything-goes place".
He became an apprentice chef at London's Dorchester Hotel before the start of the Second World War, and then joined the army, serving on the staff of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. He later played a liaison role at the war trials at Nuremberg. After being demobbed, Freud moved into the hotel and nightclub business, working in Cannes and London and eventually running the Royal Court Theatre Club. He was, he said, the first man to employ personalities such as David Frost, Dudley Moore and Rolf Harris. His next turn took him into journalism, where he wrote about cookery, sport and politics.
His big break came in the 1960s when he and a basset hound named Henry featured in television adverts for pet food. Freud wrote characteristically witty scripts, but what really captured the attention was the way that Henry's lugubrious appearance reflected Freud's own hangdog looks. The public was fascinated by their corresponding airs of human and canine dolefulness. The adverts made him a lot of money and conferred on him a new status as one of the TV celebrities of the day. It soon became clear, however, through the course of numerous guest appearances on the small screen, that Freud had far more to offer than just his distinctive looks.
In 1973, he surprised everyone by winning a seat for the Liberals in the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire. Many had thought, understandably, that the frivolity of pet food commercials and of Just a Minute made an unlikely background for an MP. To this day, however, he is remembered in the area as a particularly assiduous worker for his constituents.
But while he applied himself seriously to the business of politics, he remained devoted to Just a Minute, appearing in all of its series. In doing so he spanned the generations, working in the early days with Derek Nimmo and Kenneth Williams and latterly with relative newcomers such as Paul Merton and Stephen Fry.
It says much for his cleverness and creativity that he continued to raise laughs in a game which he played continually for more than 40 years. Its simple rule required contestants to talk on a subject for 60 seconds without hesitation, repetition or deviation. Freud excelled both in talking and in coming up with the most ingenious objections to the performances of the rest of the panel. One of his underlying traits, both on the show and in other facets of life, was his strong sense of competitiveness: he loved to win.
He once paid Fry a huge compliment, saying: "He is probably the best speaker, although he does speak four times faster than me. And he thinks ahead about 20 seconds, whereas I only think ahead about eight."
Yesterday, Fry praised him in return. "I was at first very afraid of him – a lot of people were," he said. "There were a lot of stories that he was immensely grouchy and rude sometimes to people who asked for autographs, but I never experienced that side of him at all."
Others, however, did. "I found he had a very acute mind, great self-knowledge and a capacity to be more directly rude to people than anyone I had up until that point encountered," said Simon Brett, who produced Just a Minute for six years. "He has a very rare and enviable human quality: he doesn't care if people dislike him. What I find admirable is that he does not pretend to be other than he is."
Certainly, Freud was entirely upfront about his grumpiness. He once wrote, with only a modicum of exaggeration: "Good men are gruff and grumpy, cranky, crabbed and cross. I am also acerbic, waspish, sour, belligerent and very occasionally shrewish.
"There are people I hate, I cannot remember why, but I will never forgive them; I walk out of parties to which they come, seat myself at another table if I find them sitting near me on a table plan. We grumps are designed not to suffer people gladly." He was, he explained, always like that. "I was quite a grumpy young man. My grumpiness quota hasn't really changed."
This self-confessed grouchiness did nothing to rebuff the many thousands of fans and admirers who listened to him on the radio, read his hundreds of articles, bought his books and flocked in their thousands when he toured theatres to present his Audience With Clement Freud. With a characteristic mixture of grumpiness and stoicism, he put up with the inevitable questions about his famous grandfather and his famous colleague, Henry the basset hound.
Jill, his wife of 59 years, once said fondly of him: "Clement is a very dry character – so quick, and he will never say the conventional thing. He never does anything the right way round. He is very contrary. He is a constant surprise, full of mischief."
Fry added in his tribute that Freud had a raffishness, and an "air of disreputability". In the 1950s and 1960s, he said, Freud was "a real Soho figure – he knew all the girls of easy virtue, he knew the pimps, the racetrack tipsters."
Freud produced a couple of books for children and wrote about food and drink: one of his works was The Book of Hangovers. He gave his autobiography the deliberately excruciating title of Freud Ego.

some magic Clement bits

The BBC asked me to help pick some magic Clement quotes for the tribute clips.

Here's the list I sent back... a reminder of how funny he was...


this show was on the first JAM cassette - the show's broadcast date was 2 January 1993
includes this classic line on the subject of records

"The great thing about Virgin Records is that they have no holes in them. "


this show was on the Silver Minutes tapes released in 1992 - the original show was broadcast on 18 April 1981 and came as you can imagine after a dispute with Nicholas - the subject is "cheek"

CF: Cheek is when someone of diminished responsibility goes to the British Broadcasting Corporation and elects to be chairman of a panel game. On the basis that he might have some idea of how to control people whose multi-syllabic words he doesn’t understand, whose meaning he is unable to comprehend and whose hours and time he is unable to keep. I’ve now said unable three times, and because nobody’s interrupted me, only...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Well, I’m not interrupting because I’m enjoying it!


In the same year, this is a classic example of Clement going the whole 60 seconds (he does it three times in this show) - but this shows him timing the payoff for the last second - 14 March 1981, subject is the best putdown I ever heard

CF: The best putdown I ever heard was exceedingly short, as are all good putdowns. And in a game in which you have to waffle for 60 seconds, and best being not a word that one can conditionalise in any way, I will have to give you the build-up to this putdown, in order that the short sentence with which I will end my speech may not be outside the rules of Just A Minute. It was a summer evening in Aberdeen. It was raining slightly and the mist was coming down from the hills. And at the banqueting hall in the Royal Station Hotel, the head waiter nudged the main speaker and said “functions are about to begin, it is up to you to open your mouth”. And Mister Gladstone, who was there on this occasion, was introduced at such very great length by so boring a man that when he was finally told “and now we come to the Prime Minister to give his address”, the aforementioned gentleman said “Ten Downing Street...”



This is one of his better lines which he used a few times - for example on 1 March 2004

CF: My favourite proposition used to be people saying to me “will you come upstairs and make love to me?” And now I have to reply “one or the other”!


This is another great line from 9 January 1993.

CF: I’d like to tell rather a nice story about Gascoigne who is known as Gazza, a footballer who plays for Lazio and when Gazza played his first game for Lazio, the coach said to him "do your best and we’ll pull you off at halftime". And Gazza said "oh that’ll be a change, at Tottenham they gave us oranges".


This is from 12 January 2004 on "poetic licence"

There was an old man from Japan,
Whose poetry never could scan,
When asked reasons why,
He replied with a sigh,
“Well you see it’s like this, I always try to get as many words into the last line as I possibly can.


This is a good quicky from 14 March 2005 - it was on the 40th anniversary clips programme last year

NP: And we begin the show with Clement Freud. Clement, the subject is answering back. Sixty seconds as usual starting now.


Another quick clever remark, subject is queuing at the supermarket 31 July 1982

"I don’t mind queues to get into a supermarket so much, but resent deeply that once you are in there, they make you stand in a queue to get out."


I like this too - from 11 March 2002

NP: Paul the subject now is the best way to win a bonus point. That is the subject, it’s your turn to begin so you start now.
PM: The best way to win a bonus point is to flatter Nicholas! Let me show you how it works. Mister Parsons, you are a wonderful chairman! I can’t imagine how this programme would survive without you!
NP: (laughs) Clement Freud challenged.
CF: I can!


This is from last year at Edinburgh - 18 August 2008

CF: The highlight of my day this morning was when I walked into my hotel lift and inadvertently hit a woman quite hard into the front with my elbow, and we were both startled, and I said "if your heart is as soft as your bosom, you will forgive me," and she said "if your willy is as hard as your elbow, I'm in Room 264."

more thoughts on Clement

I've had about 50 emails (including a few blog posts in the comments section) about Clement today. I've taken out the names but here's a selection of what the fans are saying...

Sad but not unexpected at 84. A good life.

Can't believe they are now all gone.

How terribly, terribly sad. I'm so glad I got to see him at last August's Fringe recordings; he was, as always, on form and as sharp as ever. He shall be missed, and JAM will surely mourn the loss of his wit. Thank you for years of laughter, Clement.

Without meaning to be insensitive, may I please lodge a fond and final challenge to Clement: Hesitation! And I bet Clement would battle all the angels, devils, and Gods to return through the ether to explain that he was just pausing between words... Many thanks, Clement, for half a century of wit and fun.

Was Clement my favorite panellist? No. That would be Peter Jones. But he was always quintessentially Clement on Just a Minute whether it be his never ending lists, his insistence on bonus points or just a simple "Yes". More than any other panellist, he got the most laughs out of saying very little. Even when it was his turn, he talked so slowly that you sometimes wondered if he was going to make it to the end of the sentence much less the minute. He had the same adeptness of one liners that Peter had ("The great thing about Virgin Records is they have no holes in them"). But he was also a terrific player of the game into his 80s. He got the ire of the late Wendy Richard by seemingly always buzzing in and getting a point with one second to go no matter what the score was. He will be solely missed by those of us who prefer our humor on the dry side. Goodbye Clement. I hope that eternity will treat you well. And that you always get the last point you always seemed to want.

I feel sadder this morning hearing of Clement's death than I did when I heard Humph had died. Perhaps it's that Clement performed on radio unscripted and things that he said (mostly funny, very occasionally less so) were off-the-cuff and improvised. Perhaps its that I had a fondness for his off-radio work as well. I too will miss him on JaM.

Clement... you'll be very much missed...

This is very sad news, but as the old cliche goes, at least he had a good innings. He may have been getting slower and slower on JAM as the years went by, but he was still a superb wit with a deadpan sense of timing. He will be greatly missed from future episodes, and no doubt from all his other activities in life.

Rest in peace. What a legend.

I read the news on the BBC and came straight here (the blog). Sir Clement was a resonant link with an era now almost vanished, an era of dignified eloquence combined with self-deprecation. The last time I heard him, a few weeks ago, on "Just a Minute", he was on great form, better than I'd heard him for a couple of years - the combination of his great gravitas and his sense of mischief was a sea-anchor in the ebb and flow of the show. He will indeed be much missed. It comes as some consolation, and must also do so for his family, that he was fit and active to the end, and that he had such a large and loving family. Rest in peace!

I will certainly miss spending time in his lugubrious and sharp company. I am so glad that I got to shake his hand at the end of the last JAM recording in London I attended. God Bless.

I will miss him dearly - he was fantastic on the show right up until the end.

We'll miss Clement Freud

The show will simply not be the same without him. I always felt like something was missing when Clement wasn't on the show. I never could put my finger on it. A sense of history perhaps? Maybe we'll see Sheila on the show more. I hope so. But you can't replace Clement. He was one of a kind. And he was a bit Soho. Even that beard of his said so

I listen to the Today programme later in the day having recorded it earlier, so have only just found out the news that I have been dreading. No one can replace this original personality. His exceptional wit coupled with dead-pan delivery, life experiences, natural competitiveness and the friendly rivalry between himself and Paul Merton will be greatly missed from Just A Minute. More than that, if anyone hasn't read his autobiography 'Freud, Ego', then they should get hold of a copy immediately. It is one of the funniest books I've ever read, not least because anyone reading it who didn't 'know' Clement would probably find it virtually humourless. I SO much wanted him to release a second autobiographical book, as the above finished with his election to parliament. I feel certain he could have easily filled another book with his stories following that election, his continued appearances on JAM, his love of cricket and horse racing and all the other celebrity appearances he made between then and now. What a terrible, devestating loss to Just A Minute, England and, forgive me, to myself. Future series of Just A minute will never be quite the same again. If I could live half a full a life as he, then i shall die happy.

it seemed almost inevitable, but still very sad news nonetheless. Clement Freud was a wonderful individual, I've talked about him at great length in my own thread praising the talents of the Original Foursome, and it is indeed very sad that such a man of knowledge and wit is gone. But I take solace in the fact that he is now reunited with his friends, Derek Nimmo, Kenneth Williams, and Peter Jones in that BBC Panel Game in the sky.

A very sad loss of a great man. It seems very fitting that he has the middle name "Raphael."

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sir Clement the only comfort I can find is to paraphrase the great man himself:
Sir Clement Freud
born 24 April 1924
best before 15 April 2009

Very sad news indeed. His tombstone should read (paraphrasing the magnificent man himself in a final display of his own dry wit):
Born 24th April 1924
Best before 15th April 2009
He was not speaking when the whistle went.
We’ll miss you, Clement!

(this in reaction to my post there is a little more of Clement on JAM to hear) Great news on this sad day. Thank you for sharing.

I am sitting here saddened by the news of the passing of Sir Clement. My Condolences to his family & friends.

More tributes

from the Guardian

Mark Damazer, the BBC Radio 4 controller, praised Freud's "style and content" over more than 40 years as a contestant on the station's panel show Just a Minute. Freud had contributed to every series of the show since taking part in the first episode in 1967.
"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," wrote Damazer on the Radio 4 blog this morning.
"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."
Damazer said Freud had attended a recent dinner for the Just a Minute team and was "vivid, funny, and gossipy", telling everyone how much he enjoyed the show.
"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."
Freud remained on the Observer sports desk until 1964 and also became cookery editor of the left-wing literary and political magazine Time and Tide between 1961 and 1963. He contributed to the Observer Magazine from 1964 to 1968.
Echoing comments made today by the comedian Stephen Fry, who described Freud's "raffishness", an Observer piece by Freud from March 1964 hints at his knowledge of the seedier side of London with his characteristic wry wit.
"Much information can be gleaned from notices in shop windows. There are a few rules to remember," he wrote.
"'Tuition' tends to mean prostitution. 'French' and 'Swedish' have become dirty words. 'Models' don't. And 'Trousers pressed while you wait', though inspired as an advertisement, must not be taken literally.
"While a Turkish bath could be said to be the epitome of a metropolitan man's world, it is not always advisable to talk to other men there present ... "
Freud continued to work as a print journalist throughout his career, contributing to the Daily Telegraph magazine, Sunday Telegraph, Sun, News of the World and Financial Times during the 1960s; and the Daily Express from 1973 to 1975 during his first two years as Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely.
Freud left Parliament in 1987 when he was knighted, and continued to contribute to various publications including the Independent, Times and Radio Times. His funeral will be held next week.
As he wrote in the Observer in December 1964: "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer."
The prime minister, Gordon Brown, added to today's tributes, describing Freud's huge contribution to public life.
"I first met Sir Clement more than 30 years ago when he was rector of Dundee University and I was rector of the University of Edinburgh," Brown said.
"I was proud to have known him and the whole country should recognise the achievements in his life. My thoughts are with his wife and family at this difficult time."

from the Telegraph

Most men with such varied interests could be said to have enjoyed them, but Freud, having ruthlessly marketed himself as a celebrity, was unable to conquer a dyspeptic nature. This manifested itself in a lugubrious manner which made him less popular with those who knew him – even in that most tolerant of clubs, the House of Commons – than with those who heard him on the radio.
Freud’s near lifelong estrangement from his artist elder brother Lucian was not of his making, however. When the then Clemens Freud looked like winning a boyhood race round a Vienna park, Lucian called out: “Stop thief!” and Clemens was seized by passers-by.
In England, the bearded Freud, who possessed an uncanny resemblance to King Edward VII, became a household name appearing in dog food commercials alongside an equally mournful bloodhound named Henry.
His journalistic output was prodigious, running the gamut from the New Yorker to the pre-Murdoch Sun. He was at his best writing on food and drink (he had been an apprentice at the Dorchester and trained at the Martinez in Cannes). He generally wrote about recalcitrant head waiters, overrated chefs and curmudgeonly customs officers, waging a ceaseless battle against their arrogance while not always free of the trait himself .
Once, having waited 25 minutes for turtle soup, he told the waitress: “If you are making fresh turtle soup it is going to take two days, and we do not have the time. If it is canned turtle soup, I do not wish to eat here if it takes you 25 minutes to open a can.”
Writing on cookery did have a downside. Freud observed that there was nothing more depressing than “when you are served up some miserable, inedible dish and the hostess leans over proudly to announce: 'It’s one of yours.’ ”.
Freud broke into journalism in 1956 as a sports writer for the Observer, first tackling food in 1961 as cookery editor of Time and Tide on the back of his success as proprietor of the Royal Court Theatre Club; he wrote subsequently for the Observer and Telegraph magazines, doubling as a daredevil reporter who suffered frostbite on an RAF survival course.
He was a columnist and diarist for The Sunday Telegraph (initially on the City), News of the World, Financial Times, Daily Express, Radio Times, Times, Punch and the New Yorker. He wrote books for children, inventing 'Grimble’, the sensible son of criminal parents, and regaled adults with Freud on Food and The Book of Hangovers.
Though Freud did appear on television between commercials, his hangdog, oyster-eyed look was not deemed a success. On the radio, however, his spontaneity and capacity to amuse were tailor-made for any programme requiring a facility with words and a quick wit, with Just A Minute the ideal vehicle. He was, unsurprisingly, an award-winning after-dinner speaker, despite, or perhaps because of, his rudeness toward other guests.
He lived by his wits, not least at the backgammon table. He was — until sacked for betting illegally in his own casino — a director of the Playboy Club in London and of Playboy International. Yet despite his involvement in the racy side of life he said of Soho strip clubs: “As a piece of eroticism I prefer kipper fillets with brown bread.” He found the time and the nerve to be a jockey in his youth and owner of over 40 racehorses, was an accomplished pilot and once sailed from Cape Town to Rio.
Freud ('Clay’ to his colleagues) strove to be a serious politician but was never accepted as one. During his early years in the Commons he was greeted with barks whenever he rose to speak. Never at his best in the Chamber, he was a victim of his reputation as a funny man, which got in the way of determinedly serious performances. Though never short of a provocative opinion, he could seldom punch his weight.
Due to the Liberals’ limited numbers he served as their spokesman on several subjects. His one notable achievement was to promote in 1978 an Official Information Bill that would have repealed the controversial catch-all Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act, and established the right of freedom of information two decades before the more timid measure promoted by Tony Blair’s government. Freud secured a Second Reading despite entrenched opposition in Whitehall; it was some way through its Committee Stage when the Callaghan government collapsed.
Despite his unfortunate manner with colleagues and staff — he got through him nine secretaries in eight years — Freud was revered in his Isle of Ely constituency. An apparently freak by-election victor in 1973 owing to his celebrity status and the Heath government’s unpopularity, he cultivated his constituents — who initially pronounced his name as “Fried” — and they re-elected him to his seat (from 1983 North-East Cambridgeshire) at four General Elections.
A grandson of Sigmund Freud, Clement Raphael Freud was born in Austria on April 24 1924 to the architect Ernst Freud and his wife Lucie. Freud — who never practised as a Jew — escaped with his family to Britain after the Anschluss of 1938 and earned an immediate reputation for bumptiousness at The Hall, Hampstead. He completed his education at Dartington Hall and St Paul’s School.
He worked at the Dorchester until called up for war service with the Royal Ulster Rifles; his introduction to Army life was, inevitably, bizarre. Apprised of Freud's origins, his CO sent for him and observed: “Mr Freud, I don’t quite know how to put this, but are you sure you’re on the right side?” By 1946 he was serving as a liaison officer at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. On demobilisation he headed for the Continent in search of haute cuisine, before becoming catering manager of the Arts Theatre Club.
In 1952 he became proprietor of the Royal Court Theatre Club, making it a highly successful avant-garde dinner-and-dance venue in still-drab post-war London. He pioneered a menu of quality, took the stage with a decidedly lewd cabaret turn, gave Dudley Moore his first break and honed his skill in attracting headlines. He won two libel actions — one against the Daily Sketch for reporting that he arranged “hot babies” for his members (they were in fact young actresses babysitting at £1 a night), the other against the Empire News for stating that he aimed to break the 4-minute mile on a diet of brandy.
Early in 1963 the Royal Court reclaimed the premises for its own use. Freud then ran a succession of restaurants — one at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park — and wrote and broadcast prolifically. He entered the realm of satire on David Frost’s Not So Much A Programme, the supposedly “safe” successor to That Was The Week That Was, but it was 1967 before his television career took off.
He was hired by Quaker Oats to appear with Henry advertising Chunky Meat Minced Morsels, a product made mainly from whalemeat which the firm’s executives said tasted “gritty, but quite good”. Freud accepted an “enormous fee”, declaring: “I get more than Henry. I don’t have a dog and I don’t eat dog food, so I can be neutral.”
The advertisement was a succès fou, winning awards in San Francisco, Tokyo and Berlin. The next year he began his association with Just a Minute, with Nicholas Parsons in the chair and Kenneth Williams and Derek Nimmo his initial fellow-panellists.
By now he was a celebrity in his own right. When George Best, at the height of his footballing fame, held a house-warming party, Freud was there, rubbing shoulders with Sir Matt Busby, Bob Monkhouse, Lionel Blair, Tommy Trinder and Imogen Hassall. The party — inevitably — attracted headlines, a police car allegedly having ferried in fresh supplies when the drink ran out.
Freud’s foray into politics came as a total surprise, giving rise to the suggestion that it was a stunt. Moreover with earnings he estimated at £55,000 a year, he did not need the Parliamentary salary. Stunt or no, Freud waged an effective campaign in the Isle of Ely following the death of the Conservative Sir Harry Legge-Bourke, whose most memorable act had been to urge Harold Macmillan to quit at the height of his troubles.
On July 27 1973 he captured the seat, not even contested by the Liberals at the previous election, by 1,470 votes, picking up £3,000 in winnings having backed himself at 33-1. His election, mocked by some as the “theatre of the absurd”, put the Parliamentary party back into double figures. And in February 1974 he was re-elected with a majority of 8,347. Freud inadvertently voted twice, having failed to cancel a proxy vote in Suffolk, where he had a home.
His first appearance in the House was unpromising, voting mistakenly with Labour on prices and incomes. But he made an impact as an impresario, setting up a saloon car race between MPs and peers, presiding over the formation of a Parliamentary cricket club and being co-opted to the Catering Committee. He blotted his copybook when the Berkeley Hotel, of which he was a director, advertised gourmet evenings at the Commons with Freud for £13 each — cancelled after complaints that they violated Parliamentary privilege. But he had Fleet Street behind him when he resigned from the committee over a £20,000 order for German crockery made without Wedgwood, the previous supplier, being asked to tender.
Freud was not a party man. He had a habit of throwing tantrums at the Liberal assembly, either with delegates or the management of the conference hotel; one appalled him so much that he sought volunteers for an escape committee. He was a passionate but fitful education spokesman, upsetting some colleagues by pressing successfully for legislation to let some children leave school before their 16th birthday.
He gave strong support to Peter Hain during his trial on bank robbery charges which turned out to have been concocted by South African intelligence. And when the Jeremy Thorpe affair broke in 1976, Freud was the only Liberal MP to urge that he stay on as party leader. He remained loyal to Thorpe, sitting close to him when the conspiracy charge against him came to court and being there to celebrate his acquittal.
With Thorpe forced to stand down, Freud backed David Steel to succeed him; Steel improbably made him spokesman on Northern Ireland, but he did the job soundly until moved to the arts portfolio after the 1979 election. More plausibly, he took the chair of the party’s finance and administration board.
His Parliamentary commitments did not limit his wider activities. In 1974 he was elected Rector of Dundee University, winning re-election three years later ahead of the soft porn star Fiona Richmond. He also used his political appeal to advance a lifelong commitment to children’s welfare. A former secretary of the Refugee Children’s Fund, he set up, with Jonathan Aitken, a Parliamentary Den of the Good Bears of the World, providing teddies to children in hospital, and was later president of the Down’s Children Association.
More controversially, he remained a director of the Playboy Club until, in 1981, the police blocked renewal of the licence of its Clermont casino on the ground that Freud had gambled there while a director; he was said to have called bets on the roulette wheel even as the ball was dropping. Sir Hugh Fraser, whom Freud had beaten in an amateur National Hunt race, was also named. The Playboy board sacked Freud despite his claim to have lost overall over the years, and Beefeater Gin dropped him from its commercials.
In 1983 Freud held his seat for the Liberal/SDP Alliance by 5,195 votes despite adverse boundary changes. A clue to his continuing local popularity came when he sponsored a management buy-out of March Concrete, the biggest concrete pipeworks in the country, saving 60 jobs. In 1987, with Alliance fortunes waning, he finally lost to a Conservative; Steel secured him a knighthood.
After briefly considering a comeback at a by-election, Freud became a consultant to THF (later Forte), and later to the InterCity division of British Rail, pioneering a more palatable buffet car sandwich. His first creations were poached salmon and dill with mustard mayonnaise and Chinese leaves on oatmeal bread, and corned beef with red tomato chutney.
For many years Freud lived in a house in Boundary Road, St John's Wood, which he bought from BR to turn into a “dream home”. With more than the purchase price spent on refurbishment, Freud and the designer Jon Bannenberg became embroiled in a complex lawsuit. In later years he lived in Wimpole Street, at Walberswick in Suffolk and in the Algarve.
In 1950 Freud married the actress Jill Raymond; she, their three sons and two daughters survive him.

also in the Telegraph

"If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer"

"I used to ask women to come upstairs and have sex, but now it has to be one or the other."

"I think our police are excellent, probably because I have not done anything that has occasioned being beaten up by these good men."

"In moments of considerable strain, I tend to take to bread-and-butter pudding. There is something about the blandness of soggy bread, the crispness of the golden outer crust and the unadulterated pleasure of a lightly set custard that makes the world seem a better place to live."

"Congealed fat is pretty much the same, irrespective of the delicacy around which it is concealed."

"Breakfast is a notoriously difficult meal to serve with a flourish."

"Politically, I was an anti-Conservative unable to join a Labour party hell-bent on nationalising everything that moved, so when a by-election occurred in East Anglia, where I lived and live, I stood as a Liberal and was fortunate in getting in. Ladbrokes quoted me at 33-1 in this three-horse contest, so Ladbrokes paid for me to have rather more secretarial and research staff than other MPs, which helped to keep me in for five parliaments."

"In Vegas everything is done to make you gamble and forget all else. There is food and drink and music and women – who all play their part in eliminating Methodist principles from your mind."

"The Inland Revenue decide to audit Cyril, summon him to their office for an appointment with their most thorough auditor, who is not surprised when Cyril arrives with his solicitor. The auditor says: 'Sir, you cannot deny that you have an extravagant lifestyle, no full-time employment, and pay no taxes on the grounds of your contention that you win money gambling. I have to tell you that Her Majesty's Customs and Excise finds that explanation difficult to believe.'
"'I am a great gambler and can prove it,' says Cyril. 'Would you like a demonstration?'
"The auditor considers this for a moment and agrees. Cyril says: 'I bet you a thousand pounds I can bite my own eye.' The auditor thinks for a while, finally says: 'It's a bet.'
"Cyril removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor looks sick.
"'I'll bet you two thousand pounds that I can bite my other eye,' says Cyril. The auditor can tell Cyril isn't blind, so he accepts the bet. Cyril removes his false teeth and bites the good eye.
"The stunned auditor now realises he has bet and lost £3,000, with Cyril's solicitor as a witness; he gets very nervous. 'Double or nothing?' Cyril says. 'I'll bet you six thousand pounds that I can stand on the righthand side of your desk and piss into the bin on the far side without getting one drop anywhere between.'
"The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now but examines the proposal carefully. Cyril is not a tall man, the desk is eight foot wide; he decides there is simply no way Cyril could do that, so he agrees again.
"Cyril stands at the side of the desk, unzips his trousers, strains for all he is worth but cannot make the stream reach the bin on the far side, and finishes up having urinated pretty well all over the auditor's desk. The auditor leaps with joy, realising that he has just turned a major loss into a sizeable win, then notices that Cyril's solicitor is moaning, with his head in his hands. 'Are you okay?' asks the auditor.
"'Not really,' says the solicitor. 'This morning, when Cyril told me he had been summoned to this audit, he bet me £20,000 that he could come in here, piss all over your desk and you would be happy about it . . . and I took the bet.'"

from the BBC

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg also paid tribute saying: "Clement Freud was part of a generation of larger than life figures who kept the Liberal Party alive through thick and thin.
"It is astonishing to remember all the things he did, all the things he was - wit, raconteur, politician, chef, advertiser of dog food, writer, comedian, a devoted father, husband and grandfather and someone who could never resist a flutter.
"They don't make people like that anymore and he will be sorely missed by millions," he added.

April 16, 2009

more on Clement

Have just read that Clement has recorded another couple of JAMs just two
weeks ago. So we haven't quite heard the last of him. I'd say one of the
two shows will be turned into a tribute to him.

JAM costars pay tribute to Sir Clement

This from the BBC Today programme

Comedian and writer Tony Hawks, who worked with Sir Clement, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Through his great intellect he would always bring out the best in you, because you sometimes would think 'Who's doing the show?' and when you knew it was Clement, you thought 'Oh, I'd better be on tip-top form'."
Fellow Just A Minute star Stephen Fry paid tribute to a "charming and wonderful man".
He told Today: "I got to know him because I was lucky enough to do a couple of Just A Minutes and I became immensely fond of him.
"I was at first very afraid of him - a lot of people were. There were stories that he was immensely grouchy, he was rude sometimes to people who asked for autographs. I never experienced that side of him at all.
"And another element to him which perhaps should not go unmentioned is his raffishness, if you like, his air of disreputability.
"He, during the 1950s and 1960s, was a real Soho figure, he knew all the girls of easy virtue, he knew the pimps, he knew the racetrack tipsters and, of course, the restaurateurs, which is where he learnt his business as a chef.
"His fund of stories about that time was simply remarkable, and he lived a sort of life on the edge. His brother Lucian is known as the more bohemian, I suppose, as an artist but Clement had that quality too."
Asked what Sir Clement was like to perform with, Fry added: "He was immensely good company and he enjoyed, I think, particularly meeting new young comedians.
"Just A Minute, of course, takes on new talent and he became very fond of that new generation, led by Paul Merton, who I suppose now is old guard.
"But I think after the sad, earlyish deaths of Kenneth Williams and Peter Jones he was left sort of marooned as the last of their generation but he really enjoyed the young clustering about him."

Nicholas Parsons penned this piece in the Guardian

Clement was in the original pilot of our Radio 4 game show Just A Minute, and was a regular participant right up to a few weeks ago. The next series of this show, which is now in its 41st year, will not seem the same without his witty interjections. Clement was clever in whatever he did. It was this cleverness which he displayed in whatever work or challenge he undertook - be it journalism or running the Royal Court Theatre Club - that ensured that he always came out on top. In fact, it was only in Just A Minute that he did not always finish as the winner.
In all other areas his natural competitive spirit asserted itself. He enjoyed accepting a challenge and, having done so, assessed what was involved and applied his talent and very shrewd mind to be sure he was the winner. A fine example was the Daily Mail transatlantic race to commemorate the achievements of the flying pioneers Alcock and Brown. The race was to be from the top of the Post Office Tower in London to the top of the Empire State Building in New York. Clement's meticulous planning ensured once again he was the winner.
It was this attention to detail and brilliant planning that ensured that when he accepted the challenge of standing for parliament as a Liberal candidate in 1973 he overturned a huge Conservative majority and won against all the odds. I went down to Ely and spoke for him, as did other friends, and was able to observe at first hand how he charmed people - and outmanoeuvred his opponent.
Clement was loved by those who knew him, admired by everyone, even those who did not enjoy his company. He was a devoted husband, a loving father and a man who achieved success in more areas than anyone I have ever known. He will be missed: there was no one to whom you could compare him, and we will probably never see his like again.

My thoughts - the great Clement

I'm deeply sad right now - but perhaps that's the right time to write something about what Clement meant to JAM.

The facts first - 41 and a half years - 543 radio editions, four TV editions, 230 wins. He appeared in the first show back in December 1967 and appeared in every subsequent season. At 84 he has had a long life - half of it as a JAM panellist!

But apart from the sadness of Clement passing, it's also the passing of the last "Beatle", the last member of the gang of four. It's the end of an era in a very real sense.

He is already being pegged in obits as the competitve one. I saw him a few years ago on a doco saying how much he liked the competitive side of the show and competing with people like Paul Merton and Graham Norton. And it's true. He clearly had a feeling for playing the game correctly and jumped on any breach of the rules, and any ruling that offended his sense of how the game should be played.

But he was also very witty. I noticed that he always tried to say something interesting or amusing. If another contestant had just two seconds to go, they'd more than likely just repeat the subject to fill in the time. Not Clement - too easy. He'd think up something clever to fill even that small bit of time. Yes he was competitive - but he knew the game was an entertainment too.

He had such a great relationship with Kenneth Williams and Paul Merton. He sat beside them, put up with their attempts to put him off, but clearly admired them and was prepared to act as a sort of staright man for them. He had great comic timing.

And he thought up some of the show's best lines. "The interesting thing about Virgin Records is that they have no holes in them" is one of those lines that always always raises a smile. I also like "giving up smoking, drinking and sex doesn't mean you will have a longer life, it just seems longer". Even his recent line in response to the subject "why I enjoy Just A Minute: - "Actually I've always preferred I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" pronounced in that deadpan way - comedy magic.

We'll miss Clement on JAM. A lot. He leaves Nicholas at 85 very much on his own as the old guard. But we have about 270 hours of Clement's wit, challenges and lugubriosity to listen to.

My sincere condolences to his family.

RIP Sir Clement Freud

Some of the first obits...

The BBC reports the sad news....

Writer Clement Freud dies aged 84

Broadcaster and former Liberal MP Sir Clement Freud has died aged 84.
A statement from his family said Sir Clement had died on Wednesday evening at his London home.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the actress Jill Freud, five children and 17 grandchildren. His funeral will be held next week.
A grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Sir Clement had a varied career as a cookery expert, press columnist and radio game show contestant.
Renowned for his lugubrious expression and mournful voice, he was a regular panellist on the BBC's Just a Minute for more than 30 years.
Comedian Tony Hawks, another regular on the long-running Radio 4 show, remembered him being a "formidable" character.
"I had listened to the show as a boy, so meeting him was like meeting a hero," he told BBC Breakfast.
"You always knew he would be a challenging performer. Through his great intellect he'd always bring out the best in you."
Born in 1924, the young Clement Freud began his career in the hotel business before turning to journalism.
He started writing on cookery for newspapers and magazines in the 1950s, later expanding into a variety of subjects, including sport.
His idiosyncratic pet food commercials with Henry the dog, first broadcast in the 1960s, launched him on a long career as a television and radio personality.
His political career began in 1973, when - against the odds - he won the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberal Party.
Ten years later he transferred to North East Cambridgeshire, a seat he held until 1987. He was knighted the same year.
Sir Clement worked for a string of titles, including the Observer, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express.
Last year he wrote about his death in The Times, claiming his relatives would want to inherit his wine.
"I took my children around our flat in turns to glean who wanted to have what when we died," he wrote.
"They all wanted all the wine, my wife's desk, my collection of cookery books and the same picture, so that will be no trouble."

and this is their obituary

Obituary: Sir Clement Freud
Sir Clement Freud, who has died aged 84, had a varied career as a Liberal MP, cookery expert, newspaper columnist and broadcaster.
His lugubrious expression and mournful voice launched him as a TV personality in the 1960s with a series of dog food commercials.
Clement Freud was born in Vienna in April 1924, a grandson of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis (another grandson was Clement's elder brother, the artist Lucian Freud.)
The family moved to Britain in 1933, and Clement went to St Paul's School, in London, before going into the hotel business as an apprentice at the Dorchester in London.
After Army service, during which he was a liaison officer at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, he returned to the hotel business, at the Martinez in Cannes.
He started writing on cookery for newspapers and magazines in the 1950s, and expanded into a variety of subjects, including sport.
His idiosyncratic pet food commercials with Henry the dog launched him on a long career as a television and radio personality - he was a stalwart of the BBC's Just a Minute for more than 30 years.
Clement Freud's political career began in 1973, when - against all the odds - he won the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberals.
Ten years later he transferred to North East Cambridgeshire after boundary changes, but lost the seat in 1987.
An energetic MP, he was party spokesman on education, the arts and broadcasting, and sponsored an anti-secrets Official Information Bill, which played a part in the collapse of the Callaghan government in 1979.
After a row over "wrecking" amendments to his Bill, the Labour Whips offered to facilitate it if he avoided voting to bring down the government. He refused, and the government fell.
Clement Freud was knighted in 1987. He was married, and had five children, including the television personality, Emma, and the PR guru, Matthew.

This is a good piece in the Daily Telegraph

Sir Clement Freud dies at 84
Sir Clement Freud, the writer, broadcaster and former MP, has died aged 84.
He died on Wednesday at his desk at home in London, a statement from his family said.
He was best known for his deadpan performances on Just A Minute, BBC Radio 4's comedy panel programme, and for appearing alongside a bloodhound in a television advertisement for dog food.
Sir Clement was the grandson of Sigmund Freud and the brother of Lucian Freud, the artist. He was the father of five children including Matthew Freud, the PR executive, and Emma Freud, the broadcaster, and a grandfather of 17.
Born in Berlin in 1924, Sir Clement arrived in Britain with his family as Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in 1934.
After working as an aide to Field Marshal Montgomery during the Second World War, he worked as a chef at the Dorchester Hotel before going on to run his own restaurant in Sloane Square.
He married June Flewett - later Jill Freud - who is said to have been the inspiration for the character of Lucy Pevensie in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, in 1950.
He went on to run a nightclub, in which he met a newspaper editor who gave him a job as a sports journalist. From there he became an award-winning food and drink writer.
Sir Clement became a well-known television personality when he appeared in a series of advertisements for Minced Morsels, a brand of dog food, alongside a bloodhound called Henry.
He appeared in the first episode of Just A Minute in 1967 and returned to take part in every subsequent series.
He became the Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely in 1973 and remained in the post until 1988. He received a knighthood on his departure from Parliament. In 2002, he was elected Rector of St Andrews University, holding the position for one term.
Tony Hawks, a comedian and regular on Just A Minute, paid tribute to his colleague, describing him as a "formidable" character.
"You always knew he would be a challenging performer," Hawks told BBC Breakfast. "Through his great intellect he'd always bring out the best in you."
His funeral is to be held next week.

I'll post more tributes as I see them, but I'll try not to repeat pieces that just give the same details.

Sad news

Sir Clement Freud has passed away - more soon but for the moment, I know I'm terribly sad, my thoughts with his family who must be devestated.

April 13, 2009

Martin Kelner and JAM!

This British writer has been "outed" on this site before as a closet JAM fan.

A reader points out he has posted on his blog the article he wrote on JAM at the time of its 25th anniversary and the release of the Silver Minutes cassette collection.

It's a good read.

April 12, 2009

Award for JaM

Belatedly - but have only just noticed the show won the Chortles award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.

I'm sure you can guess my reaction!