Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Denis Frost

Denis Frost, former BBC Agriculture corrrespondent, has died.

Born in 1925, he started in journalism with the Western Gazette, and remembers being part of a complicated effort to cover the Yeovil v Sunderland FA Cup in 1949. Non-league Yeovil, under player-manager Alec Stock, beat the 1st Division big spenders 2-1. There was no press phone for the Gazette in the ground - copy was passed down to Denis and others on long lengths of string, and they ran to a phone box to dictate the reports.

In the mid-60s, he moved to the industrial beat with The Guardian.

In the 70s, Denis joined Radio News as a reporter, and rotated through programmes such as PM and Today. At Today, John Edwards was then deputy editor. (He went on to edit "That's Life"). I'm not sure if they'd known each other before, but in 1978, they published The Moscow Horse, a spy thriller, under the pseudonym John Denis. Then they were chosen for the task of turning Alistair MacLean’s first two storylines, featuring the entirely fictional United Nations Anti-Crime Organization, into proper novels. Hostage Tower was thus published in 1980 and Air Force One Is Down in 1981. John and Denis subsequently collaborated on another two thrillers: Zero Plus One (1985) and Goliath (1987).

Meanwhile, at the day job, Denis was reporting on the Balcombe Street siege in 1975.  In 1979 and 1984 he was our man in Luxemburg for the European elections. He was a Fellow of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

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