Former Liberal MP died yesterday, nine days short of 85th birthday
Sir Clement Freud, the writer, broadcaster and former Liberal MP, has died, his family announced today.
He died at his desk yesterday at his home in London, nine days short of his 85th birthday.
Freud had a famously varied career which included stints as a politician, chef, restaurateur, food writer, horse racing pundit, children’s writer, and dog food advertiser, but he was perhaps best known as a panellist on Radio 4’s Just a Minute. His lugubrious performances had delighted audiences since the show was first broadcast in 1967.
He was a grandson of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, brother of the artist Lucian Freud, and father to five children including the PR executive Matthew Freud and the broadcaster Emma Freud.
Freud was elected as the Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely, later North East Cambridgeshire, from 1973 to 1987. He was knighted in the year he left parliament.
In 1978 he was in China with the more junior MP, Winston Churchill, the grandson of the former prime minister. When Churchill was given the best room in a hotel because of his family, Freud said it was the first time in his life that he had been "out-grandfathered".
Freud was born in Berlin and his family moved to the UK in the 1930s. He worked as an apprentice cook at the Dorchester hotel in London and later ran a restaurant in fashionable Sloane Square. During the second world war he served with Royal Ulster Rifles.
Freud first became a household name in Minced Morsels dog food adverts first broadcast in the late 1960s.
He was also a celebrated food, racing and political journalist, who worked for a number of titles including the Observer, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express.
Last year he spoke about his death, claiming his relatives would want to inherit his wine.
He wrote in the Times: "I lost Sigmund’s nightshirts and the heavy leather luggage, but have quite a lot of wine, the odd painting, a letter from Margaret Thatcher and a picture of me with Muhammad Ali.
"I took my children around our flat in turns to glean who wanted to have what when we died. 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.
"When it came to money, all are hugely well heeled and what I leave, especially a fifth share of what I leave, is likely to be an embarrassment: what they tip the milkman at Christmas."
Writing on Twitter, the actor and broadcaster, Stephen Fry said he would miss "dear old Clement Freud … dreadfully."
Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme he said Freud was an "immensely generous, benevolent and charming man".
"My favourite memory is of him in full flow on Just a Minute, still able to trip up people a quarter of his age."
Comedian Tony Hawks, who frequently appeared alongside Freud on Just a Minute 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.
Freud is survived by his wife, the actor Jill Freud. His funeral will be held next week.