Fans of legendary British talk show host Sir David Frost, who has interviewed presidents and international leaders throughout his long career at the BBC, will soon have to tune in to Arabic-language news network al-Jazeera to watch their favorite TV icon.
Frost, who currently hosts a popular late morning show on BBC, will leave the British channel once his contract expires after 500 shows, and start hosting a weekly talk show on the Qatar-based news channel.
The well-renowned British journalist earned his acclaim in the United States when he was the first journalist to be granted an interview
Frost later conducted interviews with seven American presidents, as well as with six British prime ministers. He also interviewed world leaders, including former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Israeli military commander Moshae Dayan, late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, King Hussein of Jordan and the Persian Shah.
Arab channel recruiting western media stars
Frost will be al-Jazeera's first western TV star, and he claims the channel has pledged it will accord him complete journalistic freedom.
Sources in Washington have frequently accused the Arabic channel of promoting propaganda from al-Qaeda and other fundamentalist Islamist groups.
Al-Jazeera plans to launch an English-language channel in the spring of 2006. The channel is expected to establish a broadcasting center in Washington, which will join its other centers in London, in Doha in Qatar, and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Al-Jazeera is reportedly on the lookout for other glamorous anchor men, writers and producers, preferably Americans.
The Washington Post recently reported that a few celebrated journalists have turned down offers by the Arabic channel, fearing that association with the infamous channel may harm their careers.