Sir Clement Freud, a star of Radio 4's Just for Minute for more than 40 years, has died at the age of 84.

Freud was the grandson of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and father of broadcaster Emma and PR executive Matthew - and father-in-law to Matthew's partner, Shine chief executive Elisabeth Murdoch.

He was also known to a generation of TV viewers as one of the regular faces of Jackanory, where he read several of his own stories in the 1970s.

His lugubrious manner was also on display in several appearances in Countdown's dictionary corner and on Have I Got News For You.

Just a Minute

But he was best known for Just a Minute, the panel game in which contestants must speak for a minute on a specified subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

Freud still made regular appearances on the show until close to his death and was the longest-surviving of the four regular contestants from the show's early days. His opponents for many years were Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones and Derek Nimmo.

His demise leaves Paul Merton, who joined the show in 1989, as the longest-running player of the game.

Freud also pursued a political career, winning the Isle of Ely constituency for the Liberals in 1973 and later becoming the party's spokesman on education, the arts and broadcasting.

Comedian Tony Hawks, a fellow panellist on Just a Minute, described Freud as a “challenging” performer.

"I had listened to the show as a boy, so meeting him was like meeting a hero," he told BBC Breakfast.

"Through his great intellect he'd always bring out the best in you."

Stephen Fry, who also appears on the show, added that Freud was “an immensely generous, benevolent and charming man.”

He told Radio 4's Today programme: "My favourite memory is of him in full flow on Just a Minute, still able to trip up people a quarter of his age.”

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