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The last word: Mordecai Richler with Barbara Frum

Broadcaster Barbara Frum pioneered a tough interview style on CBC Radio's As it Happens and later on CBC Television's The Journal. Whether she was talking to Nelson Mandela, Harold Ballard or the grower of the world's biggest cabbage, Frum's unrelenting curiosity, her fearless search for the truth, and her empathy and humour made her one of Canada's most important broadcasters.

Barbara Frum's interview with author Mordecai Richler would be her last. At the time Richler's book Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! was stirring up controversy with its tough stance on Quebec. During the interview, Frum comes across as frail and weak. At one point Richler stops the interview to ask her if she's feeling okay. Frum perseveres and finishes the conversation. After the interview, she calls her husband who takes her to the hospital. Frum has a fever of 103 degrees. The doctor admits her to the hospital immediately.
• She would die 16 days after her interview with Mordecai Richler.
• Barbara Frum recorded 2,600 interviews during her 10 years as the host of The Journal.
Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: March 10, 1992
Guest(s): Mordecai Richler
Host: Barbara Frum
Duration: 13:31

Last updated: March 20, 2013

Page consulted on July 11, 2013

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