Former Liberal member of parliament Clement Freud has died at the age of 84, his family have announced.

The broadcaster died at his London home on Wednesday evening, nine days short of his 85th birthday, a statement said.

A grandson of psychologist Sigmund Freud, Sir Clement was a regular panellist on Radio 4's Just a Minute for more than 30 years and was the Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire from 1973 to 1987.

Writer and broadcaster Stephen Fry described Sir Clement as 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," he told the Today programme.

Having begun his career as one of Britain's first 'celebrity chefs' at the Dorchester Hotel in London, before running his own Sloane Square restaurant, Sir Clement turned his hand to journalism and became a household name due to appearances in a series of dog food commercials, in which Sir Clement mocked his 'hangdog' facial expression.

Sir Clement is survived by his wife of 59 years, actress Jill Freud, five children and 17 grandchildren.

His son, PR guru Matthew, is married to Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, while broadcaster daughter Emma Freud is the long-term partner of writer/director Richard Curtis.

Last year he wrote about his death in the Times newspaper, joking his relatives were eager to inherit his wine.

"I took my children around our flat in turns to glean who wanted to have what when we died," he wrote.

"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."

16/04/2009 09:12:07