25 October 2020 22:36
Frank Bough, the former presenter of BBC's Grandstand has died at the age of 87. Bough, a keen footballer, who was once one of the BBC's highest paid and highest profile presenters died last Wednesday in a care home, a family friend said last night. Piers Morgan was among those to pay tribute to the presenter last night tweeting: "RIP Frank Bough, 87. A BBC spokesperson last night said: "Frank excelled as a live presenter with the BBC for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his passing. During his time at the corporation, the Staffordshire-born broadcaster featured on Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time.
He became a household name in 1983 when he launched the Breakfast Time TV programme. In 1987, Michael Parkinson said of the broadcaster: "If my life depended on the smooth handling of a TV show, Bough would be my first choice to be in charge." His career at the BBC came to an abrupt end in 1988 when he was fired after admitting taking cocaine and wearing women's underwear at parties with prostitutes. The front page story revealing his escapades in the News of the World read: "Frank Bough: I Took Drugs with Vice Girls". After the scandal emerged, Fern Britton later criticised Bough, with whom she had worked on Breakfast Time, for declaring on their first meeting: "How long will it be before I'm having an affair with you?" In 1989, he fronted Six O'Clock Live on London Weekend Television until 1992 and in 1991 he presented ITV's coverage of the rugby world cup. Frank Bough has died aged 87.
Frank started out as a presenter on Sportsview in 1964 after he took on the role from Peter Dimmock. Later he made the advantageous move to the BBC's leading sports show Grandstand. But Frank was sacked from the BBC in 1988 over an alleged drugs and prostitutes scandal. However, Frank continued a fruitful career as he went onto present shows on ITV and Sky TV. Frank Bough presenting Grandstand Frank Bough, one of the most familiar faces on BBC television from the 1960s to 1980s, has died aged 87.
In 1983, Bough was involved in the launch of the BBC's new breakfast service, Breakfast Time. Fed up with early morning starts, Bough quit Breakfast Time in 1987 to present the Holiday programme. He eventually returned to broadcasting, including fronting ITV's Rugby World Cup coverage, but this came to an end after a further scandal. Presenter Piers Morgan paid tribute to Bough, tweeting: "RIP Frank Bough, 87. Star of Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time. A BBC spokesperson said: "Frank excelled as a live presenter with the BBC for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his passing. Frank Bough was one of the highest-profile and highest-paid presenters on BBC Television. He presented the BBC's flagship sports programme, Grandstand, and launched the corporation's Breakfast Time TV programme in 1983. Bough presented Sportsview in the 1960s He continued to play amateur football in the North East but became increasingly unhappy with his job, finally deciding he wanted to be a broadcaster. He pestered the BBC for two years before it finally relented and he became a presenter with the corporation's regional programme, Home at Six, which was broadcast from Newcastle. With his love of and knowledge of sport, he became the presenter of Sportsview in 1964, taking over from Peter Dimmock. He also began an 18-year stint hosting the BBC's Sports Review of the Year, which later became Sports Personality of the Year. Bough was part of the BBC's World Cup commentating team in 1966, notably covering one of the great upsets of the tournament when North Korea beat Italy 1-0 at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough. His stint on Sportsview ended in 1968 when David Coleman took the reins and the programme was renamed Sportsnight with Coleman. However, it marked Bough's move to Grandstand, the BBC's flagship Saturday afternoon TV sports programme. In the days before sport sold its rights to the highest bidder, Grandstand covered a host of sports every week, including high-profile events such as the Olympic Games, FA Cup finals and the Grand National. It was on Grandstand, with its multitude of live feeds providing the potential for things to go wrong, that Bough's bomb-proof presenting style came into its own. His style prompted Michael Parkinson's remark that "if my life depended on the smooth handling of a TV show he'd be the one I'd want in charge". Bough presented Nationwide, here with Hugh Scully, which was broadcast live in the early evening He said: "We're not in the business of just getting by on this programme." In 1972 he began presenting Nationwide, the BBC's news programme that went out after the early evening news. However, he recalled some resistance from managers in BBC current affairs who were aghast that a man from sport was to present one of their programmes. Hearing that the BBC was about to launch a new breakfast TV service in 1983, Bough approached the editor Ron Neil. Few presenters at the time had experience of presenting long and largely unscripted programmes, and his stint at Grandstand got him the job. He proved a natural when the BBC launched Breakfast Time in January 1983, his laidback and comfortable style becoming an immediate hit with his early morning audience. His fellow presenter, Nick Ross, later recalled that Bough brought a much needed sense of serenity and composure to the programme. In 1987, fed up with early mornings, Bough quit Breakfast to present the Holiday programme. Bough with the presenting team that launched Breakfast TV in 1983: front, Selina Scott, Nick Ross; behind, from right, David Icke, Debbie Rix and Francis Wilson He eventually returned to broadcasting, including fronting ITV's Rugby World Cup coverage, but his renaissance was short-lived. However, in 2014 it was announced that he would step back into the public arena and contribute to a BBC documentary looking at 30 years of Breakfast TV in the UK. Frank Bough was one of Britain's most consummate broadcasters, who won a legion of fans for his calm and friendly manner.