26 October 2020

Frank Bough was a veteran BBC presenter before scandal ruined his career

26 October 2020

Frank Bough was one of the most popular faces on TV screens in the 1970s and 1980s until scandal ruined his career.

The veteran broadcaster enjoyed a career lasting more than two decades at the BBC and was well known for hosting programmes such as Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time.

As a former Oxford soccer Blue, Bough was a keen sporting broadcaster and anchored six World Cups, six Olympics and at least a dozen Five Nations championships for the BBC.

Peter Dimmock death (PA Media)

He also worked for other major networks including ITV – for whom he anchored the 1991 autumn’s Rugby Union World Cup in the UK and France.

In the seventies, he also presented current affairs programme Nationwide, which made him a household name.

In 1983, Bough switched from Grandstand, having been a regular host of the programme since 1968, to help to launch the Breakfast Time.

Breakfast Time was Britain’s first early-morning TV news programme and Bough presented it along with Selina Scott and Nick Ross.

However his career with the BBC ended in 1988 when he was sacked following scandals involving sex and drug parties.

Bough was pictured in the Sunday Mirror attending what was described as a “sado-masochistic vice den”.

In an interview with Sky News in 1992, Bough later spoke of his regret over the incident and said his behaviour had been “exceedingly stupid”, apologising for the pain it had caused his wife and family.

Following the scandal, he attempted to rebuild his broadcast career on Sky Television and a London Weekend Television show – and also enjoyed a stint on LBC radio in the early 1990s.

The station attracted complaints from listeners, who said that LBC was spending money on high-salaried presenters such as Bough while skimping on journalism.

He survived the takeover of LBC by London News Radio in 1994 and later that year presented a breakfast show along with fellow broadcaster Brian Hayes.

Bough underwent a successful liver transplant in 2001 after developing cancer.

Bough was born in Stoke-on-Trent on January 15, 1933 and died on October 21, 2020.

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