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Frank Bough: BBC TV presenter dies aged 87

The Independent logo The Independent 26/10/2020 Peter Stubley
a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Independent

The former TV presenter Frank Bough has died at the age of 87.

Bough became one of the most well-known faces on the BBC in the 1980s after fronting the Grandstand sports show on Saturdays.

In 1983 he gained an even wider audience when he launched the first national breakfast television programme, Breakfast Time.

Television presenter Frank Bough pictured on the set of the television show 'Grandstand', September 22nd 1979. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images) Television presenter Frank Bough pictured on the set of the television show 'Grandstand', September 22nd 1979. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

He quit the show in 1987 to present the Holiday programme but was sacked by the corporation a year later after the News of the World reported he had attended sex and drug parties.

A family friend told the BBC the former presenter died on Wednesday in a care home.

"Frank excelled as a live presenter with the BBC for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his passing," a BBC spokesperson said.

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"We send our condolences to his family and friends."

Piers Morgan tweeted: "RIP Frank Bough, 87. Star of Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time. His career was ruined by scandal, but he was one of the great live TV presenters. Sad news."

TV astrologer Russell Grant said: "I am deeply saddened at the loss of an old television friend: Frank Bough was a great man to work with. We launched BBC Breakfast Time in January 1983. Always there for advice and support. 'They' said we wouldn't get on but we absolutely did - chalk n cheese! See you, Frank."

The presenters of 'Breakfast Time', first national breakfast television programme, UK, 19th August 1983; including Frank Bough, Debbie Rix and Mike Smith. (Photo by John Minihan/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) The presenters of 'Breakfast Time', first national breakfast television programme, UK, 19th August 1983; including Frank Bough, Debbie Rix and Mike Smith. (Photo by John Minihan/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Bough, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and studied at Oxford University, began his BBC career in Newcastle as a regional news reporter and presenter.

He began presenting Sportsview in 1964 and was part of the team reporting on the 1966 World Cup. He also hosted BBC Sports Personality of the Year for 16 years.

After being sacked by the BBC he worked for ITV and Sky News before being photographed visiting a sadomasochistic sex worker’s flat in 1992.

He later commented: "I have been exceedingly stupid and I accept that. I caused a lot of pain to my wife and my family and I bitterly regret all these things – but I have to say that I believe that everybody, when they have difficulties with their marriage or sexuality, surely has the right to sort these things out in the privacy of their own home."

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