Former Grandstand host Frank Bough dies aged 87

Frank Bough dead: Tributes are paid as BBC broadcast great who launched breakfast TV in Britain after decades as the face of Grandstand dies in care home aged 87

  • Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough, 87, died in care home on Wednesday
  • He’s credited with pioneering breakfast TV, launching BBC’s Breakfast Time 1983
  • The commentator also headed BBC’s flagship sports programme, Grandstand

Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough has died at the age of 87. 

The TV sports personality died on Wednesday in a care home, a family friend told the BBC.  

Frank is credited with pioneering breakfast television, launching BBC’s Breakfast Time in 1983, alongside Selina Scott and Nick Ross – later becoming one of the highest paid presenters on TV. 

The presenter who became known for his smooth, calm and in control broadcast style also headed BBC’s flagship sports programme, Grandstand.

The TV sports personality died on Wednesday in a care home, a family friend told the BBC

For the best part of 20 years, Frank chose to live in reclusive obscurity with his wife at home in Berkshire after the shame of two very public sex and drug scandals that brought his career to a premature end.  

One of the country’s highest-paid broadcasters – on a reputed £200,000 salary – he was sacked by the Corporation after a red-top Sunday newspaper revealed he had taken cocaine with prostitutes at a Mayfair brothel.

Early start: The first episode of Breakfast Time, pictured in 1983, included a champagne celebration. Bough is pictured centre, surrounded by his team

Talented: Frank Bough delivers a segment on the Breakfast programme

Amid a torrent of more damaging revelations, he attempted to stem the tide by giving an ill-advised interview to the now defunct News of the World in a bid to protect his marriage and spare his three sons humiliation.

In a grovelling mea culpa, he confessed to snorting cocaine with escort girls and drug-pushers and to watching couples have sex at wild parties, though he insisted the drug made him unable to have sex himself.

He said he’d been lured into the world of high-class prostitutes after being introduced to a French-born vice queen.

Co-hosts: Bough pictured with co-hosts Debbie Rix, left, and Selina Scott, right, in 1983

He insisted: ‘I’m not a wicked man, nor do I mean any harm or evil to people. I’ve made mistakes, but everyone’s entitled to do that. No one suffered but my wife, my family and myself.

‘It was a brief but appalling period in my life. Don’t condemn my entire career for a brief episode I regret.’

He then claimed a therapist had cured him of his cocaine habit and his ‘other life’ – ‘for good’.



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