Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough dies at 87

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Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough dies at 87
Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough dies at 87

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

The Fenton-born broadcaster was for a long time a star at the BBC, starting on Sportsview in 1964 and commentated on the 1966 World Cup and hosted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

But it was the face of live coverage of more than 50 sports through Saturday afternoons on Grandstand from 1968 to 1982 that he became one of the most famous television presenters in the country.

“During that time colour TV came along, as did slo-mo and satellite link ups, so I was presenting while some tremendous developments were taking place,” he later said.

“There was a lot of bloodshed on the programme, I can tell you.

“The language and shouting I could hear in my earpiece was, at times, horrific! After four-and-a-half hours of that I would totter away absolutely knackered. It was hard but we were trying to make the best programme we could.”

Bough helped launch Breakfast Time – the UK’s first national TV breakfast show – in 1983, alongside Selina Scott, Nick Ross, David Icke, Debbie Rix and Francis Wilson.

And he presented Holiday from 1987 before his BBC career was ended by a sex and drugs scandal in 1988 – a shock to the nation considering his clean cut image.

His wife Nesta, who he had been married to for 33 years at that point, stuck by his side – even if she admitted to being “very hurt and angry”.

In an interview four years later, he said: “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.”

He added: “You are followed day and night. One paper fully admitted that they had dogged my footsteps for seven years, waiting for me to trip up. They catch you, they strip you bare and ravish you and then they move on to other people. Everybody in this country has a sex life, surely they have a right to enjoy that sex life.

“I am not a very important person, I am not a member of the Royal Family. I am not a politician. I am just a journalist, just a hack television presenter.”

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