Frank Bough, former Breakfast Time presenter dies aged 87

Telegraph reporters
·2-min read
Frank Bough  - PA 
Frank Bough - PA

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 on Sunday night. 

Piers Morgan was among those to pay tribute to the presenter last night tweeting: "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."

A BBC spokesperson on Sunday night said: "Frank excelled as a live presenter with the BBC for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his passing. We send our condolences to his family and friends."  

During his time at the corporation, the Staffordshire-born broadcaster featured on Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time.  He joined the BBC in 1963 as a reporter.

He became a household name in 1983 when he launched the Breakfast Time TV programme. 

His colleague, fellow presenter Nick Ross previously praised the “sense of serenity and reassurance” he brought to the show.

 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." 

Bough with fellow Breakfast Time host Selina Scott - PA
Bough with fellow Breakfast Time host Selina Scott - PA

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.

He studied shipping management at Merton College Oxford, during which time he played for the university against Cambridge. 

He had a liver transplant in 2001 after cancer was detected.  He married Nesta Howells in 1959 and the couple had three sons.