Obituary: Frank Bough

Obituary: Frank Bough

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Frank Bough

Frank Bough changed into as soon as no doubt one of many final note-profile and absolute best-paid presenters on BBC Television.

In a profession spanning three a long time, he gained a repute for his relaxed and unflappable fashion on digicam.

He offered the BBC’s flagship sports actions programme, Grandstand, and launched the company’s Breakfast Time TV programme in 1983.

However his profession rapid ended after lurid tabloid revelations about his involvement with cocaine and contact girls.

Francis Bough changed into as soon as born in a two-up, two-down terrace house in the Fenton put of Stoke-on-Trent on 15 January 1933.

His father ,who labored as an upholsterer, lost his job, and the family moved to Oswestry, Shropshire, where Bough attended the native grammar college.

He changed into as soon as a eager sportsman and furthermore loved acting, taking method in a series of college Shakespeare productions, including Hamlet and Macbeth.

Even supposing now not in particular academic he gained a scholarship to Merton College, Oxford, in the times when, as he later set it, “Oxford valued a honest all-rounder”.

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Bough offered Sportsview in the 1960s

He changed into as soon as a talented footballer, winning a Blue, though his aspect had been crushed by Cambridge in the Varsity match at Wembley.

Bough did his National Service in the Royal Tank Regiment sooner than getting a job as a graduate trainee with ICI in Billingham, County Durham.

He continued to play newbie soccer in the North East but changed into an increasing number of unhappy with his job, sooner or later deciding he needed to be a broadcaster.

He pestered the BBC for two years sooner than it will definitely relented and he changed into a presenter with the company’s regional programme, Dwelling at Six, which changed into as soon as broadcast from Newcastle.

It changed into as soon as later renamed Examine North.


Alongside with his fancy of and data of sport, he changed into the presenter of Sportsview in 1964, taking on from Peter Dimmock.

The programme went out midweek and featured soccer as properly as a series of pre-recorded objects.

He furthermore started an 18-yr stint web hosting the BBC’s Sports actions Review of the Year, which later changed into Sports actions Personality of the Year.

Bough changed into as soon as section of the BBC’s World Cup commentating crew in 1966, critically conserving no doubt one of many colossal upsets of the tournament when North Korea beat Italy 1-0 at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough.

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Bough changed into as soon as the quiet centre in a maelstrom of are living sport

His stint on Sportsview resulted in 1968 when David Coleman took the reins and the programme changed into as soon as renamed Sportsnight with Coleman.

On the opposite hand, it marked Bough’s pass to Grandstand, the BBC’s flagship Saturday afternoon TV sports actions programme.

In the times sooner than sport sold its rights to the final note bidder, Grandstand lined a host of sports actions each week, including excessive-profile events such because the Olympic Games, FA Cup finals and the Abundant National.

These had been mixed, reckoning on the season, with customary horse races, athletics and rugby league.


It changed into as soon as on Grandstand, with its multitude of are living feeds providing the skill for things to head corrupt, that Bough’s bomb-proof presenting fashion came into its hold.

Right here he gained his repute for closing an oasis of silent no topic what technical hitches had been occurring.

His fashion precipitated Michael Parkinson’s statement that “if my existence depended on the tender handling of a TV ticket he’d be the one I’d settle on in charge”.

Bough, when as soon as requested the main of this skill to take care of his head when all about him had been losing theirs, said merely: “I hold a extraordinarily long fuse.”

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Bough offered Nationwide, right here with Hugh Scully, which changed into as soon as broadcast are living in the early evening

Lengthy fuse or now not, he changed into as soon as a perfectionist. He said: “We’re now not in the industry of correct getting by on this programme.”

In 1972 he started presenting Nationwide, the BBC’s files programme that went out after the early evening files.

It changed into as soon as repeatedly a fairly light-hearted programme, with opt-outs for BBC regions to level of curiosity on native files.

On the opposite hand, he recalled some resistance from managers in BBC present affairs who had been aghast that a person from sport changed into as soon as to present no doubt one of their programmes.

In the identical yr, Bough had the harrowing journey of anchoring the BBC protection of the Munich Olympics all the device through which 11 people of the Israeli crew had been murdered by people of the Palestinian Dim September organisation.

“It changed into as soon as a extraordinary explain,” he later said. “The athletics continued while folk had been getting killed.”

Fable tv

As no doubt one of tv’s simplest-known faces he regarded on the 1977 Morecambe and Like a flash-witted Christmas Present.

In conjunction with a series of other presenters, including the rugby league commentator Eddie Waring, he donned a sailor scurry well with to originate a quantity from South Pacific.

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Bough (middle of abet row) danced about on Morecambe & Like a flash-witted

The ticket attracted better than 21 million viewers, silent a report for British tv.

By now Bough changed into as soon as beginning to tire of Grandstand.

He silent cherished fronting the gigantic sporting events but, as he later remarked: “I started to feel I changed into as soon as play-acting when it changed into as soon as Widnes v Batley on a wet November afternoon.”

Listening to that the BBC changed into as soon as about to originate a new breakfast TV provider in 1983, Bough approached the editor Ron Neil.

Quick stint

Few presenters at the time had journey of presenting long and largely unscripted programmes, and his stint at Grandstand bought him the job.

He proved a pure when the BBC launched Breakfast Time in January 1983, his laidback and cozy fashion changing into an rapid hit with his early morning viewers.

His fellow presenter, Slice Ross, later recalled that Bough brought a mighty needed sense of serenity and composure to the programme.

In 1987, bored stiff with early mornings, Bough stop Breakfast to present the Vacation programme.

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Bough with the presenting crew that launched Breakfast TV in 1983: entrance, Selina Scott, Slice Ross; at the abet of, from correct, David Icke, Debbie Rix and Francis Wilson

It changed into as soon as to be a transient stint. In 1988 he changed into as soon as sacked by the BBC after a newspaper carried revelations that he had indulged in cocaine events with prostitutes.

The account came as a particular shock, given Bough’s hitherto neat-lower family-man image.

He sooner or later returned to broadcasting, including fronting ITV’s Rugby World Cup protection, but his renaissance changed into as soon as instant-lived.

In 1992 he changed into as soon as photographed leaving a a sadomasochistic prostitute’s flat that, in step with newspaper experiences, featured a cage and college canes.

There changed into as soon as a transient return to the airwaves on an unprejudiced native radio explain but, by 1996, Bough had disappeared from public look.

In the following years he remained out of see, turning down a chance to attain to the display mask mask when Breakfast properly-known its 25th anniversary in 2006.

On the opposite hand, in 2014 it changed into as soon as launched that he would step abet into the public arena and make contributions to a BBC documentary taking a stare at 30 years of Breakfast TV in the UK.

Frank Bough changed into as soon as no doubt one of Britain’s most consummate broadcasters, who gained a legion of fans for his silent and friendly manner.

He changed into as soon as continuously anxious that he will seemingly be remembered correct for the tabloid headlines slightly than for his many worthwhile years in entrance of a digicam.

“It changed into as soon as a transient but appalling period in my existence,” Bough said. “Salvage now not condemn my whole profession for a transient episode I feel sorry about.”

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