Born in Stoke-on-Trent on January 15, 1933, Bough grew up in Oswestry, Shropshire. He began his television career presenting Sportsview in 1964. After his stint on the show ended in 1968, he moved on to the Grandstand Saturday afternoon show.
Bough started the company’s Breakfast Time show in 1983, alongside co-hosts Selina Scott and Nick Ross, before leaving in 1987 to host the Holiday program.
During his career as a sports broadcaster, he hosted six World Cups, six Olympic Games and at least a dozen five-nation championships for the BBC.
His reputation was one of relaxed and affable professionalism, and Michael Parkinson once described him on Desert Island Discs as “the most unassailable artist on British television”. But when a 1988 News of the World article revealed that he had taken cocaine and visited sex workers, the scandal was deemed irreconcilable with Bough’s hitherto healthy image, and he was sacked by the BBC.
Bough later spoke of his regrets about the incident and said his behavior had been “extremely stupid”.
He then presented Frank Bough’s interview for Sky TV for two series and featured Six O’Clock Live on LWT until it was deleted in 1992, before doing radio presentations for LBC until in 1996.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Frank has excelled as a live BBC presenter for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his passing. We extend our condolences to his family and friends.
Several people who worked with Bough paid tribute to him on Sunday. TV astrologer Russell Grant said: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of an old TV friend: Frank Bough was a great man to work with. We launched BBCBreakfastTime in January 1983. Always there for advice and support. They said we weren’t going to continue, but we absolutely did – chalk and cheese! See you soon, Frank.
Jeff Stelling, who presents Sky Sports football on Saturday, tweeted: “I met Frank Bough when I was a young reporter. He was kind, helpful and generous with his time. His successful career was marred by scandal, but I hope people will remember how great he was as a broadcaster. One of the best in the business. ”
Simon Kuper, a Financial Times columnist, said: “When my first book was published in 1994, I was on Frank Bough’s radio show for about 10 minutes. He was the only radio interviewer I met who had prepared by reading the entire book.
MP Andrea Jenkyns said her father had been in the tank regiment with Bough while the two were doing national service and had “highly appreciated” his name as she recalled the period.
TV writer Julian Dutton said: “Goodbye #FrankBough. Riding Saturday afternoons like a colossus, projecting the confidence of a cheerful advisor or director who had roamed the BBC and taken over. Smooth spinning plates and late launches with military ease. TEAR. “