Frank Bough: Former Grandstand and LBC presenter dies aged 87

25 October 2020, 21:13 | Updated: 25 October 2020, 23:15

The former BBC TV presenter and Grandstand star Frank Bough has died
The former BBC TV presenter and Grandstand star Frank Bough has died. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Former LBC presenter and Grandstand star Frank Bough has died aged 87, according to a family friend.

The former television presenter died last Wednesday in a care home, the BBC was told.

Bough was one of the highest-profile names on television in the 1970s and 1980s and was one of the best-paid hosts on the BBC.

He presented the organisation's flagship sports programme, Grandstand, for 15 years and helped to launch Breakfast Time and Nationwide.

Bough was also part of the commentary team for England's World Cup win in 1966.

In the early 1990s, Bough was a presenter on LBC when it was a London-only station.

He stayed on for the launch of London News Talk and when LBC moved to the News 97.3 service, where he remained until 1996.

Piers Morgan paid tribute to the TV star on Twitter, telling his 7.6 million followers Bough was "one of the great" live broadcasters.

He said: "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."

Comedy writer Julian Dutton posted his own tribute to Bough on social media.

"Goodbye #FrankBough. Straddling Saturday afternoons like a colossus, projecting the confidence of a cheerful councillor or headmaster who'd wandered into the BBC and taken over," he said.

"Smoothly spinning plates & late kick-offs with military ease. RIP."

TV astrologer Russell Grant said: "I am deeply saddened at the loss of an old television 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 wouldn't get on but we absolutely did - chalk n cheese! See you, Frank."

Jeff Stelling, who presents Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday, tweeted: "I met Frank Bough when I was a young reporter. He was kind, helpful and generous with his time. His brilliant career was blighted by scandal but I hope people will remember how fine a broadcaster he was. One of the very best in the business."

The 87-year-old's career was brought to an abrupt end after he became engulfed in a scandal involving the use of cocaine and prostitutes.

He was sacked by the BBC in 1988, with the story coming as a shock to the nation due to Bough's family-man image.

Bough later spoke of his regret over the incident and said his behaviour had been "exceedingly stupid".

Born in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, on 15 January 1933, Bough was educated at Oswestry Boys' High School in Shropshire.

The presenter went on to study Shipping Management at Merton College, Oxford, and enjoyed playing football for the university against Cambridge.

A spokesperson for the BBC 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."