Frank Bough, host of BBC's Grandstand, dies aged 87

The former TV presenter Frank Bough, best known for presenting the BBC’s flagship sports show Grandstand, has died at the age of 87.

Bough, also known for presenting Nationwide and Breakfast Time, was one of the corporation’s highest-profile and highest-paid television hosts in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bough reportedly died last Wednesday in a care home. No further details about his death have been released.

A keen footballer, Bough began presenting Sportsview in 1964, taking over from Peter Dimmock. After his stint on the programme ended in 1968, he moved to the Saturday afternoon Grandstand programme.

Bough launched the corporation’s Breakfast Time show in 1983, alongside co-hosts Selina Scott and Nick Ross, before quitting in 1987 to present the Holiday programme.

Frank Bough with two of his Breakfast Time co-presenters Debbie Rix (left) and Selina Scott.
Frank Bough with two of his Breakfast Time co-presenters Debbie Rix (left) and Selina Scott. Photograph: Nils Jorgensen/REX

But a newspaper article exposing that he took drugs and visited sex workers was deemed irreconcilable with Bough’s hitherto wholesome image, and he was sacked by the BBC in 1988.

He went on to present the Frank Bough Interview for Sky TV for two series and front Six O’Clock Live on LWT until it was axed in 1992, before going on to do radio presenting for LBC until 1996.

A BBC spokesperson 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.”

TV presenter Piers Morgan paid tribute on Twitter, saying: “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.”

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