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Frank Bough

Frank Bough (born Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, England, January 15th 1933) is a British television presenter who specialised in sports programmes.


Early life

Bough was born in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, England. He was educated at Oswestry Boys High School, a protestant school, Oswestry, Shropshire (not to be confused with the older independent Oswestry School), and at Merton College, Oxford, reputedly being one of the last generation of undergraduates to be awarded a fourth class degree.[citation needed] He played football for the university against Cambridge, and performed his national service in the Royal Tank Regiment.


He joined the BBC as an anchorman and reporter and in 1964 he began presenting the BBC Sports Review of the Year, which he would host for eighteen years. He also presented Sportsview, and in 1968 the BBC's flagship Saturday afternoon sports programme Grandstand. He went on to present the early evening news programme, Nationwide. This made him one of the most familiar faces on British television throughout the 1970s.

In 1977 Bough was memorably a guest on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special, performing a song and dance routine in a sailor's outfit with the likes of Eddie Waring and Barry Norman, among others. The programme's recorded audience figures remain a British record.

He was the main presenter of the BBC's coverage of the 1978 World Cup finals in Argentina, and was the BBC correspondent at Guildford for the Election 79 programme.

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He was a roving holidaymaker in the BBC's Holiday programme; and made history as the first presenter of the BBC's inaugural breakfast television programme, Breakfast Time with Selina Scott. He left Breakfast Time at the end of 1987, moving on to be the main anchor for the BBC's Holiday programme for the next year. When allegations about his private life surfaced, he was dropped by the BBC and moved to LWT (part of the ITV network) where he fronted a Friday evening magazine programme. At the same time, he had a short lived interview programme on Sky TV.

In the early 1990s he was a presenter on London's LBC radio, staying on for the launch of London News Talk and moving to the News 97.3 service where he remained until 1996. He then presented Travel Live for the cable channel Travel.

Personal life

He married Nesta Howells (grandniece of Rees Howells) after leaving the army in 1959. They have three children, David, Stephen and Andrew.

Bough had a colourful private life which involved taking cocaine and wearing lingerie at sex parties.[2] The cocaine allegations almost ended his television career, although he did briefly return to present ITV's coverage of the 1991 Rugby World Cup. He also made headlines in 1992, when his visits to an S&M prostitute's Welbeck Street flat were made known to the tabloid press by one of the women regularly employed there as a receptionist.[3]

In 1993, after his activities were regularly ridiculed in monologues by Angus Deayton on Have I Got News For You, Bough was invited on to the programme as a guest and agreed. He was not ridiculed by Deayton this time, although Ian Hislop and Jo Brand made light-hearted comments when a picture of a woman's legs in stockings were shown. Angus Deayton was himself the subject of an alleged sex scandal in 2002 and suffered similar treatment to Bough.

From 1994 he was a regular member of the Windsor based choir, The Royal Free Singers.

Bough had a liver transplant in 2001 after cancer was found and now lives in retirement in Holyport, Berkshire.

In 2009, he returned to television to contribute to a programme looking back on Nationwide, which was broadcast on BBC Four.

References and Notes

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