Tributes for 'one of very best' Frank Bough who has died aged 87

Tributes have been made to Frank Bough. Credit: PA

Tributes have been paid to Frank Bough following the former TV presenter’s death aged 87.

Bough was one of the most popular faces on TV screens in the 1970s and 1980s until scandal ruined his career.

The veteran broadcaster enjoyed a career lasting more than two decades at the BBC and was well known for hosting programmes such as Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time.

As a former Oxford soccer Blue, Bough was a keen sporting broadcaster and anchored six World Cups, six Olympics and at least a dozen Five Nations championships for the BBC.

Grandstand presenters Steve Ryder, David Coleman, Peter Dimmock, Des Lynam and Frank Bough Credit: left – right

He also worked for other major networks including ITV – for whom he anchored the 1991 autumn’s Rugby Union World Cup in the UK and France.

In the seventies, he also presented current affairs programme Nationwide, which made him a household name.

In 1983, Bough switched from Grandstand, having been a regular host of the programme since 1968, to help to launch the Breakfast Time.

Breakfast Time was Britain’s first early-morning TV news programme and Bough presented it along with Selina Scott and Nick Ross.

Tributes to Bough were posted online by fellow BBC journalists, politicians and other broadcasters.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said: “RIP Frank Bough, 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.”

Astrologer Russell Grant, who helped launch BBC Breakfast Time with Bough in 1983, 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.”

Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling said Bough was “one of the very best in the business” and had always been “helpful and generous with his time”.

Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns, said her father Clifford “spoke highly” of him when reminiscing about time served together in the Tank Regiment during conscription.

Former F1 world champion Damon Hill said simply “RIP Frank indeed.”

Former Labour MP George Galloway called Bough “peerless” as a presenter, adding: “The BBC have no one like him now.”

Bough pictured with Breakfast Time co-host Selina Scott. Credit: PA

His career with the BBC ended in 1988 when he was sacked following scandals involving sex and drug parties.

Bough was pictured in the Sunday Mirror attending what was described as a “sado-masochistic vice den”.

In an interview with Sky News in 1992, Bough later spoke of his regret over the incident and said his behaviour had been “exceedingly stupid”, apologising for the pain it had caused his wife and family.

Following the scandal, he attempted to rebuild his broadcast career on Sky Television and a London Weekend Television show – and also enjoyed a stint on LBC radio in the early 1990s.

The station attracted complaints from listeners, who said that LBC was spending money on high-salaried presenters such as Bough while skimping on journalism.

Bough and Brian Hayes presented a breakfast show for London Newstalk Radio in 1994. Credit: PA

He survived the takeover of LBC by London News Radio in 1994 and later that year presented a breakfast show along with fellow broadcaster Brian Hayes.

Bough underwent a successful liver transplant in 2001 after developing cancer.

Bough was born in Stoke-on-Trent on January 15, 1933, and attended Oswestry Boys’ High School in Shropshire before studying Shipping Management at Oxford.

He completed his national service in the Royal Tank Regiment alongside MP Andrea Jenkyns’s father Clifford, who she said always “spoke highly” of Bough when reminiscing about their time during conscription.

He died on October 21.