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Former grandstand owner Frank Bough dies at the age of 87


Former grandstand moderator Frank Bough died at the age of 87.

The TV sports personality died in a nursing home on Wednesday, a family friend confirmed.

Frank is credited with pioneering work Breakfast television, which started the BBC's breakfast time with Selina Scott and Nick Ross in 1983 – and later became one of the highest paid presenters on television.

In the days when television programming began abruptly at 9 a.m., Frank's voice was the first to be broadcast to the nation on January 17, 1983 at 6:30 a.m. as part of a breakfast television show.

Loved by viewers, Frank became known for his smooth, steadfast, and controlled style of broadcast.

The TV sports personality died in a nursing home on Wednesday, a family friend told the BBC. Pictured in 2001

The athlete began his presentation career at Home at Six (later renamed Look North) and moved to Sportsview – replaced by Peter Dimmock – in 1964, where he enthralled viewers for four years before moving to the BBC's flagship sports program, Grandstand.

Born in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, to an upholstered father and working mother, Frank was the first of his family to complete a higher education.

He He had a childhood of "very happy days" growing up with his sister, he told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

He won an All-Rounder Scholarship to Merton College, Oxford University, and received funding from Shropshire.

Frank is credited with pioneering Breakfast TV, which started the BBC's breakfast time in 1983 along with Selina Scott (pictured together) and Nick Ross

Frank is credited with pioneering Breakfast TV, which ran the BBC's Breakfast Time in 1983 alongside Selina Scott (pictured together) and Nick Ross

Adored by the audience, the presenter became known for his smooth, steadfast and controlled broadcast style

Adored by the audience, the presenter became known for his smooth, steadfast and controlled broadcast style

His enthusiasm for football came to the fore at university – he scored an Oxford Blue playing "Stop and Center Half" in a varsity match against Cambridge at Wembley while his parents watched.

Frank married Nesta Howells in 1959 after leaving the Army – where he did his national service in the Royal Tank Regiment – and the couple had three sons together – David, Stephen and Andrew.

For most of 20 years, Frank chose to live in secluded darkness with his wife at home in Berkshire after shaming two very public sex and drug scandals that ended his career prematurely.

One of the country's highest-paying broadcasters – with a reported £ 200,000 salary – was fired from the corporation after a Sunday Red Top newspaper announced it had used cocaine with prostitutes in a Mayfair brothel.

Frank married Nesta Howells (pictured together) in 1959 after leaving the Army. The couple had three sons together - David, Stephen and Andrew. Pictured: Nesta and Frank 1993

Frank married Nesta Howells (pictured together) in 1959 after leaving the Army. The couple had three sons together – David, Stephen and Andrew. Pictured: Nesta and Frank 1993

Frank Bough and Chris Bonnington in a group picture from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment

Frank Bough and Chris Bonnington in a group picture from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment

Frank Bough and his wife Nesta at dinner in London

Frank Bough and his wife Nesta at dinner in London

Amid a spate of more damaging revelations, he tried to stem the tide by giving the now-defunct World News an ill-advised interview to protect his marriage and spare his three sons the humiliation.

The front-page story ran with the headline, "Frank Bough: I Did Drugs With Vice Girls".

In a rude mea culpa, he confessed to sniffing cocaine with escort girls and drug dealers and watching couples having sex at wild parties, despite insisting that the drug made him not have sex himself.

Early Start: The first episode of Breakfast Time, pictured in 1983, featured a champagne party. Ast is shown in the center, surrounded by his team

Early Start: The first episode of Breakfast Time, pictured in 1983, featured a champagne party. Ast is shown in the center, surrounded by his team

Talented: Frank Bough delivers an excerpt from the breakfast program

Talented: Frank Bough delivers an excerpt from the breakfast program

He said he was lured into the world of high class prostitutes after being introduced to a French-born viceroy.

While later working for other networks like Sky and London's LBC radio, his career never fully recovered from the world news scandal and he retired in 1998.

In 2001, he had to undergo a transplant after doctors found he had liver cancer.

Co-hosts: Bough was pictured with co-hosts Debbie Rix (left) and Selina Scott (right) in 1983

Co-hosts: Bough was pictured with co-hosts Debbie Rix (left) and Selina Scott (right) in 1983

He insisted, “I'm not a bad man, and I don't mean harm or evil to people. I've made mistakes, but everyone is entitled to do so. Nobody suffered but my wife, my family and me.

& # 39; It was a short but appalling time in my life. Do not judge my entire career for one short episode that I regret. & # 39;

Then he claimed that a therapist cured him of his cocaine habit and "other life" – "forever".

Grandstand presenters (left to right) Steve Ryder, David Coleman, Peter Dimmock, Des Lynam and Frank Bough during a broadcast to mark the 40th anniversary of the sports program

Grandstand presenters (left to right) Steve Ryder, David Coleman, Peter Dimmock, Des Lynam and Frank Bough during a broadcast to mark the 40th anniversary of the sports program

Piers Morgan paid tribute, tweeted: 'RIP Frank Bough, 87th Star of Grandstand, Nationwide and Breakfast Time.

& # 39; His career was ruined by a scandal but he was one of the great live TV presenters. Sad news. & # 39;

A BBC spokesperson said: “Frank has excelled as a live host on the BBC for many years and we are very sorry to hear of his death.

"We express our condolences to his family and friends."

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