Frank Bough's son pays tribute to late TV presenter

The son of former TV presenter Frank Bough says his father ‘loved where he lived’ following his death last week.

Steve Bough, chairman of Maidenhead RFC, paid tribute to his dad, a familiar figure in and around the Royal Borough and across the country.

It was announced on Sunday that Bough had died in a care home at the age of 87 on Wednesday, October 21.

He will be remembered mainly for his appearances on TV from the 1960s to the 1980s, when he presented popular shows Grandstand and Breakfast Time on the BBC.

He also later fronted ITV's coverage of the Rugby World Cup.

His career was affected by tabloid scandals, leading him to be sacked from the BBC in 1988.

But many past and present journalists paying tribute remembered Bough's natural presenting style and broadcasting talents.

He also popped up at events across the Maidenhead area, taking part in Michael Parkinson's annual celebrity cricket contests, and attending a sportsman's dinner for Maidenhead Rugby Club at Braywick in 1994.

Bough made regular appearances in the community – he showed off his athletic prowess at a St Mary's School sports day with his son in 1973, winning the father's race, and opened a new rehabilitation unit at St Marks Hospital in 1978.

He also featured in the Advertiser in June 1987 for judging and crowning the winners at the Holyport Village Fair.

“It was always difficult having a political argument with him because he would say he had been interviewing the Prime Minister, and [say] you were wrong,” son Steve said.

“He was different to other fathers in the way he was very well known, but he was the same at home as he was on the TV.

“We could have a very exciting argument around the dinner table; the Bough family is renowned for its discussions.”

Bough moved to Bray in 1963 before venturing across the county border to South Bucks, settling down in Dorney Reach.

He spent the last 20 years of his life in Holyport but was placed in a care home after a fall at home and a subsequent stay in hospital.

Bough had previously underwent a liver transplant in 2001 after cancer was detected.

Steve added: “He loved where he lived. He had great friends here, it is where he came to relax after the hustle and bustle of what he did.

“He did not put on a front to present any programme. He was who he was. He came up from the working class and never changed.”

Bough was also a keen sportsman, with a popular summer game his favourite.

“He was a mad cricketer, loved his cricket,” Steve said. “I was never a cricketer. I fell in love with rugby and he supported whatever we wanted to do. He loved watching all of us.”

Bough was famous for his calm and measured approach in front of the TV cameras, and when asked how he kept this up, Steve concluded: “He used to say, when things got [difficult], he was presenting in front of the family, rather than the nation.”

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