Former Grandstand presenter Frank Bough has died aged 87, a family friend has said.
Bough, who also fronted Look North, died in a care home last Wednesday, they told the BBC.
He went into sports presenting in 1964 on Sportsview before joining BBC sports show Grandstand where he would remain for 15 years.
For 18 years Bough was the face of BBC’s Sports Review of the Year, now known as Sports Personality of the Year.
He was on the commentating team for the 1966 World Cup and led the BBC’s coverage of the 1978 World Cup finals.
The TV personality became one of the BBC’s most familiar faces throughout the 60s and 80s as he launched Breakfast Time from 1983 to 1987.
Bough stepped down from breakfast television in 1987 to join the travel programme Holiday, taking over from Cliff Michelmore.
He career was mired by controversy when the BBC sacked him in 1988 after he admitted to attending cocaine and sex parties.
The presenter said of the scandal: ‘It was a brief but appalling period in my life. Don’t condemn my entire career for a brief episode I regret.’
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.’
BBC Midlands Today and ITV Sport host Nick Owen wrote on Twitter: ‘RIP Frank Bough. I regarded him as the ultimate broadcaster who combined news and sport brilliantly. Whatever the scandals that broke around him, he was an inspiration to me when I started in tv more than 40 years ago.’
Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling said: ‘I met Frank Bough when I was a young reporter. He was kind, helpful and generous with his time. His brilliant career was blighted by scandal but I hope people will remember how fine a broadcaster he was. One of the very best in the business.’
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan tweeted in tribute: ‘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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