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Channel 5 look at Frank Bough and his rise and fall from TV grace


Channel 5 look at Frank Bough and his rise and fall from TV grace

Channel 5 look at Frank Bough and his rise and fall from TV grace

Best on the Box highlight, Saturday, February 11th…

This 90-minute documentary tells the story of Frank Bough’s remarkable career with its dramatic ups and downs.

It explores the motivations for the behaviours that led to his fall from grace, and the stories that have emerged over the past decade that on-set Bough also engaged in behaviour with female colleagues that is now considered sexual harassment.

The documentary is woven together with a mixture of archive, dramatic reconstructions and talking heads. Key contributors include broadcasters Anne Diamond, Jeremy Vine, Vanessa Feltz and Janet Street-Porter, as well as two close colleagues of Bough’s from Breakfast Time: Mike Hollingsworth, a senior producer on the show, and sports presenter Sally Jones who was also a good friend of Bough’s.

Bough was one of Britain’s favourite personalities before he was brought down by one of the 1980s’ biggest celebrity scandals. In the 1970s and 1980s, Bough was a national treasure as a presenter on the BBC’s Grandstand and Nationwide and was worshipped as the consummate professional by broadcasters of that generation.

In 1983, Bough was the frontman for Britain’s first-ever national early morning TV show, BBC Breakfast Time, and his avuncular style and Marks and Spencer’s jumpers turned him into the nation’s favourite uncle; cuddly safe and reliable. But it turned out that TV’s “Mr Clean” had a secret life.

In 1988, The News of the World tabloid made a splash with a front-page story revealing that family man Bough had a taste for cocaine, call girls and cross-dressing.

Bough’s career with the BBC was over. But he went on to stage one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of British broadcasting working nationally for Sky and regionally at ITV in London for LWT’s regional news offering. Yet Bough hadn’t given up on some of his extracurricular activities. In 1992, The Sunday Mirror revealed that Bough had been visiting a dominatrix sex worker in a Mayfair dungeon for BDSM sessions with whips and gags, which led to Spitting Image making fun of his kinky pastime. Bough’s broadcasting career was finished, and he retired into semi-obscurity.

Frank Bough: National Treasure, National Disgrace, tonight at 9pm on Channel 5

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