Frank Bough became known as one of the BBC's most accomplished presenters, equally able to cover sport, entertainment and politics. He was educated at Oswestry Boys' School and Merton College, Oxford. He undertook national service in the Royal Tank Regiment. He was encouraged to become a broadcaster by Gerald Sinstadt, Bough joined the BBC's regional news in Newcastle and within a couple of years had moved down to London, first making his name on national television as a BBC sports commentator.

He became a stalwart presenter on BBC television from the 1960s until the 1980s, hosting many of the corporation's most popular shows, including Grandstand (1958), Nationwide (1969) and Breakfast Time (1983).

In 1988 he was exposed by a UK tabloid newspaper as a cocaine user who enjoyed cross-dressing, sadomasochism and brothels. He expressed regrets about his lifestyle in subsequent interviews and his wife Nesta remained supportive, but these revelations caused considerable embarrassment and ended his long career at the BBC.