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Bough criticises newspaper expose

THE TELEVISION presenter Frank Bough yesterday spoke of his regret after being pictured in a newspaper visiting a flat that offered sado-masochistic services.

'I have been exceedingly stupid and I accept that,' he said in an interview shown on Sky Television. 'I caused a lot of pain to my wife and my family and I bitterly regret all these things - but I have to say that I believe that everybody, when they have difficulties with their marriage or sexuality, surely has the right to sort these things out in the privacy of their own home.'

Nesta, his wife of 37 years, who stood by him after he was exposed four years ago in a newspaper for visiting sex and drug parties, said she was 'very hurt and angry' with her husband and the press.

The interview was carried out yesterday for a BBC Television series called Separate Lives, which begins next month.

Mr Bough, 59, the former Grandstand presenter, who last month finished presenting LWT's Six O'Clock Live show, criticised newspapers for turning his problems into 'a spectator sport for the entertainment of the nation'. He said: 'You are followed day and night. One paper fully admitted that they had dogged my footsteps for seven years, waiting for me to trip up. They catch you, they strip you bare and ravish you and then they move on to other people. Everybody in this country has a sex life, surely they have a right to enjoy that sex life.

'I am not a very important person, I am not a member of the Royal Family. I am not a politician. I am just a journalist, just a hack television presenter - at the moment just a regional television presenter.'

Mrs Bough said: 'I am angry at Frank and I am also angry with the press for making it so much worse than it need be.'

She went on: 'Obviously I have thought, 'Do I stay or do I go?'. I mean I would not be honest if I said I hadn't . . . but we have been together a long time. We have brought up a family.

'We have still got a lot going for us. I do feel betrayed by it, but I do not feel that it is anything personal to do with me. I try not to think about it too much in a detailed way but obviously I have to and I do have to face it.'

The full interview will be shown when the Separate Lives series goes on air from 12 October. Sky was given extracts of the interview.