Travel: Passport - Frank Bough: Everyone was shouting: 'It's Boughy. Let him through!'

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The Independent Travel
SOME PEOPLE assume that sporting personalities must have travelled the globe covering world events like the Olympics. But not so, according to Frank Bough, one of the best-known faces in world sports coverage.

"People think sports commentators have been everywhere," he says. "But because I'm an anchor, a lot of what I did took place in London. I never went to Montreal, Mexico or Los Angeles for the Olympics, for example. Although I was lucky enough to get to Munich, Moscow, and Tokyo in 1964."

Not everyone recognises Frank's face, as one wrangle during his travels proved. "During the Seventies, I was really high-profile," he says. "My face was everywhere; on the television all the time, doing every Olympic Games. Then I was recruited to moderate at an IBM conference in Palma."

IBM had chartered a number of jets, and Frank turned up at the airport - without his passport. "I'd taken my son's by mistake, and not only was it the wrong one, but it was out of date," he says. "There was no time to go back. Customs told me they couldn't stop me from leaving the country but I had to sign some certificate effectively stating I didn't exist.

"Anyway, we had problems when the Spanish hotel insisted on seeing my passport. Nesta, my wife, was steaming with indignation that they wouldn't accept hers as valid. When we came home, there were 400 delegates filing through immigration and customs wouldn't let me through because I didn't have ID. The crowd behind me started shouting 'It's Boughy! Let him through!' It was classic. In the end, they had to let me go; there was practically a riot behind me."

Two continents he hasn't yet visited are South America and Africa. "I'm not really at retirement age, but I've got to the stage where if I've been saying: 'Oh, I really must go to this country,' now is the time."

Exotic places aside, there's one home-from-home that wins top marks: Majorca. "If you got 100 travel writers in one room and asked them where they'd go to die, they'd say Majorca. It's got everything - lively resorts, echoes of Barcelona, wonderful sheltered coves. You can paint, see the wildlife, or hear the story of Chopin in Valdemosa. It's the complete experience."

Frank Bough presents 'Travel Live' on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 7pm.