Franck Bour: photographer

Bour: “delight to work with”

Franck Bour, photo partner to News of theWorld associate editor Phil Taylor, veteran foreign operator Neil Marr and the late Alec Marr in their Riviera Media Service in the south of France, died on 18 October in Nice from complications following a liver transplant.

Bour’s death at the age of 40 came only six weeks after Neil’s younger brother Alec Marr died of a heart attack.

Days before Bour was due to team up with UK freelances Andrew Kelly and Matt Knowles to kick-start Alec’s press agency with a new office, photographic back-up and an apartment in a house he’d just completed rebuilding after a major fire, he was rushed to hospital when a compatible liver became available.

Bour – formerly a professional private detective – teamed up with Phil, Alec and Neil 16 years ago when they opened RMS’s office in Menton on the French/Italian border, to service UK nationals. He was well known for showbiz and royalty pictures -as well as the offbeat -and often teamed up with visiting UK national reporters for special jobs.

As well as regular shows in UK dailies and Sundays, Bour’s pictures were splashed and spread in US and Australian papers and magazines.

Although also widely used in France and Italy, Bour always preferred the fun British tabloid approach to the job and made scores of friends and colleagues on desks and on the road.

Neil said: “Franck was at Alec’s funeral with Andrew, Phil and other old pals just six weeks ago. It seems impossible that he should follow my wee brother so soon. They were buddies all their journalistic lives. Franck and Alec stayed teamed when Phil and I moved on from the agency. I worked again with Franck when I returned to Menton after a year’s break in Britain.

“We were the best of friends always. And Phil, of course, always kept in close touch. As strangers in a strange land, it was Franck who provided a social base and helped teach us our rotten French.

“Franck was always a delight to work with. He was an energetic and imaginative operator – and he always had a room and a home cooked meal for any reporter or photographer visiting from the UK.”

Bour is survived by his wife, Chantal, and children, Melanie and Franck Junior.

Neil Marr

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