The legendary Sir Bruce Forsyth, whose show-business career began at the tender age of just 14 has passed away today, following a long term period of illness.
Sir Bruce was Britain’s best-paid Television star, hosting game-shows such The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and The Price is Right. He also formed a terrific partnership with co-host Tess Daly on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing for ten years, stewarding the show from 2004 to 2014, when he stepped down first due to poor health.
A statement from Forysth’s manager, Ian Wilson read: “It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children.” Ever one to display his humour, he commented the anecdote that, “A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last 18 months. With a twinkle in his eye, he responded ‘I’ve been very, very busy… being ill!'”
His Strictly replacement, Claudia Winkleman was among the first to pay tribute to the icon, tweeting, “He was the King of TV, the Prince of performers and the most generous of people… all toe-tapping twinkle, all kindness, all love…. The Bruce you saw really was the man he was. We’ll miss him so much.”
Tony Hall, the BBC Director General also paid tribute to him, adding, “Today we’ve lost one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. Bruce was a friend to many of our teams. He’s been part of our lives for years – and we’ll miss him dearly. He invented, and then re-invented, Saturday night entertainment across the decades with shows from The Generation Game to Strictly. And, of course, his catchphrases were part of the national conversation.” He continued, “I saw him perform and marvelled at the chemistry between him and his audience right from the moment he took to the stage – and, by the way, that was always well before any cameras were rolling. Bruce was such a special part of the BBC. There’ll be time to celebrate his amazing contribution later, but for now I just wanted to mark his extraordinary life.”
Sir Bruce Forsyth is survived by his children and his wife Wilnelia. He was 89 years old.
Remind yourself of one of Sir Bruce’s best moments below and pay tribute to a genuine national treasure: