Stars pay tribute to TV veteran Sir Bruce Forsyth
Tributes have flooded in for TV veteran Sir Bruce Forsyth after he passed away peacefully at age 89.
BBC Director-General, Tony Hall said: "Sir Bruce was one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decades, with shows like the Generation Game and, most recently, Strictly. His warmth and his wit were legendary.
"I've never seen anyone quite like him when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. He had a remarkable chemistry with his audience - that's what made him such an amazing professional and why he was so loved.
"He has been part of all of our lives, and we'll miss him dearly."
Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman also paid a touching tribute.
As the news broke on Friday, she posted on Twitter: "He was the King of TV, the Prince of performers and the most generous of people... all toe-tapping twinkle, all kindness, all love...."
She followed it with: "The Bruce you saw really was the man he was. We'll miss him so much."
TV host Vernon Kay, who is married to Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly, wrote on Instagram: "Devastating news that the Entertainment Legend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away.
"It's been an honour to be able to get to know him as a friend. And we will cherish the times we spent together...
"He defined Saturday Night telly and re wrote the book on TV Hosting...Will miss his energy and fun both in the studio and on the golf course.
"Thoughts are with Winnie and his family."
Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly said of Sir Bruce: "There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am to be told the saddest news, that my dear friend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away.
"From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing and I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.
"He has been there for me as a co-host, a mentor, but most importantly as a friend, and I'm extremely fortunate to have worked alongside the man who defined Saturday night entertainment for so many decades.
"He was a gentleman and a true legend and I will miss him deeply. My heart goes out to Winnie, his wife, and his beautiful family at this sad time."
The BBC's Strictly Come Dancing team posted a tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth on the show's official website.
The message said: "The whole Strictly team is devastated to hear of the passing of Sir Bruce Forsyth. A beloved entertainer, who was the heart of Strictly Come Dancing.
It ended with the line "All the team at Strictly send our condolences to his family and friends. Bye, Brucie. You're our favourite."
Radio presenter Tony Blackburn praised his former co-star Sir Bruce as a comedian who "didn't need swear words to get a laugh".
Speaking on BBC Radio London's Drivetime programme, he described the TV legend as a "warm, lovely personality", and said: "People like Morecambe and Wise and Bruce Forsyth who came from the 60s, they all became names because there weren't so many outlets around, you had just the BBC and ITV.
"Bruce was a big name because everyone knew him; Sunday Night at the London Palladium was watched by everyone, whereas nowadays it's not quite the same.
"He didn't need to use swear words to get a laugh which is perhaps something today's comedians could learn from."
Len Goodman, Strictly's former head judge, remembered one of his "favourite" stars who had influenced him throughout his teens.
He said: "As long as I can remember there has always been Bruce on our TV. He was a part of my telly viewing from my teens.
"So you can imagine my excitement on being asked to be on Strictly and have Bruce one of my heroes on the same show. He was so kind and encouraging to me, the other judges and all those involved in the show.
"I used to pop round to his dressing room and chat about stars he met. The truth is there was no one I mentioned he hadn't met.
"His work ethic, professionalism and charm will be with me forever.
"One of his catchphrases was you're my favourite. Well, you were one of mine and the nation's favourites.
"Bruce, it was nice to see you, to see you, NICE."
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