Sunday 8 December 2019

Sir Bruce’s widow remembers her ‘darling’ as Ant and Dec win prize in his memory

The TV favourite died aged 86 in August last year.

Sir Bruce Forsyth (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
Sir Bruce Forsyth (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Sir Bruce Forsyth’s widow spoke of her pride and honour after the National Television Awards named a prize in his memory.

The awards remembered the all-round entertainer, with TV duo Ant and Dec taking home the first Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for their Saturday Night Takeaway show.

Introducing the nominees, his widow Lady Wilnelia invoked his memorable catchphrase.

Lady Wilnelia at the NTAs (Ian West/PA)

She told the audience: “I’m so proud and honoured that this special award is named after my darling Bruce. I know he would have loved it because showbusiness was his life and I also know if he was here this evening he would be saying to all of you, ‘It’s been nice to see you, to see you nice’.”

Ant McPartlin said it felt “very, very apt” to pick up the award on Tuesday evening as the duo had just begun filming a tribute to Sir Bruce.

Declan Donnelly said they were “thrilled and proud and honoured” to collect the award on the same stage where they had performed alongside Sir Bruce at the opening of a previous NTAs.

Sir Bruce was also remembered by his former Strictly Come Dancing co-host Tess Daly, who dedicated the dancing competition’s win for best talent show in his memory.

She said: “Last, but never least, I would like to dedicate this award to my friend and yours – the one and only Sir Bruce Forsyth. And I would like to say thank you for the memories.”

Earlier Paul O’Grady had led tributes to the TV favourite, who he had enjoyed a good friendship with.

He told the Press Association on the red carpet of the event: “He was a lovely man, I was very, very fond of him.

“He was a turn, he was an all-round entertainer, he was a smashing bloke and a laugh.”

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! duo Iain Lee and Shappi Khorsandi echoed O’Grady’s words, with the latter describing Sir Bruce as her “childhood”.

Lee added: “When I was a kid he was there – he was a constant. He made it look really, really easy and that was his skill, making it appear really easy to be natural and confident and calm and silly on TV and it’s not, it’s a real skill.

“Ant and Dec have got it but Brucey was the best,” Lee added.

Comedian Joel Dommett said: “What an incredible human being and to get anything close to that longevity in television, it’s madness and it’s a testament to how wonderful he was as a person and an entertainer.

“He did it all, sing, dance, present, a lot of strings to a wonderful bow.”

Sir Bruce died aged 86 in August last year.

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