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Bruce Forsyth: TV game shows are money for old rope

Presenting television game shows is "money for old rope", according to Bruce Forsyth.

The 82-year-old entertainer was a primetime fixture throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with shows including Play Your Cards Right, The Generation Game and Bruce's Price Is Right.

However, he admitted: "I regret doing so many game shows, but I started when I met [my wife] Wilnelia, and we love spending time together. You can do a series in two weeks then take as much time off as you like. Money for old rope. People don't understand I can be the laziest person in the world."

Forsyth, 82, also told the Radio Times that he had been passed over for a knighthood because the powers that be regard him as a "buffoon".

For several years, fans of the Strictly Come Dancing host have campaigned for him to be knighted. A petition on the Number 10 website has nearly 5,000 signatories, while 25,000 people have joined the “Give Bruce Forsyth A Knighthood” group on Facebook.

“There’s been so much hype that it started to worry me,” he said of the fans’ campaign. “This is not a popularity contest, but go back as far as you like and comedic people are thought of as buffoons you don’t take seriously.

“If they realised how much harder it is to get a laugh than, say, a straight line in a play, or sing a pop song, they might reconsider, but it’s a tricky business.”

On the subject of earnings, Forsyth said he opposed the idea of publishing BBC presenters’ salaries. He took a pay cut from £650,000 (€780,000) to £550,000 (€660,000) last year. “If they want me to this year I will, but I’ve never thought about it. The BBC won’t disclose individual salaries. The last thing you want is people being competitive about them.”

Forsyth has yet to sign up to a new series of Strictly and negotiations with BBC bosses are ongoing. However, referring to another presenter who left the corporation last month in a flurry of headlines, Forsyth said: “I have a couple more meetings but it’s going well. I’m not doing a Christine Bleakley.”

© Telegraph.co.uk