Tuesday 12 December 2017

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.

File photo dated 30/06/13 of Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
File photo dated 30/06/13 of Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
File photo dated 20/4/08 of Bruce Forsyth with the Bafta Fellowship award during the British Academy Television Awards at the London Palladium in central London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo Yui Mok/PA Wireholder.
File photo dated 12/06/98 of Sir Bruce Forsyth in the garden of his Surrey home celebrating being awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours list, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire
File photo dated 22/02/08 of Bruce Forsyth joined by Miss Puerto Rico (left) and Miss England to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Dorchester Hotel in London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.
File photo dated 25/01/12 of Sir Bruce Forsyth and Wilnelia Forsyth arriving for the 2012 NTA Awards at the O2 in Greenwich, London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.
File photo dated 21/05/12 of Bruce Forsyth with his wife, Wilnelia, after being presented with a '10 for 10' award for their work with children without families, by charity Every Child, at the Landsdowne Club in London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo : Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
File photo dated 22/06/11 of Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia in the Royal Box on Centre Court during Day Three of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: PA/PA Wire
File photo dated 12/10/11 of Bruce Forsyth after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire
File photo dated 17/06/09 of Bruce Forsyth making his trademark pose before presenting the trophy to the winner of the Jersey Stakes at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
File photo dated 10/07/05 of Sir Bruce Forsyth with Dame Vera Lynn (centre) and Petula Clark (left) as they sing a rendition of "We'll Meet Again" during a show, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire
File photo dated 26/01/11 of Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly during the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89.. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
File photo dated 12/10/11 of Sir Bruce Forsyth being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo Lewis Whyld/PA Wire
File photo dated 06/05/05 of Sir Bruce Forsyth with the bust of himself which was created by Forsyth's son-in-law Dominic Grant, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo : Yui Mok/PA Wire
File photo dated 03/05/59 of film and TV star Jeannie Carson receiving a surprise gift, a Cairn terrier puppy, from host Sir Bruce Forsyth after the 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' show, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo : PA/PA Wire
File photo dated 07/11/77 of Bruce Forsyth dancing in a West End street where he announced he is to star in a new musical, The Bricusse and Newley Travelling Music Show, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. . Photo: PA/PA Wire
File photo dated 28/06/79 of Jimmy Hill, former managing director of Coventry City FC and Sir Bruce Forsyth at Heathrow Airport as they leave for Tobago to take part in a charity golf tournament, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: PA
File photo dated 27/09/15 of Sir Bruce Forsyth discussing his new book Strictly Bruce, at the Radio Times Festival on the Green at Hampton Court Palace in London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
File photo dated 23/03/60 of Sir Bruce Forsyth with his former wife Penny as he arrives at the private wing of University College Hospital in London, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo : PA/PA Wire
File photo dated 15/06/69 of Cilla Black, with choreographer Lionel Blair (centre) and Bruce Forsyth in Leeds, as the veteran entertainer has died aged 89. Photo: PA Wire

"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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