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Old 19-08-17, 02:29   #1
 
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Television Death of a Legend >Sir Bruce Forsyth >Beloved Entertainer

'He Was The King of TV, The Prince of Performers': Stars of Stage and Screen Pay Tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth as The Beloved Entertainer Dies aged 89 Surrounded by His Wife and Children

  • Sir Bruce Forsyth has died peacefully at home with his family around him, a statement confirmed today
  • The veteran TV presenter currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest television career
  • He first appeared on TV as a singing and dancing 11-year-old in 1939 and co-hosted Strictly for a decade
  • Entertainer suffered two aneurysms in October 2015 and died after he contracted bronchial pneumonia
Daily Mail UK, 19 Aug 2017.






Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89, his family confirmed today

The biggest stars of British showbusiness have been celebrating the extraordinary life of Sir Bruce Forsyth who died today aged 89.



The legendary broadcaster and entertainer was considered a national treasure by fans, former colleagues and stars of screen and stage alike.
His former Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman declared: '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.'

Fellow Strictly host Tess Daly added: '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 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.'

TV host Vernon Kay said: 'It's been an honour to be able to get to know Sir Bruce 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.'It Takes Two host Zoe Ball wrote: 'Dear Sir Bruce. Truly natural & magical entertainer, so wonderful with his audiences. In his words "You're My Favourite" RIP'.

Stephen Fry tweeted: 'There was only one Brucie - it was more than to nice to see you, to see you more than nice.'
Piers Morgan said the broadcaster was 'one of Britain's greatest ever entertainers & a lovely man.'

And BBC Director-General Tony Hall called Sir Bruce 'one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known.'

In a statement this afternoon, his family said he died peacefully surrounded by his wife and children.
The statement 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.

The Price Is Right: Fans, former colleagues and celebrities have been expressing their sadness after hearing the news




Sir Bruce with his wife Wilnelia Merced at the launch of his book 'Strictly Bruce' at Fortnum and Mason in September 2015



Forsyth pictured in 1958. His career as an entertainer began after the war when he toured the country performing a strong man act in circuses and in theatres



Sir Bruce Forsyth performs on the Avalon Stage at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 30, 2013


'A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last eighteen months.
'With a twinkle in his eye, he responded 'I've been very, very busy... being ill!' Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.

'The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.'



Quote:
Sir Bruce's family release a statement after his death saying he had a 'twinkle in his eye' until the end

'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.

'A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last eighteen months.

'With a twinkle in his eye, he responded "I've been very, very busy... being ill!" Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.

'The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.'

.


The former Strictly Come Dancing host is survived by his wife Lady Wilnelia Forsyth and his six children - daughters Debbie, Julie and Laura from his first marriage with Penny Calvert, Charlotte and Louisa with his second spouse Anthea Redfern and a son with Wilnelia - as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Sir Bruce is loved around the country for his 75-year TV career presenting shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.

Sir Bruce suffered a series of health scares over the last few years and was rushed to hospital with a severe chest infection a few months ago.

He was forced to undergo keyhole surgery following a fall at his home in October 2015 after two aortic aneurysms - blood-filled swellings on his major arteries - were discovered.
Although he was expected to take two months to recover, the process took longer than initially hoped.

Born the son of a garage owner in Edmonton, north London in 1928, Sir Bruce first appeared on TV aged just 11 when he sang and danced on the BBC show Come And Be Televised.

Three years later he made his professional debut as The Mighty Atom, a solo song-and-dance act.
He got his big break in the 1950s aged 30 through the ITV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium and then hosted several game shows, including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and You Bet!.

It was during his peak in the 1970s that his catchphrases became nationally renowned, including 'Nice to see you, to see you nice' and 'Didn't he (/she/they) do well?'.

Sir Bruce received an OBE in 1998 and was knighted in 2011. He also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest TV career which spanned 75 years from 1939 to 2014.

In 2013 he appeared at Glastonbury festival on the Avalon stage, becoming one of the oldest performers on the festival at the age of 85.
From 2004 he co-presented Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly until he stepped down aged 86 in 2014, revealing the long shows were taking their toll on his health.




Sir Bruce met wife Lady Wilnelia, pictured with him, at the 1980 Miss World competition, in which they were both judges. Wilnelia won the competition in 1975 for Puerto Rico



A picture of happiness: Forsyth with his Generation Game assistant Anthea Redfern, who he married in 1973



In his last televised interview on Loose Women in October 2015, he said he was pleased to have 'gone out on top' after retiring from showbusiness







Pictured: Sir Bruce on The Price Is Right. It was during his peak in the 1970s that his catchphrases became nationally renowned



Having a blast: Derek Griffiths, Bruce Forsyth and Kenny Lynch in 'Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out' in 1978



The stars of The Price Is Right: Emma Noble, Brian Tattersall, Bruce Forsyth, Emma Steadman and Kimberley Cowe



Bruce Forsyth's Big Night in 1978: In 1973 he married his Generation Game assistant Anthea Redfern. They had two daughters, Charlotte and Louisa, before their marriage ended in 1979






Sir Bruce Forsyth and Wilnelia Forsyth arriving for the 2012 NTA Awards: Sir Bruce in 'Sunday Night At The London Palladium


He said at the time: 'Live television is very strenuous, especially when some shows are an hour and 40 minutes.

'I have to do all the announcements and introduce the judges. And I'm running up and down the stairs 40 to 50 times per show. And I was getting the flu. I always got the flu in studios.'

From 1953 to 1973, Sir Bruce was married to Penny Calvert, with whom he had three daughters - Debbie, Julie and Laura.

In 1973 he married his Generation Game assistant Anthea Redfern. They had two daughters, Charlotte and Louisa, before their marriage ended in 1979.

In 1983 he married Wilnelia Merced, a model who was crowned Miss World in 1975. The pair met while judging the 1980 Miss World Competition.
Wilnelia revealed that he struggled to walk and barely left their home on Surrey's Wentworth Estate.

She said in November 2016: 'The operation took his energy because of his age, there's no question about it.
'Some days are better than others. On the not-so-good days he tries to rest. He is in incredible shape mentally but he does get very tired.
'He doesn't want to do anything publicly until he's 100 per cent well. I respect that.'

Sir Bruce was rushed to hospital in February 2016 for life-saving surgery after his health drastically deteriorated since a serious fall in October 2015.
Lady Wilnelia said: 'It was very scary to see him because he was very bruised. It was really really awful.

'The doctor decided to do a whole body scan, and that's when they found the two aneurysms,' the Puerto-Rican beauty said.
'One was in the abdominal, and one was near his right hip. Then it was a big question, do we go ahead and have the operation? As doctors said if you have internal bleeding it's very difficult to make it.'




End of an era: Sir Bruce with Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, after he stepped down from hosting Strictly in 2014




Sir Bruce was knighted aged 83 in 2011. He said at the time: 'I just love getting out there and performing and this is a reward that I never expected and hope I'm worthy of'




There for him: Sir Bruce's wife, Lady Wilnelia, pictured with the star in 2015 at Caudwell Children's Butterfly Ball




Strictly Come Dancing, which he presented with Tess Daly for 10 years, was the latest in a long string of prime-time shows fronted by the veteran entertainer




Superstars: Renowned entertainers Cilla Black and Bruce Forsyth pictured together on The Bruce Forsyth Show in 1969




Entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth shows off his OBE medal which was presented to him by The Queen at Buckingham Palace



The former Miss World also spoke to You Magazine about what life would be like after Bruce.

She said: 'I don't think about it too much. I hope I'll be prepared somehow, but it doesn't feel real. He's the man I fell in love with because his brain is there.
'He has a bit of a problem moving, but we still laugh and talk. I pray, I believe. The main thing is that he's doing well. The pain is more emotional; sometimes we cry, but mostly we laugh.'

Lord Grade, former chairman of the BBC and ITV and a close friend of Bruce Forsyth paid tribute today saying: 'He was the most lovely, lovely man and I have known him since I went to watch rehearsals for Sunday Night at the Palladium with my dad.

'He was extraordinarily lovely. A dear, dear friend and my heart goes out to his family and the nation which has lost its favourite and greatest ever entertainer.

'I was talking to him a couple of weeks ago; we spent a morning together and he was quite emotional, talking about his knighthood and how it did not sink in until he was a guest at Wimbledon and he said the crowd at Centre Court were applauding when he came in and he thought the players had come out but actually they were applauding him and he was so moved by that.

'For the kid from Edmonton to end up Sir Bruce Forsyth, the nation's favourite entertainer, is amazing.'



Quote:
HE FIRST APPEARED ON TV WHEN NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN WAS PRIME MINISTER: FACTS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SIR BRUCE FORSYTH




Kimberley Cowell and Bruce Forsyth


When Forsyth was first broadcast into homes up and down the land, Neville Chamberlain was behind the door of 10 Downing Street and Britain was entering into the Second World War. It was 1939 and he was taking his musical act on to the BBC as part of a talent show. Just under two decades later in 1958, the year of the first parking tickets and transatlantic airlines, he first hosted Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

But the entertainer's ambitions were not always set as high as prime-time glory. He told one BBC interviewer early in his career: 'I want to be famous and buy my mum a fur coat.'

Being a long-standing practitioner of variety performance, Forsyth was known for conquering many artistic disciplines in his career. He performed comedy, danced, played instruments ranging from the ukulele to the accordion and even sang on a few novelty records.

As a tap-dancing youngster, he dreamed of becoming a star of the calibre of Fred Astaire.

Although most fondly known by the moniker 'Brucie', Forsyth first appeared on stage under a different name - Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom. He first took to the stage in his early teens as a variety act.

He was drafted into the RAF aged 19 and was an advocate of conscription. He said his experiences during national service taught him 'respect and discipline'.

Forsyth stayed sprightly well into his 80s and attributed his energy to having a young wife, Wilnelia, who was 30 years his junior. 'We won't talk about the age gap, that will make me feel tired. But she does keep me young,' he said in 2008.

The veteran entertainer long had an appetite for politics as well as entertainment and recorded the BBC's political debating showcase Question Time every week.

Despite having experienced many shifts in viewers' taste over the course of his career in television, Forsyth could never stand one thing - swearing. He told a magazine in 2004 that he thought bad language was 'disgusting'.





Sunday Night At The London Palladium: The Beatles - Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon with Bruce Forsyth


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RIP Brucie....


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