Sir Bruce Forsyth Dies Aged 89

Sir Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89.

The former Strictly Come Dancing presenter had been in hospital earlier this year after a severe chest infection.

His long career in showbusiness spanned 75 year and began when he was aged just 14.

He was famous for hosting game shows such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and The Price is Right.

He returned to Saturday night BBC television in 2004 when he co-presented Strictly Come Dancing, which fought an ongoing ratings battle with ITV’s The X Factor.

Credit: PA

Born on 22 February 1928, Bruce first appeared on TV in 1939 when he was just 11 years old, on the show Come And Be Televised. He was bitten by the bug and returned to screens three years later as a singing and dance act called The Mighty Atom.

Although our generation probably knows him best as a television and gameshow host, Bruce has done pretty much every job in showbiz you can imagine. He spent years travelling the UK doing pantomimes and working as a strong man in circuses. His act took a hiatus when he was called up for National Service and served with the RAF.

After his stint in the RAF he went straight back to show business, but he wouldn’t find his big break until he was 30, when he was given the job of host on ITV’s Sunday Night at The London Palladium.

Sir Bruce with his OBE in 1998. Credit: PA

Although in generally good health, Bruce was treated for an aneurysm earlier last year, amid rumours he would be stepping out of the public eye.

Bruce was knighted a sir in 2011, and he was also given an OBE in 1998 and CBE in 2006. During his life, he dedicated his time and fame to children’s charity Caudwell Children, which he was an ambassador for, and would regularly attend fund raising events for the charity, helping to raise its profile.

Bruce married three times and had six children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He married wife Wilnelia Merced in 1983 – the pair met while they were judges for Miss World in 1980 – Wilnelia was Miss World 1975 – they remained married up until his death.

Bruce and Wilnelia. Credit: PA

During his career, he won the TV Times Male TV personality of the Year four years running from 1975 to 1978, he was given a BAFTA in 2005 to celebrate 60 years in the industry and, also that year, a bronze bust of him was unveiled in the London Palladium.

He was a torch carrier for the London 2012 Olympics and still holds the Guinness World Record for the male TV entertainer with the longest career. And, proving that age is just a number, he also took to the stage at Glastonbury in 2013, making him one of the oldest performers ever to grace the Avalon stage.

RIP – a true legend.

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