Tributes to 'king of TV and prince of performers'
Strictly Come Dancing presenters Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly have paid tribute to “gentleman and true legend” Sir Bruce Forsyth.
Sir Bruce, best known for hosting shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Bruce’s Price Is Right and The Generation Game, died at the age of 89 on Friday.
:: Sir Bruce Forsyth: Television legend dies
Ms Winkleman 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.”
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Ms Daly said there were “no words” to describe her “heartbreak” at the news about the former Strictly presenter.
“From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing,” she said.
“I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.”
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, joined the tributes, describing the star as a “national treasure”.
“Like millions of others, for years I watched Sir Bruce dance, sing, joke and laugh. He will be sorely missed,” she said.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood said: “Extremely sad to hear the news of Bruce’s passing. A true legend and national treasure. He will be deeply missed but always remembered.”
In other tributes, actress Joan Collins said: “Very sad to hear of Sir Bruce Forsyth’s death. It is a huge loss to the world he was one-of-a-kind.”
BBC Director General Tony Hall said Sir Bruce’s “warmth and wit were legendary”.
“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,” Mr Hall said.
“He has been part of all of our lives, and we’ll miss him dearly.”
Martine McCutcheon lamented the loss of “one of the absolute greats” while presenter Zoe Ball described Sir Bruce as a “truly natural and magical entertainer”.
Dame Barbara Windsor said it was the “end of a show business era” and called Sir Bruce “the last of the truly all round great entertainers” the UK has produced.
“I am so sad as I was a massive fan and was in awe of his professionalism,” she said.
“I was lucky enough to know him and was thrilled to be at his last book launch. He will be so sadly missed by all in show business and his millions of fans.”
“He had this amazing ability to take the mickey out of the public and make the public enjoy the experience,” said Peter Bazalgette, former Royal Television Society president.
“He was such a big star he could survive a complete car crash. He did a show for ITV called Brucie’s Big Night. It was a disaster, everything about it was terrible.
“But he survived that. Most people would have gone under – he came back even stronger.”
Phillip Schofield described him as an “all round lovely man”, and Gary Lineker tweeted “didn’t he do well”.
Venues and entertainment institutions in the UK also paid tribute to the star.
BAFTA said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of the “much loved performer” while the London Palladium tweeted: “Thank you for the laughter you brought to our stage”.
Former BBC Chairman Lord Michael Grade told Sky News that “nobody in the history of British show business” had “worked as hard” as Sir Bruce while enduring in the public’s affection.
“It’s a staggering, staggering achievement that will never ever be surpassed,” Lord Grade said.
Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “Sad to hear of Sir Bruce Forsyth’s death. A tireless charity campaigner, Sir Bruce was Mr Saturday Night and it was always nice to see him.”
Veteran and current television presenters took the lead in tributes to a man who has defined their craft.
Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck said Sir Bruce was “one of the most talented men this country ever produced”.
On Twitter, Julian Clary described Sir Bruce as a “warm and witty man loved by generations”.
Entertainer Les Dennis tweeted: “I thought Brucie would go on forever. A star, an icon, a lovely man. Thoughts with his family”.
In a post on Instagram, Tess Daly’s husband and TV host Vernon Kay said it was “devastating news” that Sir Bruce had 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 wrote.
“He defined Saturday Night telly and rewrote the book on TV Hosting…Will miss his energy and fun both in the studio and on the golf course.”
Sir Bruce set a world record for being the male entertainer with the longest television career.