Sir Bruce Forsyth last night said goodbye to Strictly Come Dancing.

The 86-year-old star - who has been host of the BBC One celebrity dance contest alongside Tess Daly since the show first began in 2004 - took part in a special routine on the first episode of the new series last night, to mark his departure.

Sir Bruce Forsyth

The veteran entertainer led a "flashmob" dance before officially handing over his duties to Tess and Claudia Winkleman, 42 - who replaced Bruce on the Sunday shows last year after a successful stint on Strictly spin-off show, 'Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two'.

Bruce stood down from the show at the end of the last series - which saw Olympic gymnast Louis Smith take home the coveted glitterball trophy - because he wanted to leave "the rigours" of live television behind.

However, he will continue to present one-off episodes such as the Christmas and Children in Need specials.

Announcing his departure from the show last year, he said: "[Live television] takes its toll when you've been doing it for many years, it's a pressure thing.

"But I'm not retiring, that's the last thing in the world I want to do. This isn't Brucie walking into the sunset."

This year's celebrity contestants, who include former 'The Only Way Is Essex' star Mark Wright, The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, 'EastEnders' actor Jake Wood and 'Mama Do' hitmaker Pixie Lott, also discovered the identity of their dance partners on the series premiere.

The pairings are as follows:

Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan

Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton

Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute

Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev

Jennifer Gibney and Tristan McManus

Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec

Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon

Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton

Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke

Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole

Greg Wallace and Aliona Vilani

Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff

Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe

Jake Wood and Janette Manrara

Mark Wright and Karen Hauer

by for
find me on and follow me on