It was revealed earlier today (August 18) that 89-year-old Sir Bruce Forsyth had died. The iconic television presenter and entertainer had been battling illness for some time and was earlier this year taken to hospital when suffering with a severe chest infection.
Sir Forsyth was one of the many British entertainers who had been in the world of showbusiness from a very young age, kick-starting his career at the age of 14. Unlike many who tried to stand beside him however, he managed to always stand front-and-centre, with the audience always willing to take him into their hearts and their homes. His charisma and infectious personality was something that led to him being Britain’s best-paid star on television and, in 2012, the Guinness World Records even recognised him as having the longest television career for a male entertainer, anywhere in the world.
First reaching high levels of fame in the mid-1950s thanks to ITV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Sir Forsyth would go on to host a number of gameshows, including Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and The Generation Game.
More recently, he took to hosting duties on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing between 2004 to 2013, where he impressed his long-time fans with his brilliance and earned legions of new fans with those who were experiencing him for the first time.
What many don’t know about Sir Forsyth is exactly how he worked his way into the world of entertainment. Starting out an act called Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom at 14, he performed with a song, dance and accordion and first performed at the Theatre Royal in Bilston, before making his TV debut in 1939 on a talent show.
In his personal life, Sir Forsyth has married three times; first to Penny Calvert with whom he had three daughters, then to Anthea Redfern with whom he had two daughters and, up until his passing, to Wilnelia Merced, with whom he had one son. By those six children, he had nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When it came to his passions, he was an avid lover of gold and so enjoyed living in his main residency of the Wentworth Estate, adjacent to the Wentworth Gold Course in northwest Surrey. He also collected cricked-based board games and rumours suggest he has over 200 string-operated batsmen.
In the world of charity, Sir Forsyth was an ambassador and staunch supporter of children’s charity Caudwell Children, appearing at a number of events to raise funds for their cause.
This was a man who had everything he needed when it came to working in television and somebody who used his platform to do a world of good. If Sir Forsyth’s personality could be bottled, the contents would be priceless. He’s enjoyed a career that many can only dream of and aspire to living up to, and we will miss him dearly.
Rest In Peace, Sir Bruce Forsyth. February 22, 1928 – August 18, 2017.
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