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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Veteran British entertainer and ‘national treasure’ Bruce Forsyth dies

Sir Bruce made his first TV performance back in 1939, making him TV’s longest serving male entertainer

Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon Stage at the Glastonbury music festival in 2013. Credit: Olivia Harris/ Reuters
Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon Stage at the Glastonbury music festival in 2013. Credit: Olivia Harris/ Reuters

Tributes have been paid to Sir Bruce Forsyth, the British entertainer, who died on Friday at the age of 89.

Sir Bruce had a career on British television spanning many decades, having made his first TV performance aged just 11 in 1939.

He became famous in the 1960s as an entertainer and became a household name in the 1970s as a gameshow host presenting The Generation Game.

Younger viewers will remember Sir Bruce- affectionately known as “Brucie”- for hosting Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2014. He also made his first ever appearance at Glastonbury Festival in 2013 at the age of 85.

He retired from presenting Strictly three years ago and was reported to have been in ill health this year.

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May was among many famous figures to pay their respects to Sir Bruce, who had the longest TV career of any male entertainer.

She tweeted: “We have lost a national treasure. Like millions of others, for years I watched Sir Bruce dance, sing, joke & laugh. He will be sorely missed.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn described Sir Bruce as “Mr Saturday Night”, while Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable said he had been “warm, kind and utterly professional”.

Celebrities including fellow BBC stars Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman added their respects on Twitter.

Sir Bruce is survived by his wife Wilnelia Merced and six children.

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