Belfast Telegraph

Why Brucie is just an old knight in whining armour

By Jane Graham

Nice to see you? Not really. Unlike apparently most of the country, I've never found Bruce Forsyth anything other than extremely trying, completely phoney and, increasingly, embarrassingly bad at the most simple of TV presenting tasks.

His 'jokes' seem to come from Primark crackers, his attempts at charm are about as natural (and as seductive) as a serpent's, and his CV mainly comprises some of the least compelling game shows in British television history.

Yet there has long been a voracious campaign for him to be knighted, presumably on the basis that the 83-year-old has long refused to retire. I know the British like an underdog but there is also much to be said for putting an old mutt out of its misery.

Well, Brucie has his Sir-prefix now, much to the delight of Anne Widdecombe I see. He responded to the announcement with a graceful "I thought it would never happen'' like he was talking about the election of a black president or some other hard-fought righteous victory. I don't begrudge him his title but, if Brucie's getting knighted simply for hanging on, I can think of many names who have contributed more valuable things to our television culture. Doctor Who revivalist Russell T Davies should be rewarded for services to UK families. Or how about Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci, whose collected works changed the face of TV satire, or Stewart Lee whose recent series raised the bar for stand-up comedy beyond measure? I won't hold my breath.

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