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Sir Bruce Forsyth: Tributes to veteran entertainer who died 'peacefully at home' aged 89

 

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Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his family have announced. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his family have announced. (Ian West/PA Wire)

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Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his family have announced. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Tributes are being paid to veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth, who has died at the age of 89.

In a statement on Friday, his manager Ian Wilson said the TV presenter passed away "peacefully at home" surrounded by his family.

The much loved star was best known for hosting a number of popular television shows throughout his long career, including Strictly Come Dancing, The Generation Game and The Price is Right.

The statement read: "It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children.

"A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last eighteen months.

"With a twinkle in his eye, he responded "I've been very, very busy... being ill!" Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.

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Sir Bruce Forsyth poses after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on October 12, 2011

Sir Bruce Forsyth poses after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on October 12, 2011

Sir Bruce Forsyth poses after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on October 12, 2011

 

"The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.

"There will be no further comment at the moment and it would be much appreciated if the privacy of Sir Bruce's family is respected at this most difficult time."

Sir Bruce had been noticeably absent from the limelight in recent months, unable to attend the funerals of friends Ronnie Corbett or Sir Terry Wogan.

He was hospitalised in March and spent five nights in intensive care at St Peter's Hospital in Surrey after developing a severe chest infection, according to reports.

He underwent surgery in 2015 after he suffered two aneurysms, which were discovered when tests were carried out following a fall at his Surrey home.

 

Sir Bruce presented Strictly Come Dancing for 10 year until 2014 before announcing he would be leaving the show.

He worked with co-host Tess Daly for a decade on the BBC programme and she praised his “brilliant sense of humour” in her tribute.

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Bruce on Strictly with Tess Daly

Bruce on Strictly with Tess Daly

Bruce on Strictly with Tess Daly

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Sir Bruce Forsyth in the garden of his Surrey home celebrating being awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours list. Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth in the garden of his Surrey home celebrating being awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours list. Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

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Strictly Come Dancing hosts Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA Wire

Strictly Come Dancing hosts Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly. Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth with his wife, Wilnelia, after being presented with a '10 for 10' award for their work with children without families, by charity Every Child, at the Landsdowne Club in London. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth with his wife, Wilnelia, after being presented with a '10 for 10' award for their work with children without families, by charity Every Child, at the Landsdowne Club in London. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with Dame Vera Lynn (centre) and Petula Clark (left) as they sing a rendition of "We'll Meet Again" during a show. Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth with Dame Vera Lynn (centre) and Petula Clark (left) as they sing a rendition of "We'll Meet Again" during a show. Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth visiting his wife Anthea Redfern and their new daughter. PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth visiting his wife Anthea Redfern and their new daughter. PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth with his wife, Penny, and their two daughters, Debbie (right), 6, and Julie, 3, who will celebrate her fourth birthday at sea, as they left Southampton aboard the liner Pendennis Castle for South Africa. PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth with his wife, Penny, and their two daughters, Debbie (right), 6, and Julie, 3, who will celebrate her fourth birthday at sea, as they left Southampton aboard the liner Pendennis Castle for South Africa. PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth escorting his wife, Penny, and their new baby, Laura, from the London clinic in Marylebone, London. PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth escorting his wife, Penny, and their new baby, Laura, from the London clinic in Marylebone, London. PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly during the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Ian West/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly during the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Ian West/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth carrying the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Kensington and Chelsea, London. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth carrying the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Kensington and Chelsea, London. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth during the BMW PGA Pro-Am at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey. Nick Potts/PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth during the BMW PGA Pro-Am at Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey. Nick Potts/PA Wire

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Jimmy Hill, former managing director of Coventry City FC and Sir Bruce Forsyth at Heathrow Airport as they leave for Tobago to take part in a charity golf tournament. PA/PA Wire

Jimmy Hill, former managing director of Coventry City FC and Sir Bruce Forsyth at Heathrow Airport as they leave for Tobago to take part in a charity golf tournament. PA/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth with the Bafta Fellowship award during the British Academy Television Awards at the London Palladium in central London. Yui Mok/PA Wireholder.

Bruce Forsyth with the Bafta Fellowship award during the British Academy Television Awards at the London Palladium in central London. Yui Mok/PA Wireholder.

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with his OBE. John Stillwell/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth with his OBE. John Stillwell/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia in the Royal Box on Centre Court during Day Three of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. PA/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia in the Royal Box on Centre Court during Day Three of the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. PA/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth (centre) and his wife Wilnelia (left) sitting with Tess Daly as he wins a Special Recognition award, at the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Ian West/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth (centre) and his wife Wilnelia (left) sitting with Tess Daly as he wins a Special Recognition award, at the 2011 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Ian West/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with the bust of himself which was created by Forsyth's son-in-law Dominic Grant. Yui Mok/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth with the bust of himself which was created by Forsyth's son-in-law Dominic Grant. Yui Mok/PA Wire

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TV star Jeannie Carson receiving a surprise gift, a Cairn terrier puppy, from host Sir Bruce Forsyth after the 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' show. PA/PA Wire

TV star Jeannie Carson receiving a surprise gift, a Cairn terrier puppy, from host Sir Bruce Forsyth after the 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' show. PA/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth (centre) and Miss World 1975 Wilnellia Merced (second left). PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth (centre) and Miss World 1975 Wilnellia Merced (second left). PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his family have announced. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his family have announced. (Ian West/PA Wire)

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Jimmy Hill, former managing director of Coventry City FC and Sir Bruce Forsyth at Heathrow Airport as they leave for Tobago to take part in a charity golf tournament. PA/PA Wire

Jimmy Hill, former managing director of Coventry City FC and Sir Bruce Forsyth at Heathrow Airport as they leave for Tobago to take part in a charity golf tournament. PA/PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth dancing in a West End street where he announced he is to star in a new musical, The Bricusse and Newley Travelling Music Show. PA/PA Wire

Bruce Forsyth dancing in a West End street where he announced he is to star in a new musical, The Bricusse and Newley Travelling Music Show. PA/PA Wire

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Cilla Black, with choreographer Lionel Blair (centre) and Bruce Forsyth in Leeds. PA Wire

Cilla Black, with choreographer Lionel Blair (centre) and Bruce Forsyth in Leeds. PA Wire

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Julie Andrews, Bruce Forsyth and Beryl Reid (right), singing 'Piccadilly,' on stage at the old Brixton Music Hall. PA Wire

Julie Andrews, Bruce Forsyth and Beryl Reid (right), singing 'Piccadilly,' on stage at the old Brixton Music Hall. PA Wire

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Bruce Forsyth joined by Miss Puerto Rico (left) and Miss England to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.

Bruce Forsyth joined by Miss Puerto Rico (left) and Miss England to celebrate his 80th birthday at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with Opera group G4. Yui Mok/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth with Opera group G4. Yui Mok/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth with his former wife Penny as he arrives at the private wing of University College Hospital in London. PA/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth with his former wife Penny as he arrives at the private wing of University College Hospital in London. PA/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth discussing his new book Strictly Bruce, at the Radio Times Festival on the Green at Hampton Court Palace in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth discussing his new book Strictly Bruce, at the Radio Times Festival on the Green at Hampton Court Palace in London. Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth and his son Jonathan at the Butterfly Ball in Battersea Park, London. Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth and his son Jonathan at the Butterfly Ball in Battersea Park, London. Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Sir Bruce Forsyth performing on the Avalon stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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Sir Bruce Forsyth and Wilnelia Forsyth arriving for the 2012 NTA Awards at the O2 in Greenwich, London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.

Sir Bruce Forsyth and Wilnelia Forsyth arriving for the 2012 NTA Awards at the O2 in Greenwich, London. Anthony Devlin/PA Wireholder.

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Sir Bruce Forsyth in the garden of his Surrey home celebrating being awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours list. Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

In a statement, Daly said: “There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am to be told the saddest news, that my dear friend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away.

“From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing and I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.

“He has been there for me as a co-host, a mentor, but most importantly as a friend, and I’m extremely fortunate to have worked alongside the man who defined Saturday night entertainment for so many decades.

“He was a gentleman and a true legend and I will miss him deeply.

“My heart goes out to Winnie, his wife, and his beautiful family at this sad time.”

Sir Bruce also hosted the BBC show The Generation Game from 1971 to 1977 and again at the beginning of the 1990s.

In 2013, Sir Bruce appeared on stage at Glastonbury Festival to a standing ovation, entertaining the crowds as he had done for the past five decades.

Sir Bruce was a father-of-six, with five daughters from his first two marriages and one son from his marriage to Puerto Rican former Miss World, Wilnelia Merced.

Belfast Telegraph