Belfast Telegraph

British TV icon Bruce Forsyth dead at 89

He had been battling ill health for some time.

Beloved British TV presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89.

The veteran entertainer passed away on Friday (18Aug17) after struggling for months with ill health.

Forsyth enjoyed a showbiz career spanning 75 years, after stepping into the spotlight in 1958, as the host of variety show Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

He had dabbled in acting earlier on in his career, featuring in the Gertrude Lawrence biopic Star! in 1968, when he played the stage actress' father, opposite Julie Andrews as Lawrence. He also appeared on The Muppet Show in 1976.

Forsyth went on to become a household name as he hosted popular game shows like The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, and The Price is Right, while he later became a co-presenter of hit reality show Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2013.

He was famed for his favourite catchphrase, "Nice to see you, to see you nice," and in 2013, he was recognised by Guinness World Records officials as having the longest TV career for a male entertainer.

He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 for his services to entertainment and charity.

Forsyth had recently sparked concerns for his wellbeing after he was hospitalised earlier this year (17) with a severe chest infection.

Bruce hadn't been seen in public since 2015, after ill health forced him to cancel several public outings in 2016 - including having to miss the funerals of close friends Ronnie Corbett and Terry Wogan.

The television veteran had to undergo keyhole surgery after falling over at his home in October, 2015, which led to doctors discovering two aortic aneurysms. While the recovery process was estimated to take around two months, Bruce's battle back to health was slow and last year (16), his third wife Wilnelia admitted she struggled to see her husband looking so frail.

"He's the man I fell in love with because his brain is still there. He has a bit of a problem moving but we still laugh and talk," she told U.K. show This Morning. "I pray, I believe. The main thing is that he's doing well. The pain is more emotional; sometimes we cry, but mostly we laugh."

Forsyth wed Wilnelia, a former Miss World, in 1983. They share a son, Jonathan, while he also had five children from previous relationships.

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