herald

Wednesday 27 August 2014

It's strictly time to quit, says Bruce

Bruce Forsyth has announced he is quitting Strictly Come Dancing.

Just last week he and colleagues collected an award for the programme when it was named best entertainment/comedy show at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.

And at the time the entertainer – who had returned from a spell in Puerto Rico – said no decision had been reached about his future on the show.

"When I calm down a bit I will see what's in the melting pot," he said.

The 2013 series, won by model Abbey Clancy and featuring TV presenter Susanna Reid and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, was the best yet, he said.

"I think last year was probably the best series because the dancing was so good," he said. "We had about six couples at the end and any one of them could have won it. Ten years we've been on – for a show to still be improving is wonderful."

FIXTURE

Strictly was something of a comeback for Forsyth, who had been a Saturday night fixture on the BBC in the 1970s with family show The Generation Game.

He went on to enjoy success on ITV with Play Your Cards Right, but famously announced he was quitting the network in 2000, unhappy with the way he claimed he was being treated by then programme boss David Liddiment.

He is soon to return to ITV for the first time since then, presenting a programme about his late friend Sammy Davis Jr for the Perspectives arts documentary series.

Forsyth was set on a career in showbusiness from an early age. He left home aged 14 to tour Britain as The Boy Bruce – The Mighty Atom and made his broadcasting debut the same year.

He eventually went on to reign supreme at the helm of BBC flagship show The Generation Game from 1971 to 1977 and joined it again when it made a comeback in the 1990s.

At its peak, the show attracted more than 20 million viewers.

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