Bruce Forsyth



London-born entertainer whose 60+ year career was rooted in traditional variety from the age of 14, when he appeared on playbills as Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom (presumably after the then-current advertising slogan for Oxo Cubes). He successfully made the transition to adult performer, billing himself as Bruce Forsyth - The Incredible Character and worked at venues such as the Windmill Theatre (where he met Barry Cryer). In 1958 he was asked to join one of ITV's early hits, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, which made him into a national celebrity.

He is still remembered for hosting the Generation Game on the BBC during the 1970s, where Bruce's talent for interacting with the public shone through. He also appeared in numerous film and stage roles.

He presented numerous popular game shows, such as Play Your Cards Right (two incarnations), The Generation Game (again) and The Price is Right.

He stepped down from the enormously successful Strictly Come Dancing on health grounds in 2014. He died on 18 August 2017, aged 89.


His catchphrases are so well-known that some of them appear in the famous Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

His second wife was his original 'Generation Game' co-star, Anthea Redfern, whom he'd always ask to "Give us a twirl" on said show. He has five daughters from his first two marriages, and also a son by his third wife, Wilnelia Merced. Wilnelia also used to appear, albeit occasionally, on "The Generation Game" (the 1990's version in this case) as Bruce's dancing-partner.

He played the accordion, ukulele and banjo.

His real name was Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson.

He appeared in the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks as Swinburne.

In the US, he hosted a format called Hot Streak, their version of Germany's Ruck Zuck.

He appeared as a game show host in a 1986 episode of "Magnum P.I."

He also appeared as a long-suffering supermarket manager in ITV's "Slinger's Day" in the late 1980's, a spin-off from "Tripper's Day", which had starred the late Leonard Rossiter in a virtually identical role - but neither incarnation proved successful.

He also stood in for Terry Wogan on "Wogan" in 1987.

In his autobiography (and in a great many interviews too), he says that his one professional regret is that he allowed himself to become pigeonholed as a gameshow host.

In 2006, he collected his CBE from the Queen. After many years of seemingly half the British population asking "why hasn't he been knighted yet?", in 2011 he finally got his knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

He was a big fan of Prime Minister's Question Time and recorded it every week. In 2008, he described it as "pure vaudeville".[1]

Research by the Radio Times in 2012 showed how Bruce had been on television on Christmas Day in 1972, 1992, and 2012. Only the Queen could match his achievement.

He once narrated a cartoon series about the "Fiddley Foodle Bim Bam Boodle Oo Diddly-Doodle Oodle Bird". Yes, really.

Books / Tapes

Bruce: The Autobiography (paperback) | (hardback) | (tape) | (CD)

Web links

IMDB entry

Wikipedia entry

See also

Weaver's Week profile (part one and part two)


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