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Sir Bruce Forsyth has died, aged 89, his family confirmed today. In a statement, they said he died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and children.
Sir Bruce was loved around the country for his 75-year TV career presenting shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing. In a statement his family said a friend had asked where he had been for the last 18 months, to which he responded, he was ‘very very busy, being ill’.
After this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia, his family confirmed. He received an OBE in 1998 and was knighted in 2011. He also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest TV career which spanned 75 years from 1939 to 2014.
Tributes poured in for the veteran TV star, led by Piers Morgan, who called him one of Britain’s ‘greatest entertainers and a lovely man’. Sir Bruce is pictured left with his wife Wilnelia, centre, receiving his knighthood, and inset, as host of Play Your Cards Right. Right, early in his career.
In a statement this afternoon, his family said he died peacefully surrounded by his wife and children.
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.
‘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.’
The former Strictly Come Dancing host is survived by his wife Lady Wilnelia Forsyth and his six children – daughters Debbie, Julie and Laura from his first marriage with Penny Calvert, Charlotte and Louisa with his second spouse Anthea Redfern and a son with Wilnelia – as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Sir Bruce is loved around the country for his 75-year TV career presenting shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing.
Fans, former colleagues and celebrities have been expressing their sadness after hearing the news.
Sir Bruce’s former Strictly co-host Tess 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 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.’
Claudia Winkleman added: ‘He was the King of TV, the Prince of performers and the most generous of people, all toe-tapping twinkle, all kindness, all love. The Bruce you saw really was the man he was. We’ll miss him so much.’ (DailyMail)