Why I’ll shed a tear when Sir Bruce Forsyth finally quits Strictly Come Dancing

Mark Jefferies speaks to the Strictly legend at his own home and reveals why he will be sorely missed when he finally decides to quit

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Not everyone thinks it is nice to see him, to see him nice, when he appears next to Tess Daly on Saturday nights.

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Call me old fashioned, but the presence of Brucie and some awful jokes is all part of the Strictly experience.

He has entertained a nation for more than six decades now and the BBC knows Strictly just needs to stay the same whilst the ratings continue to soar.

Strictly does not need the lasers and dramatically edited footage of X Factor.

It is a warmer show, reassuringly the same each week, with the tension and emotion coming from the dances themselves.

Brucie is there, having done a 20 minute warm up before the show that also stays similar each week, and his routine on screen is a also filled with familiar patter.

To be doing the job at 85 is incredible and make no mistake, no one presenting shows on TV now in their 30s or 40s will be doing it when they are his age.

He is a one off and we should celebrate that and let him continue until he decides otherwise.

I had the pleasure of spending a morning with Sir Bruce at his home this week and he is still loving being on the show.

He says getting the odd break every month or so has left him feeling “vitalised” and his only regret is that he doesn’t see much of the celebs and fancies Tess’ job sat up with them “even for one week”.

Brucie is also honest enough to know he is not universally loved, and whenever I talk to Strictly viewers he seems to be a marmite figure.

But he told me: “Every generation for the last 60 years has grown up with me. They may grow to hate me, that is more than possible and a lot of them do, no performer can say ‘they love me 100 percent’. “You have got to realise when I come on the screen, they might like Strictly but don’t particularly like me. But there is enough of them that like me to keep me going.”

I don’t think there are too many years left for Brucie on the show. It is long for a man of his age, particularly at the start of the run, and this series has helped ease Claudia Winkleman into a full time job whenever Bruce decides he has had enough.

He’ll be upset when he has to go and so will I. It will be a day in broadcasting history and the end of an era that will make me wipe my eyes.

But for now. Keeeeeep Dancing, Bruce.

Mark Jefferies is Deputy Showbiz and TV editor at the Daily Mirror


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