Bruce Forsyth pulls out of Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special following recent operation

Claudia Winkleman will stand in for the veteran performer, alongside her regular co-host Tess Daly, when the festive special is recorded next week

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Bruce Forsyth has pulled out of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. The festive episode, which is being recorded next week, was meant to see the veteran performer reprise his hosting duties alongside Tess Daly, but the 87-year-old has decided not to take part over health concerns. 

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“The Strictly Christmas Special will be too early for Sir Bruce Forsyth to have made a full recovery from his recent operation,” a spokesperson for the BBC1 dancing competition tells us.

“Due to the long studio hours, he is unable to host the show but will still play a part in the production. Sir Bruce will record a special video message for this year’s celebrity line-up and the viewers at home.”

Claudia Winkleman, who took over Forsyth’s regular Strictly presenting role last September, is set to step in and host alongside Tess Daly.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will see series nine champ and McFly drummer Harry Judd, series 11 winner and model Abbey Clancy, series 12 contestant and presenter Alison Hammond, series six runner-up radio presenter Lisa Snowdon, series six champ and actor Tom Chambers and 2015’s winner of People’s Strictly for Comic Relief Former Royal Marine Medic Cassidy Little will all don their dancing shoes once again.

Professional dancers Robin Windsor, Joanna Clifton, Oti Mabuse, Natalie Lowe, Pasha Kovalev and Brendan Cole will also appear, as the celebrities battle it out for the Silver Star Trophy. 

Forsyth also recently pulled out of presenting his variety show Brucie’s Hall of Fame following a fall at his home, which resulted in “facial abrasions and minor concussion.”

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Strictly Come Dancing series 13 continues on Saturday at 7:00pm on BBC1. The Christmas Special will air at 6:15pm on 25th December.