Over such a long and successful show business career, Bruce Forsyth has picked up numerous awards. In 1998, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and in 2006 he became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).It
Sir Bruce Forsyth
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I was thrilled to meet the legendary entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth in June 2014, when he was performing his one-man show at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall. I met him in the afternoon, when he signed my lobby card from Bedknobs and Broomticks. I saw his brilliant show in the evening, and met him again afterwards, when he signed my programme.
Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson was born in Edmonton, London, in February 1928, and had an older brother John, who was later killed in WW2. His parents, John and Florence, owned a motor repair garage in Edmonton, and were also musicians and members of the local Salvation Army Band. Bruce’s great-great-great-great-grandfather was William Forsyth who founded the Royal Horticultural Society, andalso
and also gave his name to the popular garden shrub Forsythia.
John & Florence Forsyth with son Bruce
Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom plays accordian....
Bruce attended the Latymer School inEdmonton
in Edmonton. Inspired by Fred Astaire, Bruce Forsyth took up dancing, and when he was 14 years old, he had his own song & dance act called ‘Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom’. He even made an early television appearance in a 1939 talent show. For the next twentyyears
20 years, Forsyth performed in shows, pantos & circuses, with little public recognition. An all-round entertainer, he could sing, play piano, ukelele & accordian, dance and tell jokes.
In 1958, Forsyth was invited to compère Val Parnell's weekly TV variety show Sunday Night at the London Palladium during which he hosted a 15 minute game show called ‘Beat the Clock’. This led on to his own BBC1 show Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game (1971-1977 & 1990-1994). In this, contestants were askedto
were asked to complete odd tasks for prizes, while Brucie made fun of their attemp
Bruce Forsyth's 'Beat the Clock' section of
Sunday Night at the London Palladium
attempts to do so! The show attracted millions of viewers every Saturday night and cemented Forsyth's career as a TV personality.
Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game
Each week, his first appearance would
would be in the form of his famous
famous ‘pose’ followed by his famous
equally famous catchphrase, “Nice
“Nice to see you, to see you,nice
you, nice.” He also wrote andsang
and sang the show’s themesong
Name of the Game.
theme song Life is the
In 1978 he presented the much less successful Bruce Forsyth's Big Night on ITV, with Larry Grayson taking over The Generation Game. Forsyth remained with ITV, and hosted their new game show Play Your Cards Right (1980-2003).
Bruce Forsyth hosts Play Your Cards Right
Bruce Forsyth in 1960
Forsyth was the original presenter of You Bet! (1988 -1990) before becoming the host for the third series of yet another game show The Price Is Right (1995-2001). Other game shows, like Hot Streak (1985); Takeover Bid (1990-1991); Bruce's Guest Night (1992-1993) & Didn't They Do Well (2004) were much less successful.
With Bob Holness in You Bet! in 1989
Bruce's Price is Right in 1995
Forsyth hosting Takeover Bid
With Cliff Richard in Brucie's Guest Night
Forsyth and contestants in Hot Streak
Forsyth was a guest presenter in 2003 and 2010 on the satirical quiz show, Have I Got News For You, but it was in 2004 that hebecame
Bruce Forsyth chairs Have I Got News for You
he became associated with the hugely successful Strictly Ateam
Strictly Come Dancing. In this, celebrities teamup
team up with professional dancers and compete on a knockout basis. A team of judges, led by Len Goodman, comment on the performances and award marks, but it is the viewing audience that ultimately decides which celebrity leaves the show. Forsyth co-presented the programme for ten years, until he stopped hosting the regular live show in April 2014, to reduce his workload.
Another recent TV appearance was on the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are (2010), in which Forsyth tried to find out if his great grandfather, Joseph Forsyth Johnson was a bigamist. His searches took him to America, and a meeting with some of his relatives who now live there.
Bruce Forsyth & Tess Daly, co-presenters
of Strictly Come Dancing
Forsyth presenting a 'Children in Need' edition of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013
Bruce Forsyth in Who Do You Think You Are?
Bruce Forsyth has several notable of big-screen credits to his name. In the musical film Star! (1968), about stage performer Gertrude Lawrence, he played Lawrence’s
Bruce Forsyth as Arthur Lawrence in Star!
Julie Andrews, Bruce Forsyth and Beryl Reid in Star!
Lawrence’s father Arthur, alongside Julie Andrews. In the Walt Disney fantasy film Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) starring Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson, Forsyth plays the villainous spiv Swinburn. In the film biography Pavlova: A Woman for All Time (1983), about the great Russian ballet dancer, he is cast as the theatre boss Alfred Batt.
Forsyth as Swinburn in Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Bruce Forsyth with Galina Belyayeva in Pavolva: A Woman for All Time
In the comedy film The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971) he appears as Clayton in 'avarice', one of the film's eight segments. He has also made television commercials for Stork margarine and Court's furniture.
Bruce Forsyth & Angela Lansbury have both signed my lobby card
for Bedknobs and Broomsticks
As Clayton in The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins
(CBE). It was in 2011, and following a long public campaign (started by Tess Daly, his co-presenter
presenter of Strictly Come Dancing) to award him a knighthood, that the 82 year old Forsyth received the honour in that year’s Birthday Honours list, for services to entertainment
entertainment and charity. Other honours bestowed on 'Brucie' (as he is affectionately known) include a BAFTA Fellowship in 2008, a Carl Alan Award in 2009, a Royal Television Society Lifetime Achievement Award, also in 2009, and the National Television Awards Special Recognition Award in 2011. Forsyth also had the honour of carrying the Olympic flame through London in 2012, as part of the Torch Relay.
Sir Bruce Forsyth with his Knighthood
Bruce Forsyth OBE
In the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records Bruce Forsyth has an entry as the ‘male TV entertainer having had the longest career'.
Forsyth has become well known for his catchphrases, particularly
Forsyth with his BAFTA Fellowship Award
Forsyth carries the Olympic Torch
particularly “Nice to see you, to see you, nice” which he has now been using for more than fifty years. Others include his first catchphrase "I'm in charge!" (from Beat the Clock); “Good gamegood
Because of his love for golf (he plays of a handicap of 10), Forsyth lives at the Wentworth Estate next to Surrey's Wentworth Golf Course. For many years, he was a regular participant in Pro-Celebrity golf events.
game, good game” (from The Generation Game); “You get nothing for a pair” to which the audience replies “Not in this game” (from Play Your Cards Right); “Give us a twirl!” (which he often said when introducing Anthea Redfern each week on The Generation Game) and “Didn’t He Do Well?” (from The Generation Game).
Bruce Forsyth loves his golf
In 2012, Bruce Forsyth's autobiography was published. It covers more than 60 years in the entertainment industry, and as the blurb says, "is full of anecdotes, honest appraisals of tough times, failed marriages and affairs, comments on entertainment today, and what it takes to be a comiedian at the height of his powers."
Bruce Forsyth has been married three times. He married his first wifePenny
Forsyth with Anthea Redfern in The Generation Game
Bruce Forsyth with Penny Calvert
wife Penny Calvert in 1953. Penny and Bruce were a singing and dancing double act until she became pregnant with Debbie, the first of their three daughters. They had twomore
two more daughters, Julie and Laura, before they divorced in 1973. Julie later became a member of the pop group Guys and Dolls. Forsyth then married Anthea Redfern, with whom he had appeared on the Generation Game. They had daughters Charlotte and Louisa before they divorced in 1979. In 1983, Forsyth married former Miss Puerto Rico, Wilnelia Merced who went on to win the title of 'Miss World' in 1975. After Bruce Forsyth was knighted in 2011, Wlinelia has been entitled to use the courtesy title 'Lady Forsyth'. Their son Jonathan Joseph was born in 1986.
& Winelia Merced
Bruce Forsyth with his 6 children from 3 marriages
Bruce Forsyth signing my lobby card
Bruce signed my programme after I had seen his show