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Tributes to Sir Bruce Forsyth who has died aged 89

Veteran entertainer's career spanned 75 years

Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89.

The former Strictly Come Dancing presenter, whose career began when he was just 14, had been unwell for some time.

Sir Bruce had not been seen in public in recent times due to ill health and had been too poorly to attend the funerals of his friends Sir Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett.

He had been Britain’s highest paid TV star, hosting game shows from Play Your Cards Right to The Generation Game.

Sir Bruce Forsyth, 89, has died. Presenters Tess Daly and Bruce Forsyth arrive at the Strictly Come Dancing 2011 press launch at BBC Television Centre on September 7, 2011 in London, England.(Image: Getty Images Europe)

A statement from his manager, Ian Wilson, said: “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 18 months.

“With a twinkle in his eye, he responded: ‘I’ve been very, very busy... being ill!’”

BBC director general Sir Tony Hall described Sir Bruce as “one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known.”

He added: “He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decades, with shows like the Generation Game and, most recently, Strictly.

“His warmth and his wit were legendary. I’ve never seen anyone quite like him when it comes to performing in front of a crowd.

“He had a remarkable chemistry with his audience – that’s what made him such an amazing professional and why he was so loved. He has been part of all of our lives, and we’ll miss him dearly.”

In 2015 Sir Bruce underwent surgery after suffering two aneurysms which were found following a fall at his home in Surrey.

Sir Bruce first came to national attention in the 1950s through the series Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

At the age of 14 he started in showbiz with a song, dance and accordion act called ‘Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom’.

His showbusiness awards included TV Times Male TV Personality of the Year in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.

He had married three times and had six children.

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