Obituary: Sir Bruce Forsyth – BBC News

Image caption He induced his stage debut aged only 14 as Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom

Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth had a career spanning eight decades, in which “hes been gone” from struggling range musician to Saturday night TV stardom.

On the route, he became one of the most recognisable entertainers in the business, driving in what appeared to be inexhaustible energy.

He became synonymous with the plethora of game shows that seemed to dominate television light entertainment in the 1960 s, 70 s and 80 s, although he often felt he had become typecast as the genial quizmaster.

And at an age when most musicians would have put their feet up, his career enjoyed a huge revival with the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson was born in Edmonton , north London, on 22 February 1928.

His father owned a local garage and both his mothers were Salvation Army members who sang and played music at home.

Image copyright Rex Features Image caption Beat the Clock was just one of many games he hosted

The young Bruce was a direct descendant of William Forsyth, a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society, whose name was given to the plant forsythia.

His interest in showbusiness was kindled at the age of eight and he was reportedly find tap-dancing on the flat roof after watching his first Fred Astaire film.

“As soon as I got home from school, ” he recalled, “I’d take up the carpet, because there was lino underneath, and start tapping away.”

He built his stage debut at the age of 14 as Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom, appearing bottom of the bill at the Theatre Royal, Bilston.

Live entertainment was a way of escaping the pressures and dangers of wartime Britain, and there was a huge demand for acts , no matter how bad they were.

Many years later he explained his motive on a BBC chat show. “I wanted to be famous and buy my mum a fur coat.”

Famous Forsyth catchphrases

“I’m in charge.” “All right, my love? ” “Good game, good game! ” “Nice to see you, to see you nice.” “Give us a twiddle! ” “Cuddly plaything, cuddly toy! ” “OK, dollies do your dealing.” “You get nothing for a pair! ” “What do phases make? ” “Didn’t he/ she do well? ” “You’re my favourite.” “Keeeeep dancing! ” Image caption At one point, he was Britain’s highest-paid entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth dies aged 89 Life in images Lord Grade remembers ‘a very special man’ Stars remember Brucie Image caption The Beatles were among the stars he introduced at the London Palladium Image caption Forsyth with Anthea Redfern on the Generation Game Image caption He parodied some of his old game show on Have I Got News For You Image caption He presented Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly

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