Brucie steps down from Strictly live shows

Brucie adjusting his bow tie Didn't he do well? Sir Bruce Forsyth has hosted Strictly for 10 years

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Sir Bruce Forsyth has stepped down from presenting the live shows of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC has confirmed.

He has hosted the popular show with Tess Daly for 11 series since 2004, and will continue to present programme specials for Children in Need and Christmas, alongside other one-offs that have yet to be announced.

In a statement from the BBC, the 86-year-old entertainer said he believed "it is now the right time to step down from the rigours of presenting the Strictly live shows".

Start Quote

He is the all-time master and commander when it comes to Great British entertainers”

End Quote Mark Linsey BBC Entertainment

"I am very proud of what the show has achieved and confident it will entertain the nation for many years to come. I am also delighted that, by presenting the Christmas and Children in Need shows, I will continue to have a strong association with Strictly.

"In addition, I am looking forward to the specials planned with the BBC as well as some live theatre shows, so before anyone asks... I am not retiring quite yet!"

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said: "Sir Bruce Forsyth is one of the great showbiz legends of our time and Strictly's success is due in vast amounts to him. I am so pleased he will continue to be part of the Strictly family and promise viewers that we haven't seen the last of him on BBC One."

Mark Linsey, controller of entertainment commissioning, added that working with Bruce Forsyth was "one of the joys of my job".

"He is the all-time master and commander when it comes to Great British entertainers and Strictly owes him such a great deal. This is not a farewell, but you can't blame him for wanting to take things a little bit easier."

Talent show origins

Often referred to as "Brucie", the entertainer was knighted by the Queen in 2011 after 70 years in showbusiness.

Born in north London, he first appeared on television in 1939 as a child on a talent show. He then performed in panto and circuses during and after World War II, when he became known for his strong-man act.

In 1958, he rose to stardom as the compère of Sunday Night at the London Palladium before becoming a gameshow host on The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, You Bet and The Price is Right.

Brucie and Tess Daly hand Christmas award to Flavia Cacace and Rufus Hound Sir Bruce Forsyth will continue to present Strictly's Christmas special

The presenter missed a number of shows during the last series of Strictly Come Dancing due to illness. He has previously spoken about how he would like to spend more time abroad to avoid cold winters in the UK.

He quit the results show in 2010 when he was replaced by Claudia Winkleman.

Strictly Come Dancing, which drew an average audience of 11 million viewers last year, will return this autumn.

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