Bruce Forsyth's old-fashioned appeal
Bruce Forsyth, who has been knighted at Buckingham Palace, has been a fixture of British television for more than 50 years.
Younger viewers will recognise the 83-year-old as the sprightly host of Saturday night ratings hit Strictly Come Dancing.
But it is game shows like The Generation Game and Play Your Cards Right for which the TV presenter remains best known.
The son of a garage owner, London-born Forsyth grew up in Edmonton and left school at the age of 14.
He launched himself on the music hall circuit as Boy Bruce the Mighty Atom, with an act which included dancing, singing and playing the ukulele.
He spent 20 years travelling the country working seven days a week, performing in church halls, sleeping in luggage racks and waiting for his big break.'Give us a twirl'
On a BBC chat show, the young Forsyth explained: "I want to be famous and buy my mum a fur coat."
But, by the time he was asked to host TV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium in 1958, he was on the verge of leaving showbusiness.
Although Forsyth was booked for two weeks he ended up staying five years, by which time he was Britain's highest-paid entertainer, earning £1,000 a week.
His energy and enthusiasm saw him flourish in the 1970s as host of a succession of popular game shows, including BBC primetime hit The Generation Game.
The show saw Forsyth coin the expression "nice to see you, to see you, nice" and marry TV hostess Anthea Redfern of "give us a twirl" fame in 1973. They divorced six years later.
It was on The Generation Game that he introduced his famous "thinker" pose, appearing in silhouette at the beginning of each show.
At its peak, the programme attracted 20 million viewers who tuned in to watch the entertainer seemingly having more fun than the competitors, and enthusing over the mundane prizes on the conveyor belt.Game show regrets
In an interview last year, the star said he regretted many of his game shows - audiences tend to forget the likes of Hot Streak, You Bet! and Big Night - and admitted he would have liked to produce more programmes in the vein of his special with Sammy Davis Jr in 1980.
But for fans, it is The Generation Game to which Forsyth's career remains uniquely linked.
His playful patter with the frequently befuddled contestants was delivered with knowing winks to the audience, who grew to love the patented formula of cheesy jokes, slapstick comedy and terrible prizes.
He left the show after six years in 1977, handing over to Larry Grayson, but returned in 1990 for another four-year stint.
The entertainer went on to repeat his TV success on long-running ITV quiz show Play Your Cards Right, which gave birth to the "higher, lower" catchphrase.
In 1995, he received a lifetime achievement award for variety at the British Comedy Awards. He was made an OBE in 1998, and a CBE in 2005.
But in between these honours, Forsyth all but vanished.'Head-to-toe performer'
Play Your Cards Right was dropped by ITV in 1999, and Brucie was barely seen on a British television screen until he appeared as a guest presenter on satirical BBC quiz show Have I Got News For You? in 2003.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Forsyth says the appearance was his wife's idea. After calling show regular Paul Merton, he landed the gig and offered to be "a little bit deadpan".
"But the team said, `No, be Bruce Forsyth'," he says, "so we did it like that, and it was so successful.
"I'd never done a show where I'd sat down behind a desk. I always call myself a 'head-to-toe' performer, I move around. But it worked."
The acclaimed appearance led directly to him being offered the job hosting celebrity dance show Strictly Come Dancing, which began a year later.Special recognition
Forsyth, an accomplished tap dancer, began working on the ninth series last month and the show's success has seen his fortunes revived.
He earned his first National TV Awards nomination in 2004, was the subject of a Bafta TV tribute in 2008 and received a special recognition prize at the National Television Awards in January.
And it is not just audiences who love the all-round entertainer.
"He is one of the great performers," former BBC director general Greg Dyke told the Guardian in 2006.
"He's got the look, he's got the style, he can do it all. He just is a star. You might ask how - or even why - but when you see it, you cannot deny it."
Now a great-grandfather, Forsyth has six children and lives in Surrey with his third wife Wilnelia, a former Miss World who is 30 years his junior.