Entertainment & Arts

Sir Bruce pulls out of Strictly Christmas special

Sir Bruce Forsyth, Strictly Christmas Special 2014
Image caption Sir Bruce hosted last year's Christmas special, alongside show regular Tess Daly

Sir Bruce Forsyth has pulled out of hosting the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special for health reasons.

The veteran presenter underwent a procedure on an abdominal aortic aneurysm last month.

The Christmas Day show is set to be recorded next week, but a BBC statement said it was too soon for Sir Bruce "to have made a full recovery".

"Due to the long studio hours, he is unable to host the show, but will still play a part in the production."

The BBC confirmed that Strictly regular Claudia Winkleman will host alongside Tess Daly, in his place.

Image caption The winner of the current series of Strictly Come Dancing will be announced on the weekend before Christmas.

The presenter underwent extensive medical tests after suffering a fall at his home in October.

He had keyhole surgery in November and was expected to make "a speedy recovery". At the time, the BBC released a statement saying the 87-year-old "will still very much be a part of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special".

Sir Bruce, who stepped down from the role in April 2014, was last seen taking the helm of the dancing competition for a Children In Need special on 13 November, recorded ahead of his operation.

"Sir Bruce will record a special video message for this year's celebrity line-up and the viewers at home, which will play out when the Strictly Christmas Special airs on BBC One on Christmas Day at 6:15pm," the BBC statement concluded.

The annual Christmas show - now a stalwart of the festive TV calendar - will feature three of the hit show's previous winners: Abbey Clancy, Harry Judd and Tom Chambers, alongside war veteran Cassidy Little - who won the People's Strictly for Comic Relief - TV presenter Alison Hammond and radio DJ Lisa Snowdon. There will also be a special performance by Dame Shirley Bassey.

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