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TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth dies, aged 89

Bruce Forsyth

Sir Bruce Forsyth has tragically passed away, aged 89.

The former Strictly Come Dancing host was a TV legend with a career spanning seven decades.

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However he had struggled with his health in recent years. Earlier in 2017, the telly favourite was rushed to hospital and spent five days in intensive care following an infection.

In a statement, his manager Ian Wilson said today: "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.

Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly
Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly

"With a twinkle in his eye, he responded 'I've been very, very busy... being ill!'"

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Sir Bruce hosted some of the UK's most loved shows including The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and The Price is Right.

He fronted Strictly Come Dancing alongside Tess Daly from 2004 before retiring in 2014.

Sir Bruce had hoped to continue to present the show's Christmas and Charity specials but ill health meant he hadn't been seen on TV since 2015.

Tributes have already been flooding in from celebrities, colleagues and fans.

Tess Daly said: "There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am to be told the saddest news that my dear friend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away.

"From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing and I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.

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"He has been there for me as a co host, a mentor but most importantly as a friend and I'm extremely fortunate to have worked along side the man who defined Saturday Night Entertainment for so many decades. He was a gentleman and a true legend. I will miss him deeply. My heart goes out to Winnie his wife and his beautiful family at this sad time."

And Claudia Winkleman, who took over from Sir Bruce on Strictly, added: "He was the King of TV, the Prince of performers and the most generous of people... all toe-tapping twinkle, all kindness, all love.... The Bruce you saw really was the man he was. We'll miss him so much."

Stephen Fry also Tweeted this afternoon: "There was only one #Brucie - it was more than to nice to see you, to see you more than nice."

BBC's Director-General Tony Hall said in a statement: "Sir Bruce was one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decade, with shows like the Generation Game and most recently, Strictly.

Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly (Strictly Come Dancing)
Sir Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly (Strictly Come Dancing)

"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, 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."

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Meanwhile, the official Strictly Come Dancing Twitter account announced the news and posted: "RIP Sir Bruce..."

And Strictly pro dancer Neil Jones‏ posted: "RIP Sir Bruce Forsyth, it's a sad day to lose a legend in which I grew up watching as a child #bruceforsyth."