Sir Bruce Forsyth's Biography
Sir Bruce Forsyth has been involved in light entertainment for over sixty years.
Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson (to give 'Brucie' his full name) was born on 22 February 1928 in Edmonton, London.
Bruce had been evacuated at the start of World War II but returned to London after just three days as he was so homesick. He started his stage career as 'Boy Bruce - The Mighty Atom' - as far back as 1942.
Bruce Forsyth's first television performance was Music Hall in 1954.
Forsyth's television highlights over the years include Sunday Night at the London Palladium, Bruce Forsyth's Big Night Out, and Bruce's Price is Right.
His most notable role, however, was as host of The Generation Game which he started in 1971 and completed seven series - with his catchphrases "nice to see you, to see you nice" and "didn't he do well?".
Bruce Forsyth had two stints on The Generation Game - one in the seventies and one in the nineties.
In 2007 it was announced that UKTV Gold were to transmit a new show The Generation Game: Then Again, hosted by Bruce Forsyth, which would combine archive footage from the Generation Game with new challenges.
Penny Forsyth, an ex-wife of Bruce Forsyth, told the BBC about how she was immediately attracted to him:
"I saw this name, Bruce Forsyth, and suddenly there were green flashing lights in front of my eyes and I knew this was the man I was going to marry."
Penny and Bruce became a singing and dancing double act, before Penny fell pregnant with the first of their three daughters.
One side-effect of the Generation Game was one of Bruce's marriages - to Anthea Redfern - although their marriage dissolved in 1982. After their divorce, Bruce married former Miss World, Wilnelia Merced.
Bruce Forsyth reprised his role as host of The Generation Game from 1990 to 1995.
His popularity in Strictly Come Dancing led to Bruce Forsyth winning his first National TV Awards nomination in 2004.
Bruce Forsyth was awarded the OBE in 1998 and the CBE in 2006.
In 2008, Bruce Forsyth received Bafta's highest accolade, the Academy Fellowship.
In January 2011 Bruce Forsyth was presented with a special recognition award at the National Television Awards.
In 2011, Bruce Forsyth was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
In 2014, it was announced that after 11 series of Strictly Come Dancing, Sir Bruce Forsyth was stepping down as a presenter of the show, however he would continue to present the Strictly Christmas Special, and the Strictly Children in Need Special.
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- "If Donald Trump is president of the United States, it will be the end of the world. And he’s also the best thing to happen to the Democrats ever.”
- "Isn't the Ego a wonderful thing?"
- "I am strongly feminist, and I'm interested in current affairs, and on an international level-it's important to realise what's going on in the rest of the world, and the importance of where we're from in how it shapes us and our views."
- "Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
- "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown in to the sea".
- "The maintenance of the tradition of fashion is in the nature of an act of faith. In a century which attempts to tear the heart out of every mystery, fashion guards its secret well, and is the best possible proof that there is still magic abroad."
- "Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi-cabs and cutting hair."
- "I'm quite urban. I don't like to be too far away from an espresso machine."
- Dustin Hoffman told The Sunday Times: "I get up at 4.30 every morning. It's the best time in the world. You see the break of dawn, and you're on your own and I have my bachelorhood back. For those two hours every day, it's just me, coffee and the dogs."
- Life's too short to make filo pastry.
- "I think the openness that might be necessary to be a good actor can be lethal in your real life."
- How do you stop a polite conversation about politics, even with your nearest and dearest, descending into a slanging match?
The only failsafe answer of course is not to talk about politics at all.
- When you want to be ranked number 1 in the world, when you want to be Olympic gold medallist and you want to make history you're really careful setting your goals along the way. You take small steps instead of having a goal that's so far out that it starts to seem unachievable."
- In today’s world, hospitality and love are our most formidable weapons against hatred and extremism.
- "I like to show that it's possible to be big and be fit. I have a healthy lifestyle. I don't smoke, don't drink and I eat well. You don't have to be skinny to take part in sport."
- Mhairi Black said in her maiden speech in the House of Commons: "Tony Benn once said that in politics there are weathercocks and signposts. Weathercocks will spin in whatever direction the wind of public opinion may blow them, no matter what principle they have to compromise. And then there are signposts, which stand true and tall and principled. They point in one direction and they say, “This is the way to a better society and it is my job to convince you why.” Tony Benn was right when he said that the only people worth remembering in politics are those who are signposts."
- Upon being given the freedom of Preston, Freddie Flintoff noted:
"That means I can drive a flock of sheep through the town centre, drink for free in no less than 64 pubs and get a lift home with the police when I become inebriated - what more could you want?"
- "It's a small world but you wouldn't want to paint it"
- "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time - never. These allegations are false."
- Asked by The Guardian whether The X Factor is having a negative influence on the music business, Steve Brookstein replied: "No, it is more having a negative effect on Christmas. Simon Cowell bought the rights to Christmas. From now on it's called X-mas."
- If you nod your head any longer I'm going to put you on the back seat of my bloody car.
- “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
- Frank Zappa described rock journalists as "people, who can't write, interviewing people, who can't talk, for people, who can't read."
- Clearly, I don't think anybody in this city is shocked about what consenting adults do. As long as you don't involve children, animals or vegetables they leave people to get on and live their own life in their own way.
- "You'll like this, not a lot, but you'll like it." was Paul Daniels's catchphrase.
- "As an actor you have to communicate all the time. So when I get home I'd rather dig the garden or take the dog for a walk than, say, go out to lunch and start communicating again."
- "Celebrity is a lot like ice cream, you know, it melts and then you've got to live with yourself."
- Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
- Steve Guttenberg told Metro:
"Typecasting is a good thing. It's good to be known for what you do. It's good Xerox is known for its copying machines and it's good Jim Carrey is known for comedy. That's the sign in front of the store. Unless you're lucky enough to be Jack Lemmon or Cary Grant, there are few guys who can do comedy and drama."
- Regrets and mistakes are the touchstone of spiritual growth.
- I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
- "Vote Labour and you build castles in the air. Vote Conservative and you can live in them."
- Lisa Francesca Nand (Chessy to Talksport listeners) wrote an article for Radiojam, which quoted Tommy Boyd on the future of the talk radio format: "I wonder if we're going to let the boat sail without us. US talk radio is knocking music off FM stations now, and we are still inviting any guy who's written a book to wander on air and drone about it for half an hour."
- "I make films because if I don't make them then I don't have anything to distract me. My whole life I am constantly fighting all kinds of depression and terror and anxiety and I find that, like a mental patient in an institution, that if they keep the patient busy finger painting then they are more relaxed."
- "If you have the most beautiful castle with nobody you love inside, it is shit. That is why you must spend less money on decoration and more money on finding the person you love. And then, once you’ve found that, you must have a good bed: for making love. And a good kitchen table – also for making love, and for eating."
- "My own experience has shown that you can survive after going through terrible times at home and I give my utmost support to those women and young people living with the threat of domestic abuse... Don't suffer in silence because help is out there."
- I don't believe in psychology. I believe in good moves.
- "You learn your lessons from the mistakes you make, not the things you achieve."
- Lenny Bruce said of his own work: "All my humour is based upon destruction and despair. If the whole world were tranquil, without disease and violence, I'd be standing on the breadline right in back of J. Edgar Hoover."
- On the share collapse (Oct 1987) Blair said:
" the City whizz-kids, with salaries only fractionally less than their greed, now seem not only morally dubious, but incompetent"
- ‘I would much rather someone say that is a George Ezra song than be famous’
- Alda appeared on Inside The Actor's Studio and said, "Listening is being able to be changed by the person."
- "There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success."
- "I'm fond of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. They are kind of the John and Paul of the global development stage, in my opinion.
"But the point is, Lennon and McCartney changed my interior world - Blair and Brown can change the real world."
- "The Sun once did 20 things you never knew about Angus Deayton – and I didn't know 16 of them ..."
- "You spend your life working on your craft - I started acting as a seven-year-old - and then, all of a sudden, you're an 'overnight success'."
- Without good time management the plan fails and you end up not getting anything done. You have to know what you want to do, how much time you've got to do it and then sit down and work out the best way to do it. It's all about sacrifice. Once you have the routine it's pretty easy to stick to it. As long as you take the time to plan how things are going to work it's all good. Without that planning you'll be in a mess.
- Referring to the 'Beat' writers, Truman Capote remarked: "This isn't writing at all - it's typing."
- Scammers are getting smarter and the scams are becoming more personal, which make them more believable.
- I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them
- The Rough Guide to Rock has this quote from David Bowie:
"I once asked John Lennon what he thought of what I do. He said 'It's great, but it's just rock 'n' roll with lipstick on."
- From Goodbye to Berlin: "I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking."
- "Acting is a job like any other. It takes practice to be good at it. After that you learn your lines, concentrate on nothing else, get dressed and go home."
- In 2005, before the India v Pakistan test series, Zaheer Abbas advised his countrymen:
"Glue yourselves to the Indian pitches to the extent they have to call the police to budge you."
- "I play my best in finals. That's why I'm Number 1, you know. There's no secret."
- "My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop benevolence ... in a gentle way you can shake the world."
- From Tony Blair's speech to the TUC, September 1995:
"But what has come home to me more than anything else is the utter futility of Opposition. I did not join the Labour Party to protest. I joined it as a party of government and I will make sure that it is a party of government."
- "Human beings are brilliantly creative at finding ways to pass time in unconstructive ways."
- The first rule of survival is learning to control your emotions.
- On 20 March 2010, collecting a lifetime achievement award from the Bradford International Film Festival, John Hurt said that he continued to want to act:
"I can't see any other reason to be alive unless you're taking an active interest in your area of life.
"If life was to be just to stop and watch television - I couldn't contemplate that as being worthwhile at all."
- Hiroshima Mon Amour, Les Quatre cent coups, Les Amants were tremendously important events. These days, because of television and the incredible saturation of images, I'm not sure this would happen any more. Cinema has become - I don't want to say obsolete, but somewhat marginal. We live in a culture of the disposable. A film can be an event, be huge at the box office, win all kinds of awards, and then in a couple of years be pretty much forgotten.
- "I often suffer from the opposite of loneliness, which is; where I am with a bunch of people and I wish I was on my own."
- "I like working on stage because there's something very immediate about it, that interaction with an audience where you immediately hear their reaction, or feel them, whether they're with you."
- "We find ourselves in a market system which seems to have taken its rules of trade from Alice in Wonderland ... To a bystander like me, those who made £190m deliberately underselling the shares of HBOS, in spite of a very strong capital base, and drove it into the arms of Lloyds TSB, are clearly bank robbers and asset strippers."
- "I didn't come into politics to change the Labour Party. I came into politics to change the country."
- "The only exercise I get these days is walking behind the coffins of my friends who take exercise."
- "Everyone wants to understand art. Why don't people try to understand the song of a bird? Why do people love the night, the flowers and everything around us without insisting on understanding them? But when it comes to a picture, people think they must "understand" it. If only they would realise that an artist creates because he must create, that he himself is only an insignificant fragment of the world and that no more attention should be paid to him than to many other things in the world which delight us although we cannot explain them.
"When we love a woman, it does not occur to us to take her measurements first. We love with our desire."
- "Power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile. This is a party of government, and I will lead it as a party of government."
- "To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now."
- "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it. I didn't inhale."
- John Banville told Mariella Frostrup on The Book Show:
"If you want to write noir fiction, Dublin in the 1950s is the place to set it ... all that cigarette smoke, all that fog, all that guilt, all that suppressed sexual longing ..."
- The English like eccentrics. They just don't like them living next door
- I think greed is very corrupting and one of the sad things is that greed is so unimaginative. Sometimes I see people spend fortunes on preposterous toys or daft experiences and think, “You could do so much more with that money, be more creative and feel so much better.”
- I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
- A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
- "He would have to stand on a tanner to see over a thruppenny-bit"
- From an interview with Scott Davidson of Regeneration: "Take a project like Band Aid for instance. Many people worked very hard for Band Aid, and OK, it raised millions of pounds, but then more money was being taken off the Overseas Aid Budget by the Conservatives. Political action is the way of securing change. If you do not engage in political parties you are not actually engaging in political decisions. You may think you are, but you're not.
"It's a very easy line - and the press love it - that politicians are in it for themselves, all the parties are the same, etc. And then, of course, single issue politics appears to be pristine idealism, but a lot of key political decisions that dramatically affect these groups are taken by political parties.
"It is also the danger with some groups like the Green Party - they end up with policies which are just out to lunch and do not help the causes they think they are helping."
- Bogart described himself as: "Democrat in politics, Episcopalian by upbringing. dissenter by disposition."
- Regarding David Gest's marriage to Liza Minnelli:
"We were taking bets in our pew about how long it would last ... that [wedding] kiss wasn't a kiss, it was like sucking chrome off a Cadillac."
- "Once you get into your stride, the camera becomes like another person in the room. It's like being in a very small theatre where there is no getting away with anything because the audience is centimetres away from you."
- "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit"
- Roger Federer In an interview with the Sunday Times after his defeat by Marat Safin in the semi-final at the Australian Open in 2005:
"...the more success you have the easier it is to deal with defeat. I didn't think too much about it even the next day. I woke up, the sun was shining. Sure, my foot was hurting, but there was nothing to worry about. I hadn't been robbed or attacked. Everyone I cared for was fine. It was not a question of blocking out the defeat, I just accepted having to live with the fact and, really, that's not too difficult."
- But I could not more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensible for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other."
- "I invented World Music. I was the first person to use Plasticine in a video"
- “It incrementally came to me that when I audition I’m not trying to get a job, but to give them something, my acting. The victory is not ‘Did I beat that other guy out?’ but ‘Did I present that character as believably as I could?’ That was the turning point.”
- Maurice Greene once said:
"If you want to be number one, you have to train like you're number two"
- In discussing School for Seduction, Kelly Brook told the BBC:
"Regardless of what hair colour you have, what you look like, what accent you have, what you do for a living even, it's all about how you feel, and about being comfortable in your own skin. The women in School For Seduction are not doing it for men, they're doing it for themselves."
- "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous."
- 'Be like a duck, my mother used to tell me. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.'
- There is enough means to feed the planet but two thirds of the world lives below the poverty line
- Alfred Hitchcock once remarked:
"Disney has the best casting. If he doesn't like a character, he just tears him up."
- Gerald Kaufman has crawled so far up the backside of NATO that only the soles of his feet are visible.
- ‘if you can soundtrack somebody’s memory, that is a beautiful thing’
- "Try not to worry about the small things in life that go wrong. You are only on the planet once. Get the best out of it."
- Beacham once said of Joan Collins:
"Joan Collins is like the old children's nursery rhyme: 'When she is good, she is very, very good. And when she is bad, she is horrid.' I can't remember how the whole of it goes, but it defines her perfectly."
- Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.
- Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
- "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
- "I guess that when you get into your fifties you just have to keep reinventing yourself as an actor. They kind of don't know what to do with you. Thankfully, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren have shown the world that there is acting life after 50, although equally there still aren't all that many strong parts for women parts on television today, which is why doing theatre is so important to me."
- "When I got to drama school there were all these people going 'Oh, my Dad used to watch Ken Loach films' and I would be thinking, who is Ken Loach?"
- It's sink or swim, and you've most probably picked up by now that I don't do life jackets.
- "Giving young men what they want doesn't generally bring out the best in them. Success is almost guaranteed to mess you up more than failure."
- Freud remarked in 1933 when there was a public burning of his books in Berlin: "What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books."