Bruce Forsyth: Wikis

  
  
  

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Bruce Forsyth CBE

Bruce Forsyth, 2007
Born Bruce Joseph Forsyth Johnson
22 February 1928 (1928-02-22) (age 82)
Edmonton, North London, England
Other name(s) Brucie, Brucey, Bruce Forsyth CBE, Bruce Forsyth OBE, Bruce Forsyth Johnson
Occupation Actor, dancer, showman, entertainer, singer, game show host and television presenter
Years active 1939–present
Spouse(s) Penny Calvert (1953–73) (divorced)
Anthea Redfern (1973–79) (divorced)
Wilnelia Merced (1983–present)

Bruce Joseph Forsyth Johnson, CBE (born 22 February 1928), known as Bruce Forsyth,[1] is a British showman and entertainer. He became well-known through the series Sunday Night at the London Palladium, and became a household name in the UK, going on to present television series such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right, The Price Is Right and Strictly Come Dancing.

Contents

Life and career

Early life

Forsyth was born in Edmonton, North London, the son of Florence Ada (née Pocknell) and John Thomas Forsyth Johnson.[2] His family owned a car repair garage in Victoria Road, Edmonton, and as members of the Salvation Army his parents played brass instruments and his mother was a singer.[3] His great grandfather Joseph Forsyth Johnson (1840–1906) was a landscape architect who worked in Russia, Ireland and the United States. His great-great-great-great grandfather William Forsyth (1737-1804) was a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society and the namesake of the plant genus Forsythia.[4]

"Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom"

Forsyth attended The Latymer School. After watching Fred Astaire in films at age eight, he trained in dance in Tottenham and then Brixton.[3] He started in show business aged 14, with a song, dance, and accordion act called "Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom." His first appearance was at the Theatre Royal, Bilston, with The Great Marzo at the top of the bill.[3] Forsyth made his television debut in 1939 as a child, singing and dancing on a talent show introduced by Jasmine Bligh, probably an episode of Come and Be Televised (BBC, 1939), broadcast from Radiolympia.[5]

Post Second World War theatre

Forsyth continued to perform through the Second World War, even after the death of his Royal Air Force pilot brother John in 1943 over Turnberry, Scotland.[6] After the war, with the goal of joining Moss Empires theatres, he spent years on stage with little success and travelled the UK working seven days a week, doing summer seasons, pantomimes and circuses, where he became renowned for his strong-man act.

Forsyth became a celebrity in September 1958 when an appearance with the comedian Dickie Henderson led to his being offered the job of compère of Val Parnell's weekly TV variety show, Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He hosted the show for two years, followed by a year's break, then returned for another year. His hectic schedule of stage performances, which continued throughout the 1960s, forced him to give up the job of host.

In 1968, he played alongside Julie Andrews in the musical movie Star!, a biopic of stage actress Gertrude Lawrence. In 1976, he appeared on The Muppet Show where he took on the famous duo of Statler & Waldorf.

Gameshow host

Forsyth's next success was Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game (BBC1, 1971-1977, 1990-1994) which proved popular and attracted huge Saturday evening audiences. It was on this show that Forsyth introduced his "The Thinker" pose, emulating Rodin's sculpture, appearing in silhouette each week after the opening titles. This pose is reminiscent of the circus strong-man attitude. He also wrote and sang the theme for the show "Life Is The Name of the Game."

He left the BBC in 1978 to present Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, which was also transmitted on Saturday evening, but on the rival channel ITV. However, the series was not a success and lasted just the one series. He was replaced on The Generation Game by Larry Grayson. Forsyth remained with ITV though, he hosted the game show Play Your Cards Right for two periods (1980-87, 1994-99)

In 1986, he went to the United States to host a game show on ABC, Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak, which ran for 65 episodes from January to April that year. Forsyth starred in the Thames Television sitcom Slinger's Day in 1986 and 1987, taking over a role played by Leonard Rossiter. His television appearances since the 1960s have included variety, comedy and light entertainment shows.

He was the original host of You Bet! (1988 to 1990) and fronted the third version of The Price Is Right (1995 to 2001). Less known and comparatively unsuccessful shows include Takeover Bid (1990 to 1991), Hollywood Or Bust (1984), and Bruce's Guest Night (1992 to 1993). During the 1980s and 1990s Forsyth appeared in advertising for the furniture retailer Courts, in which he dressed as a judge.

Forsyth celebrated his 70th birthday in 1998 and appeared in a week-long run of his one-man show at the London Palladium, culminating in a 90-minute edition of Sunday Night at the London Palladium live on ITV. In 2000, Forsyth hosted a series called Tonight at the London Palladium, which revived the original format.

In 2003, Forsyth was a guest presenter on the news and satire quiz show, Have I Got News For You.

On 20th March 2010, Forsyth's interview on the autobiography-interview programme Piers Morgan's Life Stories will be aired on ITV.

Tributes and honours

On 27 February 2005, the BBC screened A BAFTA Tribute to Bruce Forsyth, to mark the entertainer's 60 years in show business. Forsyth had a bronze bust of himself unveiled at the London Palladium in May 2005. The sculpture was created by his son-in-law, and is on display in the theatre's Cinderella Bar.

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2006 New Year Honours list. His showbiz awards include Variety Club Show Business Personality of the Year in 1975; TV Times Male TV Personality of the Year, in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978; and BBC TV Personality of the Year in 1991.

In December 2007, his catchphrase 'Nice to see you, to see you, nice' was voted the most popular UK catchphrase by the British public. On 24 February 2008, the BBC featured an 85-minute programme celebrating the star's 80th birthday, entitled "Happy Birthday Brucie!"

In 2008, he was awarded a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award.

In 2009, he was awarded the Theatre Performers Award at the annual Carl Alan Awards. Hosted by the International Dance Teachers' Association, the awards are voted for by the leading dance organisations in the United Kingdom and recognise those who have made an exceptional contribution to the world of dance and theatre.[7]

He received a Royal Television Society Lifetime Achievement Award on 17 March 2009.

Personal life

From 1953 to 1973, Forsyth was married to Penny Calvert, with whom he had three daughters: Debbie, Julie and Laura. According to his autobiography, he dated Miss World 1964 Ann Sidney during her reign[8] and in a 2009 interview, Kathy Kirby claimed to be Forsyth's lover and that he proposed marriage.[9] From 1973 to 1979, he was married to Anthea Redfern, who had been the hostess on The Generation Game with whom he had two daughters: Charlotte and Louisa. Asked to judge the 1980 Miss World competition, he fell in love with fellow judge, the 1975 Miss World, Wilnelia Merced;[10][11] they married in 1983, and have one son together, Jonathan Joseph Forsyth.

Admired for his fitness, he does Tibetan stretches 30 minutes each day and keeps his strength up backstage with a flask of Complan and a dash of sherry.[3] Because of his love of golf, his main residence is at the Wentworth Estate adjacent to the Wentworth golf course near Virginia Water in northwest Surrey. A childhood supporter of Arsenal, when the team's stadium was taken for air-defence searchlights during the Second World War, matches were played at Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane ground, so he became a supporter of both clubs.[6]

His daughter Julie was a member of the Pop Group Guys n' Dolls. She later formed the duo "Grant & Forsyth" with her husband Dominic Grant who has also been a member of Guys n' Dolls.

Catchphrases

Forsyth is known for a large number of catchphrases. Below is a list from TV shows. Words in italics are shouted by the audience in reply.

  • Keep Donating *
  • Beat The Clock
    • “I’m in charge!”
    • "Can you come back next week?" (to contestants unable to complete their game)
  • Generation Game:
    • “Nice to see you, to see you” – Nice!
    • “Give us a twirl” (to the show’s hostess as she walks on the set)
    • “Didn’t they do well?”
    • “Good game, good game”
    • “A cuddly toy!” – Aaw!
    • "Let's have a look at the old scoreboard:"
    • "What's on the board, Miss Ford?"
  • Strictly Come Dancing:
    • “Nice to see you, to see you” – Nice!
    • “I'll clear this place!
    • "That'll be the day!"
    • “You're my favourites!" (mostly to contestants who have received a negative response from judges)
    • “I am not doddery, doddery I am – Not!
    • “I’m in charge!”
    • “Give us a twirl”
    • “Keep dancing!” - with Tess Daly
    • "Its time to meet the stars of our show"
  • Bruce’s Price Is Right:
    • "Remember, Bruce's price is always right" (sometimes modified with a winning contestant's name, e.g. "Remember, Bradley's price is always right")
    • "If the price is wrong, I wouldn't be singing this song"
  • Play Your Cards Right:
    • “What a lovely audience, so much better than last week!” (the joke being that the show would usually have been recorded after the previous week’s, with the same audience)
    • “I’m the leader of the pack, which makes me such a lucky jack, and here they are, they’re so appealing, come on Dollies, do your dealing!”
    • “I’m the leader of the pack, which makes me such a lucky jack, if you like things that come in pairs, take a look at my two croupiers!”
    • “I’m the leader of the pack, which makes me such a lucky jack, for openers here's a pair of cuties, my darling dealing beauties!”
    • “You get nothing for a pair” – Not in this game!
    • “You win a Brucie Bonus” – Wow!
    • “It could still be a big night if you play your cards right”
    • “Im a joker for a jest I play my cards close to my chest now heres a pair worth revealing go on dollys do your dealing!”
    • “Don’t touch the pack, we’ll be right back”
    • “Points make prizes – what do points make?” – Prizes! This catchphrase was parodied by Humphrey Lyttelton on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. In introductions to the round Pick Up Song, Lyttelton explained how points were scored, before using the catchphrase with something else substituted for "prizes". He then asked "What do points mean?", at which point the audience was usually split as to whether to reply with what Lyttelton had just said, or "Prizes!". No points were ever scored.
    • “Points mean pounds and what do pounds make?” - Rich People! A variant on previous catchphrase used in the 1990s revival of the show when the contestants played for money rather than prizes.
    • "We have our cards, all we need now are our players."
    • "Tough luck!"

Filmography

Year Title Notes
1957 – 1961 Sunday Night at the London Palladium TV
1966 The Bruce Forsyth Show TV
1966
1975
Frankie and Bruce TV
1969 Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
1971 Bedknobs and Broomsticks Swinburne, Bookman's henchman
1971 The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins Avarice Segment
1971 – 1977
1990 – 1994
Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game TV
1976 The Muppet Show TV
1978 – 1980 Disco Bruce TV
1978 Bruce Forsyth's Big Night TV
1980 – 1987
1994 – 1999
2002 – 2003
Bruce Forsyth's Play Your Cards Right TV
1986 Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak TV
1986 Magnum, P.I.: A Little Bit of Luck...A Little Bit of Grief TV
1988 Bruce and Ronnie TV
1989 – 1990 You Bet! TV
1995 – 2001 Bruce's Price is Right TV
1997 An Audience with Bruce Forsyth TV
1998 The Game TV
2000 Tonight at the London Palladium TV
2003 Have I Got News for You TV / Guest Appearance
2003 Bruce Forsyth & William Hague DVD / Guest Appearance on Have I Got News for You DVD
2004 – present Strictly Come Dancing TV
2007 The Generation Game: Then Again TV

Discography

  • Mr. Entertainment (2007 EMI Records, UK)
  • Both Sides of Bruce (Live) (1977 Warner Brothers Records, UK)
  • Come Get It! (1979 Pye, UK)

References

External links

Preceded by
None
Host of The Generation Game
1971–77
Succeeded by
Larry Grayson
Preceded by
None
Host of You Bet!
1988–90
Succeeded by
Matthew Kelly
Preceded by
Larry Grayson
Host of The Generation Game
1990–94
Succeeded by
Jim Davidson
Preceded by
Jim Davidson
Host of The Generation Game
2007
Succeeded by
Series ended
Preceded by
Bob Warman
Host of The Price is Right
1995–2001
Succeeded by
Joe Pasquale

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Bruce Joseph Forsyth, CBE (born 22 February 1928) is a British entertainer and showman who achieved celebrity on the show Sunday Night at the London Palladium, and has since presented game shows such as Play Your Cards Right, The Generation Game, and Strictly Come Dancing.

Contents

Sourced

  • You can be £3000* under, but not one penny over.

Play Your Cards Right

  • What a lovely audience, so much better than last week!
    • The big joke being that it was filmed in blocks of many shows in one day, and therefore it was the same audience.
  • I'm the Joker full of jest, I play my cards close to my chest; but here's a pair that's worth revealing, come on dollies, do your dealing!
    • When introducing his two "Dolly Dealers" on the older version of Play Your Cards Right
  • I'm the leader of the pack and I'm such a jolly jack - and here they are, they're so appealing - OK dollies, do your dealing!
  • Hang loose, we'll be back in a deuce!
  • Don't touch the pack, we'll be right back!
  • I'm the Joker of the pack, which makes me such a lucky Jack and if you like things that come in pairs, check out my fabulous Croupiers.
    • When introducing his two "Dolly Dealers" on the newer version of Play Your Cards Right

Unsourced

  • Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom - Forsyth's bill matter as a child performer in the 1930s/40s.
  • Nice to see you, to see you... [the audience shouts "nice"]
  • Here's my lovely Anthea, and isn't her frock wonderful, ladies and gentlemen? Come on, give us a twirl, my love!
  • Let's meet the eight who are going to generate. [Eight contestants competed in the show]
  • Let's have a look at the jolly old score board.
    • When the series was revived, and Bruce's "Girl Friday" became Rosemarie Ford, this was amended to "What's on the board, Miss Ford?"
  • Well never mind, but tonight could still be a big night if you Play Your Cards Right.
    • On the contestants not winning the star prize
  • You get nothing for a pair... [the audience would then shout "Not in this game"]
  • You've won a Brucie Bonus!
  • Didn't they do well?
  • I'll make a note of that.
  • Points make prizes. What do points make...? [the audience would then shout "Prizes"]

Visual Catchphrase

  • Bruce Forsyth is famed for a recognizable physical pose based on Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker", with which he often starts shows.

External links

Wikipedia
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