I never laughed at television as a kid as much as I did when Bruce Forsyth was doing The Generation Game, at least that’s what my mum tells me. She could hear me and my brother laughing away each Saturday evening and I remember that programme too. A basically silly idea of getting adults to do awkward though not impossible tasks would have been amusing enough on its own but with Brucie hosting it was brilliant. What you can see now as an adult is his ability to communicate with members of the public, a rarer gift than you might think- how many politicians would love to have that at their command? Brucie did it by never mocking or belittling contestants, rather he laughed with them, commented on what they were doing and pulled an expression that made you smile. What I never knew then was the extraordinary career he’d already had before the show, a career that lasted for seven decades.
Its funny how things come round. Back in the Seventies of course Mum looked after us. Now in the past five years I’ve been increasingly looking after her and Brucie was back in our lives again on Saturday nights. Now I don’t know much about ballroom dancing but do you know what, Brucie made Strictly Come Dancing a great show, still in command, still showing his skills. Sometimes he’d even tap dance, in his mid 80s.
He seems to have been with many generations, going right back to his early successes in the Fifties and then post Generation Game, those shows like Play Your Cards Right which I’ve never seen but know the catchphrases for anyway. Brucie was always a bonus whatever show he was on, the last of the great all rounders. Nice to see him? It was brilliant to see him!