Sir David Amess MP pays tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth.
" I was sad to hear of the death of Sir Bruce Forsyth who I regarded as a friend. As a child I enjoyed watching him on such programmes as Sunday Night at the London Palladium and then later in life on the Generation Game and of course Strictly Come Dancing. His simple, pure sense of humour was something I greatly admired. Little did I know that he would then become a friend. We were really brought together by one of his daughters’ love of dogs, at a reception for animal welfare at the House of Commons.
Bruce’s wife, Wilnelia, is a devout Roman Catholic and was very keen to meet the Pope. I will never forget our trip to Rome, which included a number of local residents. My friend the then Ambassador to the Holy See made all the arrangements and all I can say is was “nice to see the Pope, to see him nice”! We had such fun together over that weekend.
Much later, when my mother celebrated her 100th birthday in our family home in Forest Gate, she took a call from Bruce to wish her a very happy birthday. He sent a note to her saying “keep on dancing”, which she did for over four more years. I have so many happy memories. He could dance, sing, tell jokes, present programmes and was a wonderful raconteur. He was the real deal. In short he was as far as I was concerned our finest all-round entertainer the like of which we shall probably never see again.
We were so lucky to have Bruce for so long but my heart goes out to his widow and children, they must be devastated.
His light will never go out, he will never be forgotten and I am quite sure he is in heaven now entertaining the angels."