Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Sir Bruce Forsyth

Gutter-press journalist and reality TV judge Piers Morgan is outraged that the New Year's Honours List hasn't included a knighthood for Bruce Forsyth. The 82-year-old showbiz legend was awarded an CBE in 2006, but didn't make the Queen's annual list released on 1 January.

For some years, Forsyth has been the subject of a campaign to award him a knighthood, which Morgan clearly supports. Posting on Twitter, he said: "Utterly ridiculous that Bruce Forsyth still hasn't been knighted. What more must he do than be a multi-talented star for SEVEN decades?" Let's set aside our views on Morgan and his motives in getting behind the octogenarian entertainer; instead we'll look at Brucie.

Forsyth's television career began during the 1950s as compere of the London Palladium show, a platform for his singing, dancing and comedic talents. When the light entertainment genre flagged, he jumped ship to a succession of TV game-shows. More recently he's
co-hosted the BBC programme 'Come Dancing', a popular weekend knock-out competition.

In these days of devalued celebrity knighthoods, why not give one to Brucie? After a remarkable, some say interminable career, at an age when most of us are doddering skeletons he can still read an auto-cue and feel up young women. But is this sufficient?

It seems not. The majority of those who've expressed a view believe such awards should go to people who've toiled for long years in occupations more substantial than entertainment. And Forsyth has made a fortune from his career, while he's said to pay no UK income tax. It's felt the money should be comfort enough; no to Sir Bruce.

What's more, his longevity has become a two-edged sword. These days Brucie is less often said to be "marvellous for his age", instead criticised as a withered parody; fluffed lines, mummified routines. Rather than a knighthood, public opinion generally favours retirement. Odious Piers Morgan's support may prove the final nail in Forsyth's campaign coffin.

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