Sir Bruce Forsyth, Royal Variety Legend

Sir Bruce Forsyth
1928 - 2017

Sir Bruce Forsyth, who has died at the age of 89, wasn't just a TV superstar. As well as fronting hits like Strictly Come Dancing, Play Your Cards Right and the Generation Game, Brucie was a legendary stage entertainer, too. And for decades, he could be found taking a bow before the royal box at one of the biggest spectacles of the year. For Sir Bruce Forsyth was a sparkling part of the history of the Royal Variety Performance.

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He first took to the boards at this regal showpiece in 1958 and the curtain fell on his Variety Performance career in 2012. Through six decades, he performed at the show held every year to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity. He sang, he danced, he joked for audiences and royal guests including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales.

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Of course, the Royal Variety Performance is also televised a few nights after it takes place and Sir Bruce was a big part of bringing it to an audience sat at home as well as in the theatre seats. He was also snapped more than once meeting the royal guests when they greeted performers after the shows.

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Sir Bruce rubbed shoulders with royalty on many occasions, including the day he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace in 2011. But his appearances at the Royal Variety Performance showcase just what an all round talent he was. The man who loved to sing, to dance, to entertain got to do all that and more at this annual gala as well as to help charity, another great passion of his. The Royal Variety Show won't be the same again but he leaves a lasting legacy. Didn't he do well?
Photo: BBC publicity still.