It was an emotional first night of Strictly Come Dancing’s new series, as the show paid tribute to the late Sir Bruce Forsyth. The professional dancers performed a beautiful routine in memory of the legendary entertainer, who presented Strictly from 2004 to 2014. Tess Daly, who co-hosted the hit programme with Sir Bruce and now fronts the show with Claudia Winkleman, fought back tears as she remembered her good friend.
As the dancers finished their performance, Tess said to a standing ovation: "What a routine. He would have loved that. Our thoughts are with his dear wife Winnie, his children and his great grandchildren. Everyone – and I mean everyone – at Strictly is thinking of you.” As Tess became emotional, Claudia put a supportive arm around her and said: "He was a legend to so many people but to us at Strictly he was just Brucie and it was his hard work, dedication and professionalism that made the show what it is today.” Tess added: “And to put it in his own words didn’t he do well?”
On Tess’s Instagram page, there were words of support for the star alongside a photo of her and Claudia taken before tonight’s show. One follower wrote: “Well done girls nearly keeping it together think the nation wept as we said goodbye to Brucie x.” Another said: “Well done Tess for being strong during the Brucie tribute. As Brucie would have said, "Didn't she do well!" He'll be missed by all.” A third fan posted: “Amazing tribute to Sir Bruce.....well done Tess was tearing up with you.” Another wrote: “Super touching tribute @tessdaly… was moved by your emotion.”
Bruce sadly passed away in August, aged 89. On hearing the sad news, Tess tweeted: “There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am to be told the saddest news that my dear friend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away. From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing and I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.”