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The stars of the small-screen were out last night to honour Bruce Forsyth at the Bafta television awards. In one big, collective "Didn't he do well?", the generously-chinned entertainer was awarded an Academy Fellowship at the London Palladium ceremony, a tribute to nearly 60 years’ prime-time service.
Presented with the gong by Paul Merton, whom he hosted as a special presenter of Have I Got News For You in 2003, a move credited with restoring his briefly waning star, Brucie joked:
This is quite overwhelming. When you all stood up I thought you were going out. That would have been terrible.
Previous recipients of the catch-all award have included such high and middle brow folk as Ken Loach, Richard Curtis and Morecambe and Wise. The light-entertainment institution, known for his numerous catchphrases and love of ballroom dancing, began his career with Sunday Night at the London Palladium, and was clearly moved by his return to the venue:
This is where it started 58 years ago when I walked into this theatre and didn't know a soul and the stage doorman made me feel so much at home.
Betting for Ant and Dec in 2017 and Vernon Kay in 2026 has not yet been suspended.
Image of Brucie's silhouette courtesy of mrlerone's photostream.