Before the winner is revealed, let’s all take a minute to pause and reflect on the man whose departure has allowed them to ascend to be crowned the new king or queen of Strictly (until it’s announced that Nick Hewer has got the job). Bruce Forsythe has been an unsteady guiding hand on the tiller of Strictly for a decade, and it really wouldn’t have been the show it was without him. Old-fashioned, frequently shambolic, often devoid of all logic, and all the better when you don’t take it entirely seriously. Even outside my perspective as a determinedly amateur blogger, always on the hunt for the ridiculous to paper over me having to say anything of actual substance, Bruce has been, when you weigh it up, a godsend to light entertainment in this role. Sure there’s been at least one show a series recently when his mannerisms and fluffs have got too much even for me and I’ve advocated for his departure, but as we all stare down the barrel of a new era of professionalism and polish and Tess trying to do jokes (lawd have mercy) I can’t help but know I’ll miss those distinctly Brucie moments. From the mildly surreal like calling Darcey “Dave” or singing “when the moon hits your eye with a big pizza pie that’s amore” or every time he does the Velociraptor dance, to the big hitters (chasing McFly off with a broom/randomly dancing with a production assistant/yelling to Camilla “YOU’RE DANISH, I LOVE YOUR BACON”) Bruce has done far more memorable and hilarious (accidentally or otherwise) things on this show than any other host in Saturday Night Reality History. Unlike Dermot O’Leary (who has to stuff his trousers these days for attention) or Emma Flipping Willis, Bruce was genuinely unpredictable, defiantly not a corporate lickspittle, and one-of-a-kind. Some would say thankfully. Whoever takes his place will have big shoes, and an even bigger chin to fill. And if you had your way, it’d be
Miss Claudia Anne Winkleman. Which suggests to me that you’re not quite ready to abandon eccentricity quite yet. Graham Norton was a not terribly close second.
Now we just have to see who the BBC pick.