Brucie Idol – A Winner Is Revealed


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.


62 thoughts on “Brucie Idol – A Winner Is Revealed

  1. Lesley Rigg

    I’m not voting in group b (to advance) and you can’t make me! What about RIchard Osman? That’s what I want to know! Kicking myself for not having a little flutter on Anton to get it about a month ago

      1. Lesley Rigg

        or Kevin Bacon, the man now has a superb knowledge of English soaps, sports stars and national treasures due to the scripts he has to learn in the adverts, and he’s like a younger Tom Whatsischops from DWTS!

    1. monkseal Post author

      These were literally the first 64 people I saw mentioned. Not including bookmakers putting stupid names out for publicity damn them.

  2. BuddyB

    Boo! Hisssss! Some groups have nobody I want to vote for (but I did vote!) and some groups have more than one I want to vote for! Boo! Hissss! again! πŸ˜€

    1. Min

      I can’t believe Julien Clary has lagged behind on the option front. Can I still,vote for him anyway? πŸ™‚

  3. Isolde

    I’m very impressed that you saw 64 names mentioned. I only saw ten at most. Just not Vernon Kay. Please, please, please not Vernon Kay.

  4. Krumholtz

    Norton. He was great on the camp fest of the Webber programmes. And Claudia. Let’s have a complete spring clean and use the opportunity to GET RID OF TESS AS WELL!

      1. Penny

        I want them to keep Tess but only in conjunction with Claudia. Tess/Claude FTW, otherwise they can ditch her.

        I dimly noticed some quite promising names in Group Claudia, but didn’t remember them as was too busy hitting button super quickly in case it went away.

  5. Huriye

    Gawd Monkseal! You top loaded Groups C and G, was some tough choices there! Stupidest suggestion I heard on radio last night was Ronnie Corbet. Yeah, let’s replace one 80 year old with another 80 year old. Why don’t people who know nowt and never watch the show just STFU!


    Gosh, Monkseal! A bit harsh to put claudia and Zoe in the same group with only one vote. I get confused when it says (2 advance) and think you can vote for 2. That way, I managed to vote for Len *instead* of Alesha. However, if it gets him off the judging panel, it would be a massive result. He ruins Strictly far more than the other old man.

    I don’t think they should parachute in another presenter. We know Tess and Claudia can handle it. In fact, I think Tess is much more competent – and therefore bearable – when she’s being Bruce.

    1. PosiePebbles

      Agree, but as I placed all my votes with a mental ‘and Claudia as the sidekick’, I went with Zoe. I know Tess is more bearable when Brucie isn’t around but she’s still only adequate then. I want a nice, solid main man/woman with Claudia on the side. Hmm, reading that back, that last sentence applies to so many areas of my life…

  7. General Hogbuffer

    No Greg-the-hot-floor-manager ? No Ian Waite ? Who picks these, goddamn ?

    Realistically, I would be happy if I could be sure they would make a decision based on what will work best for the show and will keep the viewers happy. Instead, I have a horrible feeling some egomaniac in the commisioning department will see this as their chance to ‘revitalise’ (i.e. ruin) the show with some clever ‘improvements’, and someone will get given the presenting role for political reasons, like they would threaten to quit the BBC otherwise.

    I always thought Anton was groomed as a replacement, but surely they would have given him a test run in the past few years on one of Bruce’s unplanned absences ?
    I want no-one that will have any of the special Brucie elements:
    No-one that thinks they are the fifth judge (no Anton or Karen)
    No-one that thinks the show is all about them (no Barrowman)
    No-one doddery in a bad wig (no Wogan)

  8. Lolly

    I’m sorry, I voted for Lisa. I liked her on the tour! I don’t follow her on twitter though.

    I suggested KFG over on the Guardian, but actually Ian Waite would make more sense, and be pretty perfect.

  9. Gerry Sheldon

    I’m afraid I missed the first round even though my wife alerted me late on Sunday — what happened to Trevor? The Man in the Hat? Wasn’t he in the poll — he should have been, I’d have voted for him!

    …And while I’m on the subject of voting, Monk Seal, when are you going to introduce PR, or at least the Multiple Transferable Negative (or No Way Jose!) Vote as used on all instances of Du Beke, Widdie, Barrowman, Riley (Lisa or Old Mother), etcetera?

  10. BuddyB

    Couldn’t bring myself to vote for anybody in Group C. Gobsmacked Shane Ritchie made it through. Fingers crossed for Tess, Claudia, Paul or Graham!

  11. Kate

    Oh I like lots of these final choices. Paul dressed as Lily Savage paired with either Barrowman or Norton, and drop Tess entirely. That’d be my fantasy line up.

  12. Left Feet

    No Anton, don’t like him much but that surprised me that he did not make it through. God who voted for the Bland twins Gethin Jones and Matt Baker!

  13. Minxy

    Aghh. I missed round one!
    And boo hiss grrr at putting 3 out of 4 people that I could happily vote for in group A and yet group C has not a one! Not even Mel and Sue, much as I like them I don’t want them on Strictly unless as contestants.

    Can you supply the names and addresses of whoever voted for Tess please?
    I feel the urge to go stalk them and …

  14. Kate

    Round 2: could not bring myself to vote for anyone in group C. I think the best possible combination would be Graham N or Paul O G downstairs and Claudia upstairs in Claud 9. No need for Tess as she is only really needed as a foil for the doddery element and would be totally superfluous with either GN or POG. Though I rather fear that the Beeb will think it novel to have a married couple presenting – no, no , please not Vernon/ Tess – or go for the egomaniac 5th judge version of Barrowman…
    Brenda would be hilarious. Perhaps he could storm off every time one of the judges disagreed with his analysis of the performances.

  15. ate50

    Yay! Missed round one but all my choices for round 2 got into the final!! Voted for Claudia but would be happy with any of these. Any chance of doing a vote for who would make you turn off poll, just in case they are currently being discussed somewhere in W1A? Might not make them change their choice but at least there would be an opportunity for we told you so moment when ratings drop.
    Mine would be Chris Evans.

  16. Kate

    Oh no, who voted for that smug t**t Alexander Armstrong????? (Having met him I can make no apologies for this cry of angst). If he is seriously a Beeb consideration I may have to live out the rest of my Strictly days vicariously through this “splendid” blog rather than watching him in action…. Aarrgghhh. Here’s hoping for the witty, sarcastic campery of either Graham N or Paul O G.

    1. Huriye

      Mentioning “smug”, I can just see AA’s face on “Who Do You Think You Are?” when it was suggested he could be related to King Alfred.

      I changed voting patterns at the last minute! Was going for Claude all the way, but swapped to Graham Norton for the Final! I loved his handling of the brilliant and much missed Strictly Dance Fever, and even though he said he was no longer interested in hosting Reality TV, let’s press gang him into doing it! πŸ˜€

  17. dancing cake

    I’ve missed all the rounds till now so am glad Graham Norton and Claudia are both in the final four. Am SO relieved Susannah Reid was poached by the other side before all this – I have a horrible feeling the BBC would have thought it was a good idea to give Brucie’s role to her and I would never have watched Strictly again.

  18. Ferny

    Awwww, I’ve always liked Bruce so will definitely miss him, especially because I know the replacement will probably be quite polished and controlled and thus boring. Claudia is not really those things so I would be happy with her, but something tells me it will be someone random we haven’t got on the poll.

  19. dancing cake

    Chasing McFl y off the dance floor was hilarious. He so clearly didn’t know who they were, which just made it funnier. Won’t miss Brucie, but feel slightly queasy at some of the names that are being mentioned … so for the time being am just going to enjoy Queen Claudia’s reign and imagine all the completely random rules she’d make if she was in charge (like replacing all the “here they are in training” rubbish with endless reruns of Lilia’s reaction to getting zero points).

  20. Huriye

    I think by the time of the Final, and handing over the trophy, Bruce was always so tired and emotional, that shouting at someone, or having a hissy fit, just became a tradition. It started in series 2 when he chucked Ms. Ha’penny’s Mum orf the stage pronto. That was Bruce. You never quite knew if he was having a dementia attack, or creating a bit of improv comedy in his Music Hall traditions. But that was a lovely tribute to him Monkseal. It’s true, I know some of us will have flashes of nostalgia for his days as host……or maybe not.

    By the way, you could’ve picked a more flattering pic of Claude! She looks dead rough in that one! eek! πŸ˜› Congrats to her, and an overwhelming victory. I consider this Poll the TRUE Strictly Fan’s verdict, rather than the shoddy Telegraph poll claiming Tony Beak won. Puh!

  21. Ferny

    What was that sentence Bruce said similar to ‘Pomp tomp Patsy’ (?!) that always makes me laugh? So random. Bruce could be occasionally hilarious.
    I really don’t want to see Tess attempt improv every week with the judges….

  22. connormuzz

    I know that they’ll never go for a threesome, but can you imagine how glorious it would be to have Ian and Zoe pawing each other downstairs, while Claudia did the balcony scenes?

    Then we can hand over ITT to Miranda Hart so she can pratfall with the entire cast every week and make Britain great again, or whatever it is she does.

  23. Dancing cake

    Just spotted this in this week’s issue of Private Eye:

    “Who will take over from Sir Bruce as Strictly’s new host? – YOU DECIDE”

    – with 8 photos of potential replacements, with their heads superimposed on Brucie’s body. Predictably random Eye choice of candidates such as Professor Brian Cox, Alan Yentob, Mickey Rooney (deceased) and “Anton du Dec” :). And printed beneath the pics: “RING OR TEXT QUICKLY SO THAT YOUR VOTE COUNTS WHEN THE JOB GOES TO CLAUDIA WINKLEFRINGE”.

    Monkseal, get on the phone to Injury Lawyers 4 Themselves right now and sue Private Eye for nicking your poll …

    1. Huriye

      Ha! πŸ˜› It wouldn’t be the first time! The press constantly nick stuff from message boards and blogs by ‘Fans’ (who are usually way more informed than they are). The killer is when you see your actual words under a so called professional journo’s byline and you realise a) you got no credit, and b) they got paid a big fat salary for basically nicking stuff orf t’internet. (Happened to me with the Sun) Grrr! 😦

      1. Dancing cake

        Well, the last sentence in my post was tongue in cheek (and I missed off the last word – I meant to write “your poll result”)! There have been loads of polls out there in all sorts of publications, but I thought it was funny that the Eye bothered with Strictly stuff (they don’t usually).

        I know what you mean about tabloids cobbling together stuff from other sources – Daily Fail is the worst (well, that goes without saying πŸ™‚ )

        Have to defend Private Eye though – it’s the paper equivalent of HIGNFY and is genius at mocking so-called “journalists”, including regular pieces on how the tabloids rehash stories.

  24. Huriye

    Funnily enough when my stuff was nicked by the Sun, someone suggested going to Private Eye about it. I should’ve done! Would’ve made a good story for them! πŸ˜› But I’ve never been a reader, will have to take out a subscription asap. πŸ˜‰

    1. ynysmon

      I have not forgiven Private Eye for ousting Punch, I think that was around 1991 so I guess I really should move on. Still I had 3 months subscription left to run, mutter grumble


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