Bruce Forsyth has hinted that his days as Strictly Come Dancing presenter could be numbered – but stopped short of saying he planned to quit the show altogether.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror the veteran entertainer admitted that the show was becoming increasingly hard work – and that he may scale back his duties even more when it returns in the autumn.

“I don’t know how it can be done, but we’re looking at possibilities,” the 85-year-old said. “The Saturday night live show alone can sometimes be five hours work, which a 30-year-old would find hard to do, let alone me at 85. “I’m in talks with the BBC now and we’re thrashing ideas around.”

He added: “I appreciate I’m well past my sell-by date.

“To think I’ve gone 20 years past the expected retirement age is ­incredible and I feel very grateful I’ve stayed well enough to be able to enjoy it.”

Bruce also revealed that he has already eyed up a few potential replacements if he does quit the show.

So many people have been put in the frame,” he admitted. “I adore Anton du Beke… he would be great. And Vernon Kay could do the job very well.

“But I’d love Ant and Dec to do it. I think they’d do an amazing job.”

While Bruce admitted the challenges of hosting Strictly, he said that even if he does leave he has no plans to retire – and is about to head off on the road for his latest live show, which reaches London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 3.

And he revealed his secrets to keeping himself healthy. “I feel OK,” he said. “I get little aches and pains in my joints and thought it might be arthritis, but the doctors have advised me that it’s just wear and tear.

“So every morning I do gentle exercises to wake all my joints up, and at night, while I’m watching TV, I do 10 laps around my bedroom during every commercial break. By the end of a two-hour sitting, I’ve walked over a mile.

“I do think about death, at my age it’s impossible not to,” he added. “I wonder if I’ll wake up tomorrow morning, but it’s not me I worry about.

“I’ve achieved so much and have been so lucky in my life that I won’t be ­leaving this world dissatisfied.”