TV presenter Bruce Forsyth tells TV Times magazine what to expect in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing (Saturday, Sept 10, BBC1), and reveals what people say to him in the supermarket!
Hi Bruce! We can’t believe it’s nearly Strictly time again!
“It doesn’t seem possible that it’s back again, it’s been such a quick year! I hope we get as good a bunch of celebrities as last time – that series was so big and they’ll be a hard act to follow.”
But we will be seeing the return of the glamorous red carpet launch show, which made its debut last year?
“Yes. I think it’s a wonderful idea to introduce them to their partners and the great thing is they all go training for two weeks so I can get away to Spain and play a little bit of golf! It’s exciting because they really don’t know who they’re going to be paired with, which makes good television.”
Are you looking forward to presenting the new series?
“It’s a format that is true and tried and you know you’ve got your public waiting for you. If I’m walking down the street or in the supermarket, people say, ‘When’s it coming back?’ or ‘Who’s in it?’
“It’s a lovely feeling and one that you don’t get too often in showbusiness so when I get it, I enjoy it!”
Do you think we’ll be seeing another pairing like Anton du Beke and Ann Widdecombe?
“I’ll never forget Anton’s face when he saw Ann Widdecombe. It was a face of delight because he knew they would be the best comedy act we’ve ever had! But it would be marvellous if we had another Ann because she was such wonderful value, I adored her. I’d like to see Boris Johnson on there too, that would be fantastic!”
We’ve also heard that the show will move to Wembley arena on Saturday, November for one night in aid of Children in Need, and the grand final will be held at Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom…
“I think it’s marvellous because we’ll get the wonderful atmosphere that only a big audience can give you. I’ve never performed at Wembley, so it’ll be a new thing for me – I’m looking forward to it!”
This year will also be the first time you can come down those famous stairs as ‘Sir Bruce Forsyth’!
“People ask me if I feel any different – I don’t, but everyone else has changed. A lot of people do call me ‘Sir Bruce’ now which is a nice feeling, it’s much more friendly than calling me ‘Mr Forsyth’. I’m getting used to it and if people want to call me ‘Sir’, that’s lovely and if they don’t then that’s fine as well. I’m certainly not going to correct people!”
You must be hugely proud that Strictly has given such a boost to ballroom dancing?
“It was more or less a dead profession in this country, but Strictly made it big business again. Now when people arrange their weddings they’re also looking for someone to teach them their first dance, so it’s resurrected ballroom dancing in a wonderful way.”
Why do you think Strictly is so successful?
“It’s probably the only family show on TV, and I’m including The X Factor in that, because we get a very varied audience from children to old people. It’s what I’ve been used to all my life, working to family audiences, whereas The X Factor is mainly watched by teenagers. They get wonderful ratings and good luck to them, there’s room for two big shows on television and I’m so glad that we’re both on.”