Bruce Forsyth is set to make a surprise return to the new series of Strictly Come Dancing next month, claims a tabloid newspaper.

Bruce, 86 – who stepped as host down after 11 years – is likely to be seen handing over the glitter ball to former co-host Tess Daly, says the Sunday Mirror.

“It will be a symbolic ceremony. And knowing Bruce, it will be sure to involve a nifty dance move or two,” a Strictly insider is reported as saying.

“It’s great to have him back. He is such an iconic part of the show.

“Also, having him on board will help the BBC go head to head in its annual ratings war with ITV’s The X Factor.”

Tess will now front the show with Claudia Winkleman, but Bruce has already confirmed that he will be returning for a Children in Need Strictly and a Christmas special.

Judge Darcey Bussell said: “We’re not getting rid of him altogether – or he’s not getting rid of us.”

Eight of the 15 celebrities already confirmed for the 12th series of Strictly are: EastEnders star Jake Wood, Casualty star Sunetra Sarker, The Saturdays singer Frankie Sandford, TV presenter Alison Hammond, former rugby player Thom Evans, Blue singer Simon Webbe, former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright and tennic ace Andy Murray’s mum, Judy.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 in September.