TV legend Bruce Forsyth has said he is “very proud” after receiving a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The 83-year-old co-host of Strictly Come Dancing said he thought it was a hoax when he received the letter informing him of the honour, which comes after a long campaign by fans and friends.

“We were doubtful because it’s been going on so long, the speculation, we thought it might be a hoax so we did check all the way down the line that it was real,” Bruce said.

As well as an Internet campaign, a motion in parliament supported by 73 MPs called for Bruce to be knighted.

He said, “Michael Grade put in a very good word, even Elton John put into print ‘Why hasn’t Bruce received this honour?’.”

Bruce added that he was not sure what he would say to the Queen, saying that he had found it “nerve-racking” when he went to the Palace to collect his CBE in 2006.

However the TV veteran said he was looking forward to celebrating the good news with his wife Wilnelia, who is currently in her native Puerto Rico.

“I did feel as happy for my wife as I did for me and I can’t wait to call her my lady,” he said.

And he told the BBC that finally getting the knighthood was almost a relief.

“When I got the CBE there’d been speculation every year and I think there’s been too much talk about it, so I’m thrilled at last it has happened,” he said.

“I feel very proud that my career hasn’t been in vain. I just love getting out there and performing and this is a reward that I never expected and hope I’m worthy of.”

Strictly co-host Tess Daly also congratulated Bruce, calling him “Britain’s greatest living all-round entertainer”.

“Does this mean I’ll have to curtsy now at the start of each show?” she joked.