Strictly Come Dancing co-host Tess Daly has hit out at suggestions that Bruce Forsyth is getting too old to continue on the show.

Speaking to the Mirror the presenter addressed recent rumours that the launch show took five hours to record due to the 85-year-old’s inability to remember his lines.

“For God’s sake, get a life and have some respect,” she said. “The man is a legend. He is a consummate pro. He does a live show every Saturday night that most people 40 years younger couldn’t do.”

She added that delays in the filming were down to technical issues and had nothing to do with Bruce.

“I was there, and with pre-recorded shows you have to do takes again to get it right,” Tess explained.

“The dances, the opening, they were all filmed more than once and were nothing to do with Bruce. He was on top ‘smoking’ form.”

Tess also revealed that the secret of Bruce’s apparent eternal youth lay in his marriage to former Miss World Wilnelia Merced.

“That’s bound to keep a man young,” she pointed out, “his wife is a goddess.”

And she added: “He exercises morning and night, his posture is excellent and he is very fit. And he is still challenging himself every day in a competitive and stimulating environment.

“He is still at the top of his game.”

The first live Strictly of the series aired on Friday night with six celebrities – including favourites Natalie Gumede and Ashley Taylor Dawson making their dancefloor debuts with their partners.

The show continues on Saturday evening at 7pm on BBC One.