Sir Bruce was the best performer UK has ever produced – Nicholas Parsons

Nicholas Parsons joined some of the nation's biggest stars, including Joan Collins and John Cleese, in paying tribute to the TV great.

TV and radio presenter Nicholas Parsons hailed the “most entertaining performer this country has ever produced” as he paid tribute to Sir Bruce Forsyth.

The Just A Minute host remembered the “exceptional” TV legend as he spoke on BBC News just hours after Sir Bruce’s death at the age of 89 on Friday.

Bruce Forsyth Birthday – London
Sir Bruce celebrated his 80th birthday in style (Anthony Devlin/PA)

He said: “(Sir Bruce) was the most entertaining, multi-talented, all-round performer that this country has ever produced.

“He made you smile. The way he embraced you when you spoke to him came across to the public always.

“He was exceptional.”

Tributes to the former Strictly Come Dancing presenter have poured in from across the show business industry, with Monty Python star, John Cleese, commenting on Twitter: “Really deflated to hear of Brucie’s death. Saw him at the Babbacombe Pavilion in 1958, just before he ‘made it’. I’ve adored him ever since.”

He added: “He was a delight to be with, radiating good will, fun and affection – the model all-round entertainer. As totally loveable as Harry Secombe.”

TV’s comedy duo Ant & Dec posted: “So very sad to hear of the passing of Sir Bruce. A genuine showbiz legend. There will never be another like him. Goodnight Brucie. RIP”

Actress Joan Collins also paid tribute to the “one-of-a-kind” star, while Sherlock writer and actor, Mark Gatiss, remembered the “fabulously rude, irrepressible, one off”.

Liberal Democrats leader and one-off performer on Strictly, Vince Cable, followed in the footsteps of Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as he added: “Sad day with death of Bruce forsyth. Privileged to work with him on Xmas #StrictlyComeDancing. Warm kind and utterly professional man.”

Comedian Rob Brydon passed on “condolences” to Sir Bruce’s family – including his wife, Wilnelia, six children and grandchildren – and This Morning’s Phillip Schofield added: “Rest in peace”.

Stephen Fry wrote: “There was only one #Brucie – it was more than to nice to see you, to see you more than nice.”

Comic and former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins said: “Didn’t he do well. RIP Sir Bruce. xx.”

The swathe of tributes also included comments from George Galloway, Kay Burley and singers Aled Jones and Brian McFadden.

Their comments also follow tributes from singer Boy George, Lord Alan Sugar, Match Of The Day’s Gary Lineker, BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans and Good Morning Britain presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

Comedian and actress Miranda Hart also promised to make her tribute in the form of Sir Bruce’s signature dance move at the curtain call of the West End’s production of Annie, in which she currently plays Miss Hannigan.

TV personality, entertainer and close friend of Sir Bruce, Des O’Connor, told the Press Association: “This is incredibly sad news. Bruce was so very special, he had such warmth and humour and he was such a superb talent.

“He will be irreplaceable in people’s hearts. I have known him a lifetime. I toured with him in the early days. He was brilliant right from the start.

“This is such a sad time – the nation will be heartbroken.”

The Talk of the Town Reunion – London
Sir Bruce Forsyth and Barbara Windsor (PA)

An emotional statement from Dame Barbara Windsor read: “This is the end of a show business era and the last of the truly all round great entertainers that this country has ever produced.

“I am so sad as I was a massive fan and was in awe of his professionalism.

“I was lucky enough to know him and was thrilled to be at his last book launch. He will be so sadly missed by all in show business and his millions of fans.”

She said: “God bless you Bruce and my thoughts are with his beautiful wife Wilnelia who made him so very happy and his family.”

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