I was sorry to hear about the death of Bruce Forsyth, but it’s not the end of my world. I’m reading both tributes about his career and comments from those who hated him. All fair enough. If someone liked or hated Bruce when he was alive, it’s unlikely that will change now he has popped his clogs. I still hate Margaret Thatcher as much as I did when she was alive. Some things will never change.
Forsyth was arguably the greatest entertainer this country has ever produced. He made the Generation Game what it was, he brought Strictly Come Dancing to the top of the ratings pile. He could sing, he could dance, he could play the piano. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying he had a great deal of talent. But no one says you have to like him.
I cannot abide the popular beat combo outfit Queen and find it incomprehensible that anyone could enjoy what passes for their music. Yet the remnants of the band can still fill any stadium in the world. I don’t think I am wrong about Queen, but I’m not right either. I know Brian May plays a mean guitar, I know Freddie Mercury could sing. They just did nothing for me, except wanting to switch them off.
Stories have emerged, as they always do when famous people die, that cast Forsyth in a dark light and in a good light. He was difficult, rude and superior but he was also generous, kind and thoughtful. Maybe he was all of these things, who knows? I am, unsurprisingly, not famous nor especially talented, but there are people who find me difficult and unpleasant. I’m hoping that’s not everyone but, depending on my mood, I know I am not the easiest person in the world to put up with. Maybe that’s the same with Bruce?
If Forsyth had been American, he’d have been up there with the likes of Sammy Davis Junior as a world famous star, filing up the venues in Vegas half the year and touring the rest of the world for the other half. But he was very English, to the point that I suspect the Americans didn’t quite get him.
It’s fair enough not to like Forsyth, although hate is a very strong word, especially for someone you’ve never met and know next to nothing about. He didn’t shut down British industry, starve the NHS of funds or persecute the sick and disabled. Hearsay and anecdotes in place of fact, never a good place.
He made me laugh, sometimes he made me cry. I happen to think he was best all round entertainer of the generations he bestrode, but then some people thought Victoria Wood was funny, so it takes all sorts to make the world go round.