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Ipswich: Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor praises ‘inspirational’ Sir Bruce Forsyth after presenter leaves BBC1 show

19:19 04 April 2014

Ipswich and Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor has said Sir Bruce Forsyth will be “immensely missed” after the showbusiness veteran announced he was stepping down as presenter of the hit BBC1 series.

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Ipswich and Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor and dance partner Deborah Meaden. Photo: PAIpswich and Strictly Come Dancing star Robin Windsor and dance partner Deborah Meaden. Photo: PA

The 86-year-old said today it was the “right time to step down from the rigours” of hosting the live shows which have become Saturday night ratings winners.

The future of Sir Bruce, 86, on the show had been a cause of speculation for some months. He had already scaled back some of his commitments, stepping down from the weekly results show and writing occasional rest weeks into his deal with show bosses.

And Robin, a former Clifford Road Primary and Copleston High school pupil and one of Strictly’s leading professional dancers, said Sir Bruce will “always remain part of the show’s furniture”.

“He is a national institution,” said Robin, who claimed Sir Bruce has played a key role in the success of the ballroom show which has defeated ITV rival X Factor in the Saturday night ratings war in recent years.

“I’m not really that surprised that Sir Bruce has stepped down because he has slowly been leaving the show, like not doing some results shows, but he will be immensely missed. Strictly is where he belongs.”

He described working with Sir Bruce as “amazing”, praising the entertainer for continuing to show the same enthusiastic commitment which has shaped a career stretching back to the 1950s.

“To have hosted the biggest show on TV at the age of 86 is quite remarkable,” he said.

“For someone to still be as determined to succeed after 70-odd years in the industry is an inspiration to everybody.

“He is absolutely incredible behind the scenes on a Saturday before we go live. He is singing and dancing and engaging with the audience. Every week he brings something new out to make the show what it is. The show would not have been what it is today without him. He has helped make Strictly what it is.”

He added: “I couldn’t wait to work with him and have learnt a lot. He has absolutely matched my expectations. When he walks in to a room he does not have to say a word – that is (the influence) he has. He is someone everyone looks up to.”

Sir Bruce is expected to continue to work on pre-recorded Strictly shows for Christmas and Children In Need as well as one-off BBC specials, and said he will also be performing in theatres.

Sir Bruce said today: “After 10 wonderful years and 11 series, I believe it is now the right time to step down from the rigours of presenting the Strictly live shows.

“I am very proud of what the show has achieved and confident it will entertain the nation for many years to come. I am also delighted that by presenting the Christmas and Children In Need shows I will continue to have a strong association with Strictly.

“In addition, I am looking forward to the specials planned with the BBC as well as some live theatre shows, so before anyone asks, I am not retiring quite yet.”

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