Sir Bruce Forsyth pulls out of tomorrow's Strictly with flu - but he'll be back next week

Audiences get a one-week respite from the TV veteran's jokes

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The Independent Culture

Sir Bruce Forsyth will not host tomorrow’s Strictly Come Dancing after being taken ill with flu.

Sir Bruce, 85, last missed a programme because of illness in 2009. He will be replaced by Claudia Winkleman for Saturday’s show.

The entertainment veteran, who fronts the show with Tess Daly, has hosted the series since its launch in 2004.

The BBC said: “Sir Bruce Forsyth has the flu and therefore isn't feeling well enough to present tomorrow's Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1. The show looks forward to his return next week.”

It has been rumoured that the current series of Strictly will be Sir Bruce’s last. His friend Ronnie Corbett alleged last month that the TV veteran found filming too tiring to continue.

Producers regularly schedule rest weeks into Sir Bruce's schedule during the series to help him cope with the workload of fronting three months of weekly live programmes.

Saturday will see 15 celebrity couples take to the dance-floor, including Vanessa Feltz, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Hairy Biker Dave Myers. It will be the first time the phone lines open to the public after the celebrities took to the stage last weekend.

Viewers will learn which celebrity gets sent home on Sunday night’s results show.

Golfer Tony Jacklin is currently the bookies’ favourite to leave the show, with odds of 5-6.