Bruce Forsyth speaks of knighthood joy

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The Independent Online

Sir Bruce Forsyth described his joy at being knighted by the Queen today and vowed to keep on entertaining the country.

The veteran performer received the honour at Buckingham Palace after years of campaigning by fans.

Strictly Come Dancing host Sir Bruce was championed by a Facebook campaign, newspapers and even a parliamentary Early Day Motion, signed by 73 MPs, before the accolade was announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The 83-year-old entertainer looked ecstatic after the ceremony and said: "It's absolutely wonderful to get the knighthood.

"It's been a thing that's been going on for a long time but it's not often one can say the press has been right behind you in my business - but they have been.

"Entertaining - it's been the only thing I've ever wanted to do and I've done it for many, many years. Who feels like quitting? I want to go on."

Earlier, in the palace's magnificent ballroom, the television star was called forward by his full name - Sir Bruce Forsyth-Johnson - and knelt on a velvet investiture stool to receive the accolade.

He was dubbed a knight by the Queen, who lightly touched him on the shoulder with a sword that belonged to her father, George VI.

The king used the ceremonial weapon when he was colonel of the Scots Guards while Duke of York, before being crowned.

As he emerged from the ballroom, Sir Bruce called out "Good luck" to honours recipients on their way to receive their awards.

One joked "We were impressed to see you get off your knees" and the entertainer replied: "That was an effort, I can tell you."

Sir Bruce was watched by the investiture audience, who included his Puerto Rican-born wife Wilnelia, a former Miss World, their 24-year-old son Jonathan Joseph, known as JJ, and his daughters from previous marriages Charlotte, 34, and Laura, 48.

The veteran performer is one of the last of Britain's song and dance men who learned their craft from an early age appearing on variety bills and at musical halls across the country.

Sir Bruce's career has spanned almost 70 years - 53 of those in television - and has seen him become one of the country's leading light entertainers.

He has presented popular TV shows like The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and, most recently, the popular series Strictly Come Dancing.

The 83-year-old is famed for greeting television audiences with his well known catchphrase, "Nice to see you, to see you nice".

During the ceremony the television star shared a few words with the Queen.

Sir Bruce said: "She said thank you for entertaining the country for such a long time, she was very much on that wave length.

"But she was most intrigued about how long I'd been in showbusiness. I think she was a bit shocked when I said (almost) 70 years.

"She was asking how old I was when I started and I told her 14, during the war, when you could leave school at 14 and go and work helping the war effort.

"I went on the stage and was travelling up and down the country during the blitz travelling on trains and sleeping in the luggage racks."