So, just what has the Queen got against this man?

It's always nice to see him, to see him nice – but, yet again, there's no knighthood for Bruce Forsyth

It's not as if the Queen doesn't know who he is, the veteran entertainer has performed in front of Her Majesty at least five times at the Royal Variety Performance. But for some reason she seems not to be amused by Bruce Forsyth's soft-shoe shuffle and cheesy patter.

For, while sliding down a hill very quickly was enough to win Amy Williams an MBE for services to sport – she won gold on the skeleton in this year's Winter Olympics – a lifetime in entertainment, and presenting one of TV's most popular shows at the age of 82, doesn't warrant a knighthood.

Politicians and showbusiness stars yesterday expressed their dismay that Brucie has once again been overlooked, despite a long-standing campaign to honour the veteran television host's 71-year career.

True, his schtick lacks the post-ironic flourish of some younger, less polished pretenders. And there's a whiff of the unreconstructed around some of his gags. But if you open an encyclopaedia and look up National Treasure, there he'll be; smile glinting out of the page.

All of which makes it hard to fathom why – when Vicki Michelle, who starred in the 1980s' television comedy 'Allo 'Allo, was awarded an MBE, and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones a CBE – Forsyth, and the 25,000 people who signed a Facebook campaign to see him knighted, are still denied.

Claudia Winkleman, presenter of Strictly Come Dancing spin-off show Strictly – It Takes Two, said last night: "He should definitely have a knighthood and I for one am livid he hasn't." Veteran entertainer Nicholas Parsons added: "He's been an institution. He's also done a lot for charity ... he definitely deserves it."

The chief executive of Channel 5, Dawn Airey, said that "it was odd" that Brucie had missed out again. "I've grown up with him," she said, "from The Generation Game to Strictly Come Dancing .... Honours are about a body of work and it's very hard to see who can beat him. It just shows the idiosyncrasies of the honours system."

TV presenter Sarah Beeny pointed out that Brucie's catchphrases are embedded in the national psyche. "Some are so ingrained in us that they almost belong in the English dictionary," she said. "I use 'Brucie Bonus' a lot, and have used 'Nice to see you, to see you nice'. For that alone, he should be knighted."

Two years ago, 73 MPs signed an Early Day Motion calling for Forsyth to be knighted. Yesterday, politicians were still angry at the snub.

Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, said: "He has always provided entertainment of a highly professional standard. I have encountered him on Strictly Come Dancing, and I think he does it brilliantly." And Lib Dem whip Bob Russell said: "When you look at those who have knighthoods, you have to ask, why hasn't Bruce? There is something utterly class-ridden and snobbish in Britain. He has entertained generations and his appearance in Have I Got News for You is testament to his talent. The honours list is anything but transparent – it's opaque."

Earlier this year, Bruce, who was awarded a CBE in 2006, said "a knighthood would be nice for the family", with characteristic modesty. "The public campaign to get me knighted was flattering, and I am happy with my CBE. The greats of British light entertainment, like the Eric Morecambes and Tommy Coopers, are rarely recognised and that's a shame," he added.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office, which recommends people for honours, said: "We can only comment on people who have won awards. Mr Forsyth was delighted to be awarded the CBE."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue