Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Sir Bruce's marriage has survived his jokes'

Share
Related Topics

Who knew that when Bruce Forsyth (31 years before he was awarded his knighthood) interviewed some beauties at a Miss World Gala he asked Miss Turkey, "And what do you eat for Christmas?"?

It is hilariously funny, although the response from Miss Turkey, Fahriye Funda Ayloglu, from Istanbul, is lost in the mists of time, so I cannot definitely confirm that she laughed. The chances are she had no idea what Brucie was talking about, the Turkish for "turkey" being "bir hindi", which would have given him a cracking religious confusion gag had he only taken the trouble to translate.

If it turns out that she didn't laugh, it might have been because she was too busy explaining that, what with 96 per cent of the Turkish population being Muslim, and only 1 per cent Christian, the birth of Jesus isn't a huge deal there. Or she might well have had a stab at ironic wit, and told him that on 25 December the Turks prefer to feast on doner kebabs with cranberry in place of the usual chilli sauce, and lashings of Turkish Delight for afters.

Unless some deranged Brucie historian had the time and ambition to plough through the pageant archive – and nice to see such archive material it would be, to see it nice – we will never know what she said.

What we do know, however, is that the future Sir Bruce did not marry Fahriye Funda Ayloglu. Instead, he wed another beauty queen, Wilnelia Merced from Puerto Rico. They met each other that very night and I like to think she fell in love when she heard him asking the turkey question. Despite their near 30-year age gap, their marriage has survived his jokes, and they live in some splendour near excellent golf courses in Virginia Water.

The survival of Miss World is at least as surprising. Like Sir Bruce, who joined Lady Forsyth on stage earlier this year to celebrate its 60th anniversary, it goes on after what might indulgently be called its best. Since it appears to have failed to achieve the prime wish of contestants, ie, world peace, its greatest achievement must be to have brought Bruce and Wilnelia together. For that alone, we wish it, the happy couple and indeed the people of Turkey, the merriest of Christmases.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Day In a Page

Read Next
MP David Lammy would become the capital’s first black mayor if he won the 2016 Mayoral election  

Crime, punishment and morals: we’re entering a maze with no clear exit

Simon Kelner
 

The two most important parts of Obama’s legacy could be on the brink of collapse, and this time there's no back-up plan

David Usborne
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all