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

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

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Whitehall Editor: The spurious Tory endorsement that misfired

Oliver Wright
 

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband hasn’t ‘suddenly’ become a robust leader. He always was

Steve Richards
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence