Despite his his break from Strictly Come Dancing, Brucie's co-host Tess Daly insists he's not slowing up
00:01 GMT, 9 November 2012
As Sir Bruce Forsyth prepares to take a weekend break from Strictly Come Dancing, rumours circulate yet again about his future as frontman.
His co-presenter Tess Daly will take over the 84-year-old’s role tomorrow night, pairing up with her Sunday sidekick Claudia Winkleman.
It’s a sign of confidence in the female presenting duo from BBC executives. When Brucie took a night off sick in 2009, Ronnie Corbett filled in. However, Tess, 41, insists the Beeb has not discussed a succession plan for Bruce.
Quite a team: Tess Daly, right, says she has become such good friends with her co-host Bruce Forsyth, left, that they can almost finish each other's sentences
She tells me: ‘The BBC knows he’s an asset. You’ve got to respect someone who’s been in our living rooms for most of our lifetimes. They accept that and treat him accordingly.’
Tess also denies Bruce’s age is a problem. ‘Sure, he’s 84 but, boy, he doesn’t act it,’ she says.
‘If you have a conversation with Bruce, age isn’t even an issue because he is so fully present. He has that mischievous, wicked glint in his eye.
‘He’s always looking for the gag, he’s always dancing, he won’t stay still. I just think he’s phenomenal really.’
She points out that Bruce still insists on personally warming up the studio audience before Strictly goes live on Saturday nights.
And she wants her partnership with him to continue for years. ‘We’re good friends, we trust each other. We can almost finish each other’s sentences.’
Andrew Neil takes Dim view of David's delay
The BBC is facing more criticism of its breaking-news reporting following its live coverage of the U.S. election results.
Presenter David Dimbleby, 74, was widely criticised for waiting more than ten minutes after the race had been called to inform BBC1 viewers that Barack Obama had won.
At the same time, viewers took to Twitter to ask why Andrew Neil — presenter of the Beeb’s political shows This Week and The Sunday Politics — was not in the reporting team.
Twitter storm: BBC viewers questioned why Andrew Neil wasn't part of the American election reporting team
Neil, 63, also seemed annoyed at the delay and his exclusion.
On the night itself he tweeted: ‘President Obama is re-elected. As I told you many hours ago.’ And he retweeted messages from discontented viewers, including Sam Colson’s: ‘The Beeb could learn some lessons from your coverage’ and James Asser’s: ‘BBC coverage is dreadful. Why isn’t Andrew Neil doing it’
Matthew McGovern tweeted: ‘He should be fronting the BBC’s coverage not tweeting about results.’
My source said: ‘Andrew would clearly have loved to have been hosting the coverage instead of David.’
It's looking unlikely Dannii Minogue will return as a judge on X Factor
As the X Factor haemorrhages even more viewers, bosses fear ITV1 may axe the show — once the biggest in Britain.
Saturday’s programme slumped to a peak audience of just 8.3 million — 2.5 million fewer than arch-rival Strictly. At this rate, the final on December 9 will be the least watched since Steve Brookstein won the first series in 2004.
A senior show source said: ‘We’re battling to save The X Factor right now. If it keeps going like this, ITV might not even want to renew the show after next year.’
Show boss Simon Cowell is partly blaming the judges, especially ‘humourless’ Gary Barlow.
A major shake-up is planned for next year, which could see presenter Dermot O’Leary replaced by Xtra Factor’s Olly Murs and Caroline Flack or The Voice’s Holly Willoughby.
But plans to lure back Dannii Minogue as a judge have been dealt a blow. Her current show Australia’s Got Talent has now been snapped up by the country’s Channel 9 after being dropped by a rival. A source says: ‘She’s absolutely not looking to return to X Factor.’
Musical novice Chris Moyles is desperate to do a send-up of Jesus Christ Superstar — but fears Lord Lloyd-Webber will put the kibosh on it.
The ex-Radio 1 DJ, who played King Herod in a recent JCSS tour, says: ‘I’m seriously thinking of doing a parody. But I know when I mention it to Andrew he’ll smile but he won’t let me anywhere near the lyrics — and I need his approval. I think he’d be horrified by the idea of letting me loose.’
Moyles, 38, said his Herod role was ‘the best thing I’ve done in my life’.
UB40 frontman Ali Campbell has a surprising man to thank for his comeback. After being declared bankrupt a year ago, he has found fame Down Under as a judge on Simon Cowell’s New Zealand’s Got Talent, working alongside Rod Stewart’s ex, Rachel Hunter. A source says: ‘Simon believes everyone should get a second chance.’