Farewell to King of Saturday TV

We all know that Britons are at their most comfortable when discussing the weather and what they have planned for the weekend but these topics are in danger of being usurped by our obsession with celebrity deaths.

Given that getting into a debate about the current state of the Government, either here or anywhere else, is likely to result in the loss of teeth, then inane chat about which obscure former soap actor or ex drummer of a forgotten 1970s glam rock outfit has died recently is usually the best way to break the ice.

I find it hard to get too upset about the passing of most complete strangers, even if they did once did appear on Wogan in the early nineties, but there has long been a fashion for people rushing to their laptops or smartphones to register their upset at the passing of famous folk.

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Politicians are among the most adept at this, although the cynic in the majority of us suspects their motivation in typing a pithy one-line tribute is to demonstrate just how in touch with the rest of us they really are. However, there was every justification for the eruption of public sadness which met the death of the King of Saturday night television, Sir Bruce Forsyth last week. Politicians of every persuasion were joined by former colleagues, friends, acquaintances, celebrities and members of the public, with whom the man with the most recognisable profile in showbusiness had struck a chord. Although not personally a huge fan of the shows with which he became synonymous, the likes of the Generation Game and Strictly Come Dancing will always have a place in our hearts as they represent an almost bygone era, one in which television viewing was a mass participation event.

In the days before multiplex cinemas and Sky Plus, Britain was a land of just four television channels which meant that, not only was choice limited, but the stars of the small screen were in some way more beloved.

Brucie had been away from our screens for the past few years and light entertainment had already become all the more poorer for it.

We really won’t ever see his like again.