Sir Bruce Forsyth has died at the age of 89, his manager has said.
The TV entertainer best known for hosting the Generation Game and Strictly Come Dancing died at his home on Friday afternoon, with his wife, Wilnelia, and all of his children beside him.
He had recently contracted bronchial pneumonia.
His manager, Ian Wilson said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that the Forsyth family announce that Sir Bruce passed away this afternoon, peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Wilnelia and all his children.
“A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last 18 months.
“With a twinkle in his eye, he responded ‘I’ve been very, very busy … being ill!’ Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.
“The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have sent cards and letters to Bruce wishing him well over his long illness and know that they will share in part, the great, great loss they feel.”
His manager asked that the privacy of Fosyth’s family be respected.
The BBC director general, Tony Hall, said: “Sir Bruce was one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decades, with shows like the Generation Game and, most recently, Strictly. His warmth and his wit were legendary.
“I’ve never seen anyone quite like him when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. He had a remarkable chemistry with his audience – that’s what made him such an amazing professional and why he was so loved. He has been part of all of our lives, and we’ll miss him dearly.”
Since news of his death broke, broadcasting stars who worked alongside Forsyth have been posting their tributes on social media.
Tess Daly, who co-starred with Forsyth on Strictly for 11 years, praised his “brilliant sense of humour”.
“There are no words to describe how heartbroken I am to be told the saddest news, that my dear friend Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away,” Daly said. “From the moment we met, Bruce and I did nothing but laugh our way through a decade of working together on Strictly Come Dancing and I will never forget his generosity, his brilliant sense of humour and his drive to entertain the audiences he so loved.
“He has been there for me as a co-host, a mentor, but most importantly as a friend, and I’m extremely fortunate to have worked alongside the man who defined Saturday night entertainment for so many decades. He was a gentleman and a true legend and I will miss him deeply. My heart goes out to Winnie, his wife, and his beautiful family at this sad time.”