‘He had that cheeky twinkle in his eye”: Sir Bruce Forsyth’s former Portsmouth soundman pays tribute

Sir Bruce Forsyth. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire
Sir Bruce Forsyth. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

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A FORMER soundman for Sir Bruce Forsyth has paid tribute to the legendary entertainer after he died at 89.

The former host of The Generation Game and Strictly Come Dancing passed away at home on Friday.

Mike Devereux. 

Picture: Malcolm Wells

Mike Devereux. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Mike Devereux, managing director of Farlington-based communications firm Nevada, worked with Sir Bruce throughout the 1970s.

The 69-year-old first met him when he played a charity gig at the Portsmouth Guildhall in aid of the city’s football club.

He said: ‘You could see Bruce loved the audience, and they loved him.

‘He had that cheeky twinkle in his eye but there was also a steely determination to be the best at what he did.

He had that cheeky twinkle in his eye but there was also a steely determination to be the best at what he did.

Mike Devereux

‘He was a perfectionist and nothing was left to chance.’

Mike revealed that while supporting him during a one-man show in Bradford, Bruce had pulled him aside and asked about how good the shows were of actor John Inman, who Mike had worked with shortly before.

Mike, who also worked alongside Sir Elton John, Des O’Connor and Tommy Cooper, said: ‘I was shocked at how professional and talented Bruce was.

‘I will miss him and the country will miss him greatly.

Picture: Pete Dadds

Picture: Pete Dadds

‘I was just in awe. He could always relate to the audience.

‘I don’t think there will be another entertainer like him.’

In a statement following Sir Bruce’s death, manager Ian Wilson said: ‘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.’

The television star was taken to hospital in March and spent five nights in intensive care after developing a severe chest infection, according to reports.

His former Strictly co-host Tess Daly said in a statement: ‘[Bruce] was a gentleman and a true legend and I will miss him deeply.’