Age catches up to us all sometimes. And to be fair, when you’re 84, you’re entitled to a little lie down. Bruce Forsyth, walking medical wonder and epitome of “slightly strange but ultimately harmless old man” is getting to the stage in his career where he can’t front a television show for its full run.
Bruce, who you can see to your right sizing up his gold funeral mask which will be placed on his corpse after embalming once he eventually dies (which, let’s face it, either has to be soon or we have to start worrying about his permanence), has been around literally forever. And that’s not a misuse of the word.You see, for many people history is a very visual thing: it begins when the first television was invented. And back then Bruce Forsyth was practically one of the first people to welcome people to ‘Saturday Night at the Palladium’, a catch-all variety show. It’s no wonder that people genuinely consider him to be ancient and a permanent fixture in their lives. He has always been there.
And he always looked old, even when he was in fact a supposedly fresh-faced 24-year old.
But shit’s getting real now. Bruce is getting doddery. Want proof? How about this revelation by The Daily Mail about the filming of his Saturday night show, Strictly Come Dancing:
Off-stage, a crew member was on hand to guide him past the judges’ podium to make sure he did not trip over a set of steps.
That’s right. We’re practically guiding a poor old man on and off-stage without him being aware of his surroundings. When you don’t acknowledge the existence of steps, you know you’re in trouble. See that picture up there? The one above, with him in a plush sitting room? That’s Bruce’s cry for freedom. That’s him demonstrating that by now he’s just a puppet – a robot.
He’s showing you his bendable limbs in such an awkward way to try and put across how he’s simply nothing more than an aged Ken doll being moved about for the entertainment of millions, who want to see an old man try hard but ultimately fail. Maybe he’s inhuman. Maybe he’ll last forever. But we need to start caring for the aged. We live in a society which looks to the young, not the old. And we’re not looking after this old man. We’re putting him through a particularly cruel and difficult punishment: gurning for an audience of 10 million every Saturday night.
Look beyond the smile and into the man’s eyes. This is a person who just wants to be tucked up in bed with a Horlicks. Let him be, BBC. Let him be.