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'Strictly': Ronnie Corbett to replace Bruce Forsyth as host next year?

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Ronnie Corbett is rumoured to have been lined up as a possible replacement for Bruce Forsyth on Strictly Come Dancing.

Show producers are said to be planning to approach a number of alternative hosts in case the 84-year-old decides to step down next year.

Strictly Come Dancing, Tess and Bruce

© BBC



According to The Mirror, Corbett, 81, and professional dancer Anton du Beke - who has been on the BBC show since the start - are being considered as Forsyth's successors.

Claudia Winkleman, who used to present Strictly spinoff It Takes Two and now fills in for Forsyth on the Sunday results shows, is also being touted as an option.

"It's the first time we are hearing there could be movement with Bruce," a source told the paper.

"In previous years it's never even been spoken of. But ­producers seem to think that this year is [Forsyth's] last and they need to be prepared."

Both Winkleman and Corbett have previously filled in for Forsyth, with Winkleman hosting last Saturday's programme so the entertainer could rest in preparation for last night's Wembley Arena live show (November 18).

Strictly Come Dancing Week 6: Claudia and Tess

© BBC

Queen Elizabeth II presents Ronnie Corbett with his Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace

© PA Images



Forsyth - who was last month named by Guinness World Records as the longest-serving male TV entertainer - had never voluntarily missed filming before last night.

"Ronnie's name is being mentioned around set and people seem to think it could mean Bruce is on the way out," the insider continued.

"Ronnie was never allowed to be a ­contestant in case things with Bruce did come to an end and he was able to step in. He has the right temperament for the show, and viewers love him.

"He makes people smile and is full of life for his age. If Bruce is ready to go Ronnie is one solid option."

Strictly Come Dancing Week 5: Bruce and the showgirls

© BBC



The source was keen to emphasise that the BBC want to retain Forsyth's involvement in Strictly for as long as possible.

"Brucie can't go on for ever," they said. "He's had a good innings but eventually he is going to want a quieter life. And even if he wasn't the main presenter he'd probably feature in some way.

"He's been struggling with the autocue this year more than ever. All the signs are there that he could bow out."

The current series of Strictly is one of the most popular ever and last week averaged 10.4m viewers across the two weekend shows. It has also consistently beaten ITV rival The X Factor in the ratings war.

"Bruce is a living legend and an integral part of Strictly," said BBC One controller Danny Cohen when asked about the rumours.

"He and only he will decide when it's time to leave the ballroom."

Strictly continues with the results show tonight at 7.20pm. The programme will also feature a performance by Girls Aloud.

Strictly Come Dancing week seven - in pictures

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