113 Reality TV Blog

'Strictly Come Dancing' poll: Who could replace Bruce Forsyth?

The question of who could replace Sir Bruce Forsyth as the host of Strictly Come Dancing has been posed many times during the show's ten-year stretch, but it has reared its head again notably this year.

Forsyth, now 84, is still firing out his so-bad-they're-good gags and packs more charisma than 37 Reggie Yates, but even the old-stager had to take a planned week-long hiatus this year to ensure that he was in good health for the show's Wembley extravaganza.

Strictly Come Dancing at Wembley: Bruce and Tess welcome the crowd.


Hosting Britain's biggest entertainment show at an age when most of us would happily be sat in a rocking chair with a pile of Sudoku and a Horlicks is bloody impressive, but there's no way he can carry on forever.

The BBC could call Strictly to an end when Sir Brucie calls it a day, but with the ballroom dance contest still going from strength to strength in the ratings, it would be a bold, and arguably reckless, move to cast aside their Saturday night smash.

But who could possibly step into Brucie's dancing shoes? Reality Bites has collected up the potential replacements.

Graham Norton
Jerry Hall and Anton Du Beke


Graham Norton
When he arrived at the BBC, the broadcaster searched in vain for a Saturday night light entertainment hit for Norton. To date, his only success came with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical series. Could Norton's natural charm transfer to the BBC ballroom?

Anton du Beke
Brucie's best mate on the show and an expert in the world of ballroom, Anton du Beke would jump at the chance to take over the Strictly mantle. Whether he has the presenting skills and weight to front such a big TV show is debatable. His other TV experience consists of daytime cookery shows and the much-missed Hole in the Wall.

Vernon Kay

© Rex Features

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

© PA Images

Vernon Kay
Vernon Kay was for many years seen as the natural successor to Brucie. Married to co-host Tess Daly, a good friend of Forsyth (who he frequently cites as a hero), he seemed like a sensible fit. However, with his private life exploits having been splashed over the tabloids and a lack of buzz around him these days (dropped from Radio 1, several TV flops), he doesn't seem like the safest bet anymore.

Ronnie Corbett
The legendary comic stood in for Brucie once before when his old friend was sick, and the tabloids suggested that the BBC was looking at him as a permanent replacement option. We'd like to hope this was tabloid nonsense, because replacing one 84-year-old TV presenter with another in his 80s sounds bonkers to us. Plus, we'd have to refrain from giggling every week as the little fella only comes up to Tess Daly's waist.

John Barrowman and his dogs Charlie, Captain Jack and Harris
Strictly Come Dancing 2012: Claudia Winkleman


John Barrowman
Another light entertainment host, who the BBC have tried and previously failed to turn into Mr Saturday Night. His name is always on the bookmakers' lists of possible replacements and he's done the Strictly Christmas special, so he's got that to his credit. But we can't help but feel that Mr Barrowman's ever-so-slightly exuberant style may grate on some of the Strictly die-hards.

Claudia Winkleman
We've got a real soft spot for old Winkles, she turned spinoff show It Takes Two into must-watch TV and we barely noticed Brucie was gone when she stood in for him earlier this month. The BBC will no doubt be its usual cautious self about the idea of two female hosts, but if Claudia is up for it, she'd be our first pick for the job.

Ant and Dec, IACGMOOH 2012


Great British Bake Off 2012 contestants: Presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc

© BBC / Love Productions

Ant & Dec
We're 99.99% sure they wouldn't go behind the backs of ITV and their old pal Simon Cowell, but when it comes to Saturday night TV hits, Ant & Dec have the safest pair of hands in the business. And who knows, after the debacle that was Red or Black and many years of BGT and I'm a Celeb, maybe they'd fancy a change of scenery.

Mel & Sue
Our rogue longshot for the Strictly gig would be this Great British Bake Off duo. They've proved that they can do mass appeal with the BBC Two cake-making monster, but hiring them both would probably mean dropping Tess Daly, which seems unlikely.

And the rest...
Paul O'Grady and Cilla Black leave Scotts restaurant in Mayfair, London

© WENN / Spiller

Davina Mccall

© Rex Features

We haven't nearly exhausted the list of possible Strictly hosts. Davina McCall, Paul O'Grady, Terry Wogan, Gethin Jones, Holly Willoughby, Chris Hollins, Chris Evans... we could go on. Whether any of them would want to take the job is another matter altogether.

Poll: Who would you like to replace Bruce Forsyth if he retires?
Graham Norton15.31%
Anton du Beke22.68%
Vernon Kay8.32%
Ronnie Corbett3.55%
John Barrowman8.67%
Claudia Winkleman29.00%
Ant & Dec4.10%
Mel & Sue3.19%
Other (say in the comments box below)5.18%
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