Justin Lee Collins says that Brucie should step down from hosting Strictly Come Dancing. He's right.
There should always be a space for Brucie on British television, but it shouldn't necessarily be a weekly live show that usually runs for over an hour. When he was on the Gen Game, he was the best ringmaster TV's ever had - watch those old recordings and you'll see a man in complete control of his domain, making sure that hapless punters hit their marks and get the laughs. The Equity strike-bound Sunday Night at the London Palladium featuring just him and Norman Wisdom is a breathless masterclass in entertainment, and I speak as someone for whom a little Wisdom goes a very very long way. Unfortunately, I can't watch Strictly without thinking "Oh, Bruce, no" far too many times for my own good.
As in so many things, Wogan leads the way. He's going from the Radio 2 breakfast show on his own terms, with ratings higher than ever, and with the grace to wish his successor the very best. I think the experience of his BBC1 chat show still haunts him - he overstayed his welcome there and had to take a lot of flak from the press as a result. Live and learn. He also stepped down from the Eurovision Song Contest on an apparent point of principle, with honour intact. Despite being one of his greatest fans, I sensed him descending further into self-parody year by year, and am glad he got out when he did. The only downer there was that the commentary job didn't go to Paddy O'Connell, who gets Eurosong utterly and would have been great, but I have to admit that my dire predictions for Graham Norton's commentary didn't come to pass, and the whole experience began an unlikely rehabilitation of Norton, compounded by his pitch-perfect 'one foot in the grave' dig at Michael McIntyre on BAFTA night.
As I type, a solution has occurred to me. Make Forsyth one of the judges. He'd be there and he could bring his full experience to bear on the situation, but he wouldn't have to carry the whole show. Failing that, just shove him in TC1 with a piano, an orchestra, Tarby, Lynchy, some chairs, some tap shoes and an audience. Agreeing with Justin Lee Collins is slightly annoying, by the way. I hear from people in the industry that he's a sweetie, and that's nice to know, but it doesn't stop me thinking that he should step down from television.