What drives an 87-year-old man to spend two hours on a Norwich stage? For Sir Bruce Forsyth, the answer seems to be a genuine love of entertaining.
Sir Bruce has been performing since he was just 14, with a career that spans singing, dancing, comedy and, perhaps most-famously, game show hosting.
He’s been made a CBE, an OBE and a knight but what he still seems to craves most is an audience’s affection.
Monday night’s show at the Norwich Theatre Royal was a warm up for his return to the London Palladium, his spiritual home, later this month and, despite his long career, was his first visit to Norwich.
Sure the jokes were cheesy, the catchphrases predictable, the singing and piano playing a little hit and miss, the dancing (sat down tap) – er – measured.
But if I’m even alive by 87, let alone commanding a full house to a standing ovation, it’ll be a bloody miracle; and it’s hard to imagine Brucie’s former Strictly Come Dancing co-host Tess Daly ordering a breakfast without the help of an autocue, let alone storming her way through a two-hour set with self-deprecation and a constant, ironic, knowing twinkle.
He was strongest when interacting with the audience: getting four men up on stage to act as his backing dancers; one lucky lady to dance with him; and pledging to support the Canaries in a question and answer session.
But from start to finish this living legend had the audience in the palm of his hand.
So, yes, Brucie, it was very nice to see you.
You’re one of a kind.