Entertainment & Arts

Sir Bruce Forsyth bows out from Strictly Come Dancing

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Media captionSir Bruce Forsyth put on his dancing shoes as he said farewell

Sir Bruce Forsyth took part in a special routine on Sunday's Strictly Come Dancing to mark his departure as one of the show's main hosts.

He led a "flashmob" dance in the first episode of the new series before handing over to new presenting duo Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

The veteran host stood down at the end of the last series because he wanted to leave "the rigours" of live TV behind.

Judy Murray and Pixie Lott are among the celebrities taking part this time.

They will be joined by the likes of MasterChef host Gregg Wallace, antiques expert Tim Wonnacott and EastEnders actor Jake Wood.

Image caption Caroline Flack was swept off her feet by new dance partner Pasha Kovalev
Image caption Alison Hammond was paired with Aljaz Skorjanec, who partnered winner Abbey Clancy in 2013

The celebrities discovered the identities of their dance partners on Sunday. The pairings are:

  • Steve Backshall and Ola Jordan
  • Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton
  • Thom Evans and Iveta Lukosiute
  • Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev
  • Jennifer Gibney and Tristan McManus
  • Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec
  • Pixie Lott and Trent Whiddon
  • Scott Mills and Joanne Clifton
  • Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke
  • Sunetra Sarker and Brendan Cole
  • Greg Wallace and Aliona Vilani
  • Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff
  • Tim Wonnacott and Natalie Lowe
  • Jake Wood and Janette Manrara
  • Mark Wright and Karen Hauer

Sunday's show began with 86-year-old Sir Bruce leading a dance routine into the studio before Daly and Winkleman took over.

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Media captionSir Bruce Forsyth on passing the baton to Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly

Sir Bruce will continue to present one-off specials, such as the Christmas and Children in Need editions.

When he stepped down as the weekly host, he said: "[Live television] takes its toll when you've been doing it for many years, it's a pressure thing.

"But I'm not retiring, that's the last thing in the world I want to do. This isn't Brucie walking into the sunset."

The show went head-to-head with ITV's X Factor on Sunday. Saturday's edition of X Factor was watched by an average of 8.7 million people, according to overnight ratings.

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