My friend Brucie was joking (and battling on) right to the very end: Bruce Forsyth's closest showbiz buddy JIMMY TARBUCK gives a deeply moving insight into star's final days

Mail Online | 10/27/1963 | Jimmy Tarbuck For The Mail On Sunday
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It was just one month ago that I went round to Bruce’s house for what I know now was to be the last time.

Kenny Lynch, the comedian, came with us and we had the most wonderful afternoon of ‘men’s talk’ – which is to say we sat there chatting nonsense.

None - Chickens - Group - Schoolboys

None of us were spring chickens, but we were still going on like a group of overgrown schoolboys.

Wilnelia, his wife, made us some sandwiches and a large pot of tea, saying, ‘I will leave you boys be to reminisce’, and that’s exactly what we did. It was an hour-and-a-half of roaring laughter.

Time - Course - Laughter - Love - Life

Not for the first time, of course. Laughter and a love of life have been constant themes of my nearly 54-year friendship with Bruce. They are qualities he kept to the end.

Outside, the sun was shining, but his illness kept Bruce indoors, and we chatted in a spacious bedroom suite overlooking Wentworth Golf Course.

Light - Pillars - Statue - Goddess - Garden

Light, bright and Grecian with pillars, and a statue of a goddess in the garden outside, it was a beautiful space. But it was comfortable, too, with couches, pretty curtains and a very large bed.

This was his domain, where he spent his time resting and entertaining – and where he held court in his final weeks.

Bruce - While - Fall - Day - Chair

Bruce had been ill for a while following a fall, but on that day he was fine, sitting in a normal chair rather than a wheelchair, dressed in a tracksuit and trainers. He looked comfortable and relaxed. It was lovely to see.

So we sat and we talked and we giggled. Wilnelia brought some cakes in.

Jokes - Performers - Tricks - Fat

We shared jokes, we laughed about other performers and their tricks. We chewed the fat.

Bruce certainly did not know that he was going to die. Far from it. He was on great form.


In fact he was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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