Outgoing Strictly Come Dancing host Bruce Forsyth has told how he found the show restricted his talents as an entertainer and did not allow him to be himself.
The veteran star, who fronted the show for a decade, also admitted he had “very mixed emotions” about leaving the dance series and would miss the team.
In an interview with Hello! magazine, he said he was enjoying his freedom following his departure from the show and said: “The world is my oyster.”
Interviewed during a trip to Montenegro with wife Wilnelia, the 86-year-old said working on Strictly did not allow him to give full rein to his talents.
Sir Bruce said: “On the Generation Game, for example, I could have fun – I was allowed to be ’Loose Bruce’. I could do whatever I liked and interact with whomever. That’s the real me. A presenter on Strictly isn’t the real Bruce.”
He announced he was bowing out earlier this year and the programme is now being co-hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman. Sir Bruce made a guest appearance on a warm-up show for the new series in which the celebrity dancers were paired off their professional partners.
He told Hello!: “Part of me has to be sad because, when you work on something in television for 10 years, you become a family and when you say goodbye to that family there is always a tear in the eye. So it’s hard to say goodbye, of course it is.
“But I’m leaving because, although I could hang on, I felt it was right not only for me but for the show.
He went on: “Now I have the relief that I don’t have to do it any more. I would have hated to have carried on and then had to stop because I wasn’t feeling well enough.”
:: The full interview is in the new edition of Hello! magazine which is out now.