Farewell to Bruce Forsyth, TV – and comic strip – star

75th Anniversary issue of The Beano

This week saw the passing of TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, his death and lengthy TV career marked with many tributes in newspapers, on TV news and online. It’s been noted that despite his undoubted small screen success he apparently regreted never making it big in the United States or film. But the man who millions remember for his success on shows such as Sunday Night at the Palladium (his “break-out” show in the 1950s), The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and Strictly Come Dancing was certainly no stranger to the world of comics.

Bruce Forsyth's life story, retold in the 1975 Valiant Annual
Bruce Forsyth’s life story, retold in the 1975 Valiant Annual
Bruce with fellow stars, as featured in the end papers of the 1982 Beano annual. © DC Thomson
Bruce with fellow stars, as featured in the end papers of the 1982 Beano annual. © DC Thomson
Minnie the Minx prepares to take on Bruce Forsyth in a celebrity-packed 2006 issue of The Beano. © DC Thomson
Minnie the Minx prepares to take on Bruce Forsyth in a celebrity-packed 2006 issue of The Beano. © DC Thomson
Bruce Forsyth and Harry Hill whoop it up on the cover of The Dandy in November 2011
Bruce Forsyth and Harry Hill whoop it up on the cover of The Dandy in November 2011
Bruce Forsyth in Doctor Who Adventures

While he would later guest star, for example, in The Beano (in the 75th Anniversary issue (and, back in 2006, alongside Minnie the Minx when she paid a visit to Strictly Come Dancing), and even an issue of Doctor Who Adventures, Bruce’s biggest comics appearance was as the front page star of Film Fun, drawn by Roy Wilson. Bruce himself was portrayed very much as a straight man in these marvellous strips, while the world about him descended into chaos.

Film Fun - cover dated 28th July 1962 - Bruce Forsyth

Film Fun - cover dated 28th July 1962 - Bruce Forsyth 2He wasn’t the only TV star to feature in the long-running Film Fun, launched in 1920 – Ken Dodd, Morecambe & Wise, Harry Seacombe and many others featured, before it was merged with Buster in 1962.

A young-looking Bruce also appeared in a short potted biography “Adele Leigh – Growing Up” in DC Thomson’s Judy in 1964, drawn by David Slinn.

A panel from the potted biography
A panel from the potted biography “Adele Leigh – Growing Up” featuring a young Bruce Forsyth and the singer, from DC Thomson’s Judy in 1964, art by David Slinn. © DC Thomson

Sir Bruce made many other comic appearances and I’m sure readers will have their own favourites. Like many others he was lampooned in VIZ, for example, but perhaps his strangest cameo was alongside Judge Dredd and Marvel UK’s Captain Britain, in the one-off Comic Relief charity comic published in 1991.
Sir Bruce gave us many laughs… but perhaps none more so than when he out-chinned Desperate Dan, Dredd and Dan Dare.

Our thanks to “The Mighty Atom” – comic legend in many more ways than one!

Comic Relief Comic 1991 - Bruce Forsyth, Big Chin
Bruce Forsyth – Wikipedia

• There’s a great thread about Film Fun here on the ComicsUK forum and the title’s Wikipedia entry is here

Comic Relief – Full Creator Credits List (Comic Vine)

Bruce and Captain Britain – the Captain Britain Blog

(Thanks to “Jimmy”, Mark John, Paul Lang, David Slinn and Lew Stringer – and others – for various Bruce Forsyth comic tips)

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

3 thoughts on “Farewell to Bruce Forsyth, TV – and comic strip – star

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: