Sir Bruce Forsyth’s family have said their hearts are “truly broken” as they thanked fans for their messages following the entertainer’s death.The veteran star’s wife Wilnelia and children sent a message to The One Show, which paid tribute to Sir Bruce with a special episode on Monday night.Presented Matt Baker said the family wanted to thank “the many, many people who have sent messages of condolence” after the star died at the age of 89. In a statement, his manager Ian Wilson said the star had passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife and children.”A couple of weeks ago, a friend visited him and asked him what he had been doing these last eighteen months,” he said.”With a twinkle in his eye, he responded “I’ve been very, very busy… being ill!” Unfortunately, not long after this, his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia.” Speaking after his death, BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall said: “Sir Bruce was one of the greatest entertainers our country has ever known. He has delighted millions of people and defined Saturday night television for decades, with shows like the Generation Game and, most recently, Strictly. His warmth and his wit were legendary. Their message said: “Our hearts are truly broken and the tributes paid to him in the last few days have helped us tremendously through this very difficult time.”It’s been humbling and comforting to us to realise just how much Bruce was loved and how many lives he touched.”Sir Bruce death was announced on Thursday, prompting an outpouring of tributes from stars across the world. Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Wilnelia Merced watch tennis at Wimbledon in 2015Credit:Clive Brunskill/Getty Images “I’ve never seen anyone quite like him when it comes to performing in front of a crowd. He had a remarkable chemistry with his audience – that’s what made him such an amazing professional and why he was so loved.”He has been part of all of our lives, and we’ll miss him dearly.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
THIRTY HEALTH AND disability organisations are to have their funding restored for the next year period as their positions are reviewed, Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government Alan Kelly has announced.These groups had previously received funding through a support scheme but their applications were not among the 155 approved this year. This left many of them facing closure.In a statement today, Kelly’s department said it was making available bridging finance totalling just under €1.3 million for a twelve month period “to avoid a sudden and adverse impact on these organisations”. The funding for each organisation will be restored based on their allocation so far this year.Some of the organisations include the Irish Heart Foundation, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, The Carers Association and the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.Kelly said that it is now essential that this time is used to find a more long-term solution to funding problems in these organisations.He also said that, in conjuction with the Department of Health, a review of public funding for national organisations in these sectors will take place to ensure the money is used efficiently.Read: Irish funded operation saves the lives of 20 children in Ukraine>Read: Here’s how these furry friends are changing the lives of autistic children in Ireland> read more