Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Sir Bruce Forsyth’s heartache as he’s “secretly caring” for first wife Penny who has dementia

by Lynn Rowlands

bruce forsyth, penny calvert

Veteran entertainer and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth is of course famous for his megawatt smile and cheery persona…

However, it’s been revealed today that Bruce is hiding a secret heartache over his former wife Penny Calvert, who, having been diagnosed with dementia, is living in a care home in Kent.

Sir Bruce apparently regularly visits her there – he and Penny split in 1973 after their twenty year-long marriage ended – and of the heartbreaking trips, his daughter Julie told the Mirror, “Mum suffers from severe dementia and was taken into a care home around five years ago.

“It had become impossible to care for her anymore. My father and I continue to visit her.

“She might not recognise us anymore but we won’t forget her.”


A source close to Bruce added, “Penny and Bruce divorced a long time ago, but things heal over time…

“Considering there are three marriages involved in his life, everyone is very friendly and civilised.

“It is testament to his current wife, Wilnelia, that Bruce has such a wonderful and close family, which includes Penny.

“Sadly she has been ill for some time and her condition has deteriorated.”

Of why his marriage to Penny ended, Sir Bruce revealed, “Sadly, such prolonged absences eventually put a great strain on our marriage.

“There are always temptations. Whether you take them or not is up to you. It depends how happy your private life is.”

He added that in June 1964, “I knew my marriage was over.”

sir bruce forsyth, anton du beke

Penny once said of her marriage to Bruce, “In six years he left me and came back seven times. He could not resist a pretty face.

“He just couldn’t stop falling in love. He has a tremendous amount of sex appeal.

“I’m not surprised women fell for him.”

Here’s a reminder of an interview with Sir Bruce…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is a trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, Big Brother, BGT and I'm A Celeb.