Woman attends Sir Bruce tribute after 1948 meeting

Fornham St Martin, Bury Saint Edmunds 'Christina Vatcher was personally invited to attend the London Palladium to Honour Sir Bruce Forsyth on Wednesday 21st February due to be televised in March as she knew Sir Bruce as a child. 'Picture Mark Westley

A Fornham St Martin woman who knew Sir Bruce Forsyth when she was a child was invited to attend a star-studded tribute concert to him last week.

Christina Vatcher, of Fulford Close, travelled down to the London Palladium with her husband Jim on Wednesday, February 21, to attend the concert, which included performances by Shirley Bassey and Michael Ball.

“It was a terrific show and a very emotional evening for so many of us,” said the 77-year-old, who had written to the presenter shortly before he died in August.

Christina met Sir Bruce in 1948, while accompanying her father, Jack Mallett, on his milk run through Tottenham, where she grew up, and Edmonton, where Sir Bruce, then 20-years-old, lived.

“My dad would go out on his milk runs and come home and tell us all these jokes that a young comedian had told him,” said Christina.

“Dad always said he’d be a huge star but we never really believed him.”

Sir Bruce also gave Jack, who died in 1972, a bottle of beer which he kept on the mantelpiece to be openedwhen Sir Bruce appeared on the Royal Variety Show. But her sister’s kitten knocked it over and smashed it.

“My sister and I bought dad a bottle of whisky to toast the occasion when it came. The show brought tears to dad’s eyes, ” she said.

“He would be thrilled to know I’d been to the tribute concert. I think it would mean a lot to him.”

The concert will be aired on BBC One later this year.

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