The Chase: Bradley Walsh teases Mark Labbett after mistake
Walsh, 60, rose to fame as a stand-up comedian before he appeared for two years on Coronation Street and has fronted a string of ITV games shows. The star now features on The Chase, Blankety Blank and Bradley Walsh and Son: Breaking Dad. But during a reflection of his career, the TV funnyman admitted he had a long way to go to replicate the success of Sir Bruce.
Both Walsh and Sir Bruce had a lot in common – they both rose from being on stage performers to the popular faces watched on TV screens by millions.
The comedian once commented that the late Strictly star’s “looks, phrases and even gestures” all helped to secure him as a beloved game show icon.
Sir Bruce, who died from bronchial pneumonia three years ago, was known to have locked himself into countless TV hits but Walsh admitted he was a little more choosy.
He claimed to have to “turn loads of things down” because he was unable to “plate-spin” and felt it was better to dedicate his time to one project at a time.
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Walsh said: “If I’m doing a job I’ll give it 100 percent and that job gets my absolute focus and everything else goes to the side.
“Then that job is finished, I’ll concentrate on the next job.”
When compared with the legendary Sir Bruce, Walsh denied their comparison because he felt he could never measure up to the variety performer’s talent.
He said: “Talk about triple-threat, you’ve got to go some to beat the great Bruce.
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“Probably had about nine strings to his bow, he could do it all. He was the most amazing talent.”
In 2017, Walsh told the Belfast Telegraph that on his bucket list was to “headline a show in the West End” or to have a “run at the [London] Palladium”.
He admitted that he struggled to find time for his family due to being a “workaholic”.
Walsh quipped: “On my tombstone, it will say ‘At last, a day off.’”
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However, he didn’t regret his decisions and admitted that his wife of 23 years Donna Derby encouraged him to take some of his career-defining roles.
They included playing factory owner Danny Baldwin on Coronation Street for two years from 2004.
Walsh was especially grateful to his wife because of the sacrifices she made for his career.
He was touched that she encouraged him to take the role despite knowing she would essentially be a “single mother” to their son, who was nine years old at the time.
In 2006, he told the Daily Mirror: “She’s the one who recognised what it could do for me even though it would mean being apart.
“I wouldn’t swap missus for the world. Donna isn’t just beautiful, she’s the most fantastic wife and mother.”
Despite his achievements, Walsh admitted that he could never match Sir Bruce’s talent.
He interviewed the late star for the 2014 documentary series Come On Down! The Game Show Story.
When Sir Bruce was asked about his time as a host, the veteran entertainer said that he “loved it” and didn’t regret a moment.
He continued: “Jostling people along and having fun with them. I love it when things go wrong – it gives me the chance to put them right.”
Strictly: Anton du Beke performs with Bruce Forsyth in 2008
Last weekend, Walsh presented Blankety Blank and came under fire from his guest Jimmy Carr, when he suffered a blunder of his own.
At one point during the show, Walsh told him to “shut up” after Carr mocked him for misreading a joke on the autocue.
Walsh said: “Last Christmas, I ate so much turkey that it started to have a funny side effect.
“Now every time I go, I start to blank…”
As the contestant looked confused by Walsh’s attempt at the joke, the host uttered: “Oh no, hang on, I’ve misread that!”
It led Carr to quickly quip: “Every time you start to go? What was in that turkey? It’s gone right through you Bradley.”
He continued: “I don’t mind that you misread it, it’s just lovely to see someone your age on TV at this time of the year.
“You had one job, you had one job to do!”
Clearly frustrated by the mockery, Walsh interjected: “Jimmy, don’t! I misread it Jimmy, don’t, shut up!”
Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad airs at 8.30pm tonight on ITV.
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