Sir Bruce Forsyth's widow Lady Wilnelia: we hoped he would recuperate

File photo dated 28/03/14 of Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Lady Wilnelia as she has said she was "so lucky" to be married to him for more than 30 years before his death last year
File photo dated 28/03/14 of Sir Bruce Forsyth and his wife Lady Wilnelia as she has said she was "so lucky" to be married to him for more than 30 years before his death last year

Sir Bruce Forsyth's widow Lady Wilnelia has said she was "so lucky" to be married to him for more than 30 years before his death.

She also said that saying goodbye to him before he died aged 89 in August last year was a "very special time", although she had hoped he would recuperate after his health started to deteriorate.

During an appearance on ITV's This Morning, Lady Wilnelia said: "I was so lucky to be married to him for 34 years. It was a very happy marriage."

She said Sir Bruce had never wanted to retire and added: "He was planning to do some travelling and continue being in show business somehow.

"He just wanted to enjoy being at home with the family - being in show business for 75 years."

Lady Wilnelia agreed with This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield that Sir Bruce had been very robust in his later years.

She said: "He was like that until, really, probably the last year. I mean, he was still doing exercise at home.

"I was so lucky to be able to have his daughters - they've been my strength, my angels - and my son, and during the last year they came to the house and they stayed with us a lot... they entertained him, it was wonderful."

She said a fall was "the beginning" of the major problems for Sir Bruce, as well as "a few other complications and the operation".

"We had the hope he was going to recuperate, until he had that chest infection," she added.

Of the weeks leading up to Sir Bruce's death, Lady Wilnelia said: "We were able to be there and the last week, all the girls came to the house and they stayed, we watched movies.

"It was a very special time and I know how lucky we are that we were able to say goodbye."

Sir Bruce had five daughters from his previous two marriages before having a son with Puerto Rican former Miss World Wilnelia, whom he married in 1983.

The entertainer and broadcaster, who died after his health deteriorated and he contracted bronchial pneumonia, will be remembered at a special celebration on February 21, the day before what would have been his 90th birthday.

Lady Wilnelia said the support of Sir Bruce's fans has been "very overwhelming" and that more than 50,000 people have applied to attend the memorial event, held at the London Palladium.

She said: "He always said that if he ever got to be 100, he wanted to celebrate his birthday at the London Palladium.

"We thought it was very appropriate for us to have his celebration there."