Des O’Connor has said “the nation will be heartbroken” as he joined the many star tributes to Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Sir Bruce died at the age of 89 surrounded by his family on Friday.

TV personality and entertainer O’Connor, a close friend of Sir Bruce, told the Press Association: “This is incredibly sad news. Bruce was so very special, he had such warmth and humour and he was such a superb talent.

“He will be irreplaceable in peoples’ hearts. I have known him a lifetime. I toured with him in the early days. He was brilliant right from the start.

“This is such a sad time – the nation will be heartbroken.”

Actress and comedian Miranda Hart has vowed to pay tribute to Sir Bruce with a signature dance move when she steps onstage in the West End production of Annie hours after Sir Bruce’s death.

The TV star, who plays Miss Hannigan in the classic musical, was a good friend of Sir Bruce and previously took to the dance floor with him in celebration of his success presenting Strictly Come Dancing.

Sir Bruce Forsyth(L-R) Jimmy Tarbuck, Des O’Connor, Ernie Wise and Sir Bruce Forsyth at the London Palladium, where they performed in a charity show held in memory of Eric Morecambe (PA Archive/PA)

Their special moment in the spotlight came during a televised interview in 2013 where she quizzed him on his 70 years in show business.

Following the news of Sir Bruce’s death, Hart tweeted an image of the pair dancing together and wrote: “Will do this at the curtain call of Annie tonight”.

She also shared an older snap of them together on Instagram and wrote: “Shedding a tear for my pal Brucie.”

Shedding a tear for my pal Brucie.

A post shared by Miranda Hart (@realmirandahart) on Aug 18, 2017 at 9:16am PDT

Chris Evans was among the many other stars to take to Twitter to share his condolences.

The TV and radio host wrote: “So sad to hear of Sir Bruce’s passing, ultimate pro- Mr. Show Business. Always so supportive to us apprentices. Thoughts are with his family.”

Comedian and TV star Rob Brydon wrote: “So sad to hear about Sir Bruce Forsyth. A true one off, a wonderful entertainer. My condolences to his family.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn commended Sir Bruce for being a “tireless charity campaigner”.

He tweeted: “Sad to hear of Sir Bruce Forsyth’s death. A tireless charity campaigner, Sir Bruce was Mr Saturday Night and it was always nice to see him.”

Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid also posted online.

Morgan wrote that Sir Bruce was “one of Britain’s greatest ever entertainers & a lovely man”.

Reid said: “Goodbye Sir Bruce. A showbusiness legend. Just as charming in person as he was entertaining huge crowds. Loved by everyone. We’ll miss you.”

Stephen Fry wrote: “There was only one #Brucie – it was more than to nice to see you, to see you more than nice.”

Match Of The Day’s Gary Lineker added: “Saddened to hear that Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away. One of television’s great entertainers. Didn’t he do well. #RIPBrucie.”

Lord Sugar said: “Sad news about Sir Bruce Forsyth what legend of entertainment. He was a friend. The whole country will miss him RIP.”

Broadcaster Andrew Neil wrote: “So sad to learn of death of Bruce Forsyth. He was great fan of Daily Politics and This Week. But not as much as I was of him. Gentleman.”

Comic and former Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins said: “Didn’t he do well. RIP Sir Bruce. xx.”

Singer Boy George said: “R.I.P Bruce Forsyth. A true British legend. What a life!”