Television viewers across the nation have thanked the BBC for airing a special documentary about the life and career of Bruce Forsyth.

Broadcasting hours after the news of the TV legend’s death on Friday, some said they never knew how much of an impact he had on British entertainment.

Sir Bruce, best known for previously hosting shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Bruce’s Price Is Right and The Generation Game, died at the age of 89 surrounded by his family.

The broadcaster cancelled BBC 1’s regular evening programme, The One Show, to make way for the one-off show, which shared footage from some of his finest moments on the screen.

One viewer described the documentary as an “honourable” programme and another labelled it “brilliant”.

Another wrote: “Well done BBC, a true legend deserved it #didnthedowell”.

The programme featured heart-warming comments from a number of stars who worked with him at various points during a career that spanned more than 70 years.

Strictly veteran Anton Du Beke described becoming friends with his life-long hero as “perfection”, adding: “He had a wonderful way of making people feel comfortable.”

His co-star, Tess Daly, who now presents the show alongside Claudia Winkleman, said: “His friendship has meant so much to me. He was always there with a word of advice when I needed it.

“Here he was, this legend, and he couldn’t have been kinder … Every room he walked into lit up”.

The hour-long programme also showed footage of Sir Bruce on the day of his knighthood, where he confessed feeling “nervous” before meeting the Queen.

Other commentators, however, used words such as generous, humorous, bonkers, amazing, and incredible, to describe him.