Sir Bruce Forsyth: The Queen has always been there for us as a nation

As the Queen prepares to become the nation's longest-serving monarch, ITV News has spoken to one of Britain's best-loved entertainers about his memories of her 63-year reign.

Sir Bruce Forsyth has been working in showbusiness throughout the Queen’s entire 63-year reign.

The pair first met in 1958, six years after Her Majesty’s accession to the throne, and their paths have crossed several times throughout the years.

This includes when Sir Bruce received his knighthood in 2011.

“She said ‘you must have been entertaining us for quite some time’”, Sir Bruce told ITV News. “I said this coming February I will have been in showbusiness for 70 years. I think that took her back. I think it did remind her that somebody else had been working almost as long as she had.”

Sir Bruce is just two years younger than the Queen, who becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch on September 9. He described his admiration for the way she coped with being thrust into the role at such a young age.

The Queen was just 25 when her father, King George VI, died in 1952 and, like Sir Bruce, she has witnessed huge changes in the country and around the world ever since.

Sir Bruce, 87, paid tribute to the way the Queen has always been “there for us as a nation” and how she has come through all the difficulties that have been thrown at her during her reign.

He said: “I think of her as a person who’s been through all the years that I’ve been through and we’ve got through it pretty well and we’re still going, for how long I don’t know.

"I admire her longevity, her charm and the way she’s coped with her life and her meaning of what this country is all about.

“Things seem to bounce off her and whatever happens she’s always the Queen. She’s there for us as a nation and you feel that coming through with her.”

The Queen meets Sir Bruce after the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium in 1971. Credit: PA

The entertainer has graced the stage in Her Majesty’s presence at the Royal Variety Show and drew comparisons between their journeys through life, having both experienced a form of “stardom” and the expectations placed upon them as a result, including countless public appearances and international travel.

Despite so many engagements, Sir Bruce said the Queen always remembers people and is “gracious” to those she meets.

The country is also a very different place compared to when the former Generation Game host entered showbusiness aged 14.

He recalled rationing continuing a decade after the Second World War finished and said London was a “very dull” city when he started out.

“Everything practically closed at 10pm,” said Sir Bruce. “London was like a ghost town. It was just desolate, nobody went anywhere.

“We were different people because of that. We had these rules, we got up at 8am, 9am and we went to bed at 10pm. It was a different way of life.”

The Queen and Sir Bruce, who stepped down as a host of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, both remain in the spotlight, something which the TV star said he would have laughed at back in 1958.

“She would be, as I am, just amazed if anybody said to me you’ll be still going in 2015 and still working,” he said. “I think she would have been staggered by that, as I am.”