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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 16:44 UK

Bruce Forsyth on US politics

Bruce Forsyth
The American system is wonderful, and would make our politics here even more exciting
Bruce Forsyth
We asked entertainer Bruce Forsyth for his take on American political campaigning. [Originally broadcast May 15th, 2008.]

I've had fifty years in prime time television.

And of course, in all that time, television has changed so much, like all businesses.

I've never been very politically minded. It's only in the last ten or twelve years that I've started to get interested in politics.

So I suppose politics must have changed over the years, the same way everything else has.

And I feel that nowadays, it's trial by television.

Doing a bit of acting

A political leader, particularly, has to look good on television and has to always have command of everything he's saying.

I'm not saying that politicians are actors, but at times, they have to do a bit of acting. They're there on show.

Almost like a quiz show

I've been in Puerto Rico for the last few months where of course we get all the American television.

I was lucky enough to see the primaries in America. I'd never seen any of that before, and I was most impressed.

A leader there has to really go out to the people, to every state. The debates they have are very very interesting, where they're all confronting one another.

I think it's a wonderful system, and in some ways I think it would make our politics here even more exciting.

The debates would be so interesting in this country, if they had to face one another. With the mayoral election, you saw all the different personalities competing against one another - almost like a quiz show, I suppose.

But it does work for me because at the end of that, you say "I think he was better than him": it makes you make up your mind.

And that's what politics is all about: making up your mind.

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