Sir Bruce Forsyth has been forced to cancel his scheduled appearance on the Christmas special of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ because of concerns over his health.

The veteran presenter, 87, underwent an operation on an abdominal aortic aneurysm in mid-November, but his doctors have decided that the filming, due to start to next week, will come too soon for Forsyth “to have made a full recovery”.

The BBC released a statement on Thursday (December 3rd) saying that “Due to the long studio hours, he is unable to host the show, but will still play a part in the production.” The episode itself will be broadcast on Christmas Day on BBC One, and regular host Claudia Winkleman will be taking over Forsyth’s presenting duties for the short special episode.

Bruce ForsythSir Bruce Forsyth has been forced to cancel his appearance on the Christmas 'Strictly' special

Forsyth stood down from the regular presenting role on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in April 2014, having been a part of the Saturday night ratings favourite for a decade. He has, however, taken part in various seasonal and charity specials, hosting the November 13th Children In Need special, recording before his recent operation.

More: Sir Bruce Forsyth returns for ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ special episode for ‘Children In Need’

He was also forced to withdraw from a scheduled public appearance in October fronting his own variety show, ‘Bruce’s Hall of Fame’, at London’s Dominion Theatre. On that occasion, he had been taken to hospital after falling at his home and sustaining a mild concussion.

However, Forsyth still intends to play a very brief part in the festivities despite his extended recovery. “Sir Bruce will record a special video message for this year's celebrity line-up and the viewers at home, which will play out when the ‘Strictly’ Christmas Special airs on BBC One on Christmas Day at 6:15pm,” the BBC’s announcement finished.

This year’s Christmas special will feature three previous winners of the main show – Abbey Clancy, Harry Judd and Tom Chambers, alongside the winner of this year’s ‘People’s Strictly’ for Comic Relief, war veteran Cassidy Little, plus TV personalities Lisa Snowdon and Alison Hammond.

More: Sir Bruce Forsyth taken to hospital after falling at his home