Iron Maiden hail Bruce Forsyth for watching the band’s O2 Arena show

Frontman Bruce Dickinson also has a bizarre pop at NME

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson paid tribute to Strictly Come Dancing presenter Bruce Forsyth last night (August 4) as the metal veterans brought the European leg of their Maiden England tour to a close at London’s O2 Arena.

The 85-year-old was watching the six-piece’s show at the venue the night before (August 3), without the band’s knowledge.

As they brought their show to a close for their second night, last night, Dickinson told the crowd: “We had Strictly Come Dancing in the house last night. Bruce Forsyth was here which is absolutely fucking unbelievable. I wish I’d have known, I would have said: ‘Nice to see you, to see you nice’.”

Earlier, Dickinson also revealed that the pilot who flew a Spitfire over the crowd ahead of their performance at this year’s Download Festival was also in the crowd, before taking aim at one of NME’s writers for their description of the fighter aircraft in a live review.

“Was anyone here at our gig in Donington?,” he asked the crowd, before adding: “Did you see the Spitfire before the gig? Some guy from the New Musical Express called it a replica Spitfire World War II jet. What a fucking dickhead.”

During their greatest hits set at the O2, the band’s mascot Eddie appeared in several different guises. At one point during ‘Run To The Hills’ a giant version of the monster came onstage and started smashing drummer Nicko McBrain’s cymbals with a huge sword.

The metal veterans played a host of classics from their back catalogue including ‘Can I Play With Madness’, ‘The Number Of The Beast’, ‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’, ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and ‘Fear Of The Dark, before wrapping up with 1980 debut single ‘Running Free’.

Iron Maiden played:

‘Can I Play With Madness’
‘The Prisoner’
‘2 Minutes To Midnight’
‘Afraid To Shoot Strangers’
‘The Trooper’
‘The Number Of The Beast’
‘Phantom Of The Opera’
‘Run To The Hills’
‘Wasted Years’
‘Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son’
‘The Clairvoyant’
‘Fear Of The Dark’
‘Iron Maiden’
‘Aces High’
‘The Evil That Men Do’
‘Running Free’