So long, Sir Terry - A tribute to the King of broadcasting

So long, Sir Terry - A tribute to the King of broadcasting

For years, his chipper Irish charm and unending good sense of humour got us out of bed and began our mornings. So it was with such sadness that we woke up on Sunday morning to the news the broadcasting legend, Sir Terry Wogan, had passed away aged 77, following a short battle with cancer.

He felt, to many of us, like a dear friend. And Sir Terry often spoke about his readers – some ten million of them – as his treasured companions.

From his thirty year's service at the helm of Radio 2's breakfast show to his tireless work for Children in Need, his hilarious Eurovision quips to his many memorable TV interviews, he was truly a master of broadcasting and each generation that came across him instantly took him into their hearts.

Since the sad news of his passing broke on Sunday, touching tributes have flooded from colleagues and admirers for the boy from Limerick done good. DJ Chris Evans, who took over his breakfast show, said "He was radio's Eric Morecambe, Ronnie Barker, he was our Captain Mainwaring, our Basil Fawlty but he made us laugh every day for two hours and for over 30 years".

Members of Sir Terry's BBC Radio 2 fan club Terry's Old Geezers and Gals (TOGs) have paid tribute to his work and commitment to charity. Norman Macintosh, who organises the TOGs conventions, told BBC Breakfast: "He was the gentleman and the ultimate broadcaster. He talked to one person at a time and he felt like he was talking to you and he brought the whole audience into the show, and everyone felt like they were part of it."

Terry leaves behind his wife, Helen, and their three children, Mark, Katherine and Alan. The couple also had a daughter, Vanessa, who sadly died at just a few weeks' old.

As our thoughts go out to Terry's family, we wanted to look back on the incredible career of this veteran broadcaster and all-round wonderful man.

The early days: Terry started out presenting in his home country of Ireland as a disk jockey for Raidió Teilifís Éireann in the Sixties (pictured below). While he was here, he approached the BBC who gave him the Tuesday edition of Late Night Extra for two years on BBC Radio 1, which involved him commuting each week from Dublin to London.


The voice of our breakfast time: In 1972, Terry took over the breakfast slot for Radio 2 where he became a true radio superstar. Every morning, he got up at an ungoldly hour (always with a smile) to talk to the nation – he had 7.9 million listeners – as if they were one of his closest confidants. Frequent listeners were known as ‘Terry’s Old Geezers’ or ‘Terry’s Old Gals’ while children ‘forced’ to listen to the show on the way to school were known as TYGs: Terry’s Young Geezers. Terry's reading of the Janet and John books became a particular hit  – so much so, many of us almost crashed our cars listening to him, we couldn't see for tears of laughter.

 And then there was the floral dance: Who could forget? Terry recorded a version of this English classic in 1978 and it reached number 21 in the charts.

And of course, Children in Need: Terry launched the first ever Children in Need show with Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen in 1980. And he stayed there for 30 years. Since that time, the charity has gone on to raise millions to help children in difficulty and their families around the world. As well as persuading many a famous face to embarass themselves doing something ridiculous in the name of a good cause. 


The charming interviewer: Terry ranked alongside the best when it came to interviewing the stars. Here's a compilation of some of his most memorable chats, including that ever so odd David Icke 'I'm the prophet' moment

Making the Queen chuckle: He was made a 'Sir' in 2005.


Fond farewells: In December 1984, Terry left his breakfast show to pursue a full-time career in television. But it wasn't long till he was back on the air waves again, in 1992 where he stayed presenting the breakfast show until 18 December 2009.


For his final broadcast on the Radio 2 breakfast show he made an emotional farewell to all his listeners. And it's a speech that so accurately sums up so much that was amazing about this man, his love for his readers and our ongoing affection for him.