COVER story Sir Terry Wo­gan Re­mem­bered

TV Times - - Front Page - As told to sarah sel­wood

As the BBC cel­e­brates the late Terry Wo­gan’s 50-year ca­reer, his ra­dio col­league Jeremy Vine (left) shares his mem­o­ries of the leg­endary broad­caster

The ac­co­lade ‘na­tional trea­sure’ may get bandied about too eas­ily nowa­days, but in

Sir Terry Wo­gan’s case, there’s no dis­pute that it’s more than de­served.

The Lim­er­ick-born pre­sen­ter – who died in Jan­uary, aged 77, fol­low­ing a short bat­tle with can­cer – graced our TV screens and air­waves for 50 years.

Dur­ing that time, Terry won a loyal le­gion of fans for the warmth and wry wit he ef­fort­lessly brought to pro­grammes in­clud­ing Blan­kety Blank, The Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test, Chil­dren in Need and his BBC1 chat show, Wo­gan, as well as his phe­nom­e­nally pop­u­lar

BBC Ra­dio 2 week­day break­fast show Wake Up to Wo­gan.

This week marks the golden an­niver­sary of Terry’s first ra­dio broad­cast for BBC sta­tion The Light Pro­gramme. And to com­mem­o­rate that, BBC1 is tak­ing a look back at his life and im­pres­sive ca­reer in a spe­cial one-off trib­ute on Fri­day.

Sir Terry Wo­gan Re­mem­bered: Fifty Years at the BBC also fea­tures mem­o­ries from his friends, col­leagues and peers, in­clud­ing his Euro­vi­sion suc­ces­sor Gra­ham Nor­ton and pre­sen­ters Ea­monn Holmes, Der­mot O’leary,

Fearne Cot­ton and Jeremy Vine.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice of thanks­giv­ing will be held at Lon­don’s West­min­ster Abbey on Tues­day 27 Septem­ber (the date of that first ap­pear­ance)

and broad­cast live on BBC Ra­dio 2 from 12.00noon to 1.00pm.

It will be book­ended by a spe­cial edi­tion of The Jeremy Vine Show in which Jeremy will chat to fans and, of course, the beloved TOGS (Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals), the af­fec­tion­ate name Terry gave his older lis­ten­ers.

Here, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, Jeremy, 51, tells us how the muchloved icon changed his own life…

‘I was nine years old when I first heard Terry on his break­fast show. I was at the kitchen ta­ble, lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio in my par­ents’ house in Cheam, Sur­rey, and he was play­ing Abba’s


‘Some­body once said there are cer­tain peo­ple, like El­ton John or Bill Clin­ton, who are so fa­mous that, when you see them, you just stare. Terry was in that cat­e­gory.

‘We have all, par­tic­u­larly any­one around my age, heard him on the ra­dio or seen him on tele­vi­sion. So he was al­most part of your life be­fore you even met him.

‘I joined Ra­dio 2 when I was

37, and when I first met Terry, he was ex­tremely nice and charm­ing. He went out of his way to make sup­port­ive re­marks to me and chat about things – BBC man­age­ment was his favourite topic! He was an ab­so­lute sweet­heart.

‘I think the se­cret to Terry’s suc­cess was that the per­son you heard on the ra­dio was the real per­son. I never saw him cross or im­pa­tient or be­ing un­pleas­ant to, or about, any­body. He was gen­uinely warm.

‘For me, Terry was a won­der­ful col­league and a won­der­ful man. He was not just the sound of Ra­dio 2 but also part of the whole spirit of the sta­tion. So I was chuffed to be asked to take part in the BBC1 trib­ute and to host a spe­cial edi­tion of my ra­dio show to tie in with the me­mo­rial at West­min­ster Abbey.

‘It’ll be very spe­cial be­cause I’ll be lis­ten­ing to it with my lis­ten­ers.

When Terry died, they were very emo­tional – it was such a shock and this will give them an out­let to ex­press their love for him.

The nice thing about do­ing the me­mo­rial on the ra­dio is that Terry was all about his lis­ten­ers – he had an amaz­ing re­la­tion­ship with them.

‘One of my favourite mem­o­ries of Terry is when I brought my kids, then aged five and seven, into work with me. I took them to see Terry’s show in progress, and told them, “You’re now go­ing to see prob­a­bly the great­est liv­ing broad­caster”.

‘As soon as Terry saw me he be­gan a lit­tle bit of pat­ter on air, say­ing, “I do be­lieve Jeremy Vine has brought his beau­ti­ful chil­dren in and it’s ab­so­lutely won­der­ful to see them”. I was so touched that he had done this spiel about them – be­cause, to me, he’s one of the all­time greats of ra­dio – that I’ve kept the tape. It was a lovely mo­ment.’


Sir Terry Wo­gan Re­mem­bered Fri­day / BBC1 / 9.00Pm From a new voice to a sea­soned pro, he was at ease in front of a mi­cro­phone

He was an ab­so­lute sweet­heart prize pos­ses­sions: Terry won count­less TV Times awards, voted for by read­ers Sir Terry Wo­gan re­mem­bered is pre­viewed on pages 82-83 Grin­ning and bear­ing it with two pud­seys for Chil­dren in Need

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