Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tribute to Terry Wogan

I grew up with Terry Wogan.  Not literally of course, as he was from Limerick and we never actually met.

But looking back he was a constant feature of my childhood.  Mum always had her radio tuned to Radio Two, and his dulcet tones could be heard while my brother and I got ready for school.

Then we watched Blankety Blank, probably most noteworthy for the strangely outsize microphone that Mr Wogan brandished towards guests, and which Kenny Everett took great delight in bending out of shape.

I remember wanting to win a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen, much in the same way that I also wanted a Bendy Bully from Bullseye - unfortunately neither of these items have made it into my treasured collection of things which I'm keeping so daughter can present them one day to an expert on The Antiques Roadshow.

The thrice-weekly Wogan chat show was also essential viewing, and my addiction to the Eurovision Song Contest began because of Terry's mocking commentary which was infinitely more fun than the actual singing.  My favourite quote is:  "Who knows what hellish future lies ahead?  Actually, I do.  I've seen the rehearsals."

I briefly flirted with listening to Radio One in my teens and twenties, before returning to the Radio Two family in my thirties, where I've remained resolutely ever since - getting very annoyed with husband when he borrows my car and retunes my radio to another station.

Yes, I woke up with Wogan regularly, his Janet and John stories in particular causing much mirth and brightening my mornings.

His gentle, jovial, clever and amusing delivery and the camaraderie between his team made you also feel part of the gang.

People often ask me 'Are you Terry Wogan's Hellen Bach?', and I have to tell them that sadly I'm not.

Although, in a way, I suppose I am.  Thank you Terry for all the joy you brought us over the years and for being our friend. 

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