A memory I share with millions is laughing out loud while listening to Terry Wogan on Radio 2. I survived many hours of the slow crawl down the A40 into London back in the 80’s in part because he made it so enjoyable to be listening to the radio.
Glancing to drivers in adjacent lanes, you would know that they too were infected by his self-deprecating and style of irreverence and gentle wit. Why else would they be laughing at the same time as you while sitting in a traffic jam? So thank you Sir Terry for all those hours of peerless broadcasting joy.
I was fortunate enough to meet him several times. In 1984 I was a guest on his TV show and, like many before and after me, I succumbed to the twinkle, and while I suspected that he didn’t know much about me or Doctor Who, this was amply compensated for by his charm, warmth and evident goodwill to all men. I am sure if he was a boss, he could have sacked you and you’d leave thinking he’d done you a favour.
I appeared a few times on Children in Need in the 80’s too and was always astonished by his ability to sail smoothly(ish) through the hours of live broadcast when many, even experienced, broadcasters would have cracked under the pressure.
The last time I met him was when we were both guests of the One Show for the last ever live broadcast from the Television Centre in White City. It was a sombre occasion for many of us, including Sir Terry, who shared my sadness and perplexity that this wonderful and iconic centre of decades of excellence and talent should be sacrificed in the name of political correctness to appease a predatory government by expanding into the regions.
We agreed ruefully that decades from now someone will have the brilliant new idea of bringing all the studios to a central location in London.
It must have been quite a burden to carry, being the person that everybody believed was their friend and wanted to spend time with.
He appeared to carry the responsibility effortlessly when on show and at work, but it is clear that his family must have been the rock that enabled him to do that. If we all miss him so much, we can only imagine how they must be feeling.