TERRY WOGAN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Michael Terence (Terry) Wogan, (born August 3, 1938) is a popular radio and television broadcaster on the BBC in the United Kingdom. He was born in Limerick, Ireland and educated by the Salesians and the Jesuits at Crescent College.


He is married and has 3 children. Due to the demographics of his typical listenership he refers to most of them as ‘TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers) - this has led to him becoming known as ‘The Togmeister’.




Early radio presenting


After completing his education he went to work in a bank for five years, before he joined Radio Telifis Eireann as a newsreader/announcer. For two years he did interviews and presenting documentary features before moving to the Light Entertainment department as a disc jockey and host of TV quiz and variety shows. He first worked for BBC Radio presenting Midday Spin in the mid-1960s and, on the inauguration of BBC Radio 1 he presented Late Night Extra for two years, commuting weekly from Dublin to London.


In April 1972 he took over the breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, where he has remained most of the time ever since, amassing an audience of up to 7.6 million. During this period he released his own version of “The Floral Dance", by popular request from listeners who enjoyed hearing him singing over the instrumental hit by The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.


Moving to television


Wogan is particularly famed for his sardonic commentaries on the Eurovision Song Contest which he has done annually since 1980, although he occasionally did it in the 1970s. Also in 1980 he began presenting the BBC’s Children in Need telethon and continues to front the yearly event.


Between 1985 and 1992 he hosted the Wogan television chat show thrice-weekly. Highlights of the show included interviews with a drunk George Best; David Icke claiming to be the “son of the Godhead"; and Vivienne Westwood scolding the audience for laughing at her latest collection (although Sue Lawley was guest hosting the show on this last occasion).


Other television programmes he has presented:


Come Dancing (ballroom dance show)
Blankety Blank (game show)
Auntie’s Bloomers (outtakes show)
Wogan’s Web
The Terry and Gaby Show (with Gaby Roslin)


Return to radio


By 1992, something of a backlash began against the seemingly omni-present Wogan. He was released from his talk-show contract after much pushing by the BBC. He was mocked for some time after this. However, in recent years his fortunes have improved. His BBC Radio 2 breakfast show is now one of the most popular on British radio. His tendency to go off on rambling, esoteric tangents seems to have become popular with younger listeners (however ironically) as well as the older fans.




In 1997 he was created an honourary OBE; as he is not a British subject he could not be made a full OBE. He received an honorary doctorate in 2004 from the University of Limerick.