Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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 Telifís Éireann 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. Eventually he was offered a regular afternoon slot (3 p.m - 5 p.m.) - officially on Radio 1, but in actual fact - due to lack of funding - broadcast over both Radio 1 and Radio 2. In April 1972 he took over the breakfast show on Radio 2, effectively swapping places with John Dunn, who hosted the afternoon show briefly - by then Radio 1 and Radio 2 had diverged sufficiently to allow separate programming on each network. During Wogan's tenure on the breakfast show, he had amassed audiences of up to 7.6 million. Also 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. In 1985 Wogan left his breakfast show to pursue a full-time career in television. During this time, he was replaced on radio – initially, but briefly by Ken Bruce, followed by Brian Hayes and finally Derek Jameson
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.
In 1981 he had a chance to host a one-off chat show – Saturday Live. Among his guest on this show were Larry Hagman – then promoting his new film S.O.B. - and Frank Hall - who was then the Irish Film Censor. During the course of which Hall accused Wogan of selling out his Irishness - and responding to a question posed by Wogan about his suitablility as a film censor - said there was more filth on British Television than in film, citing the BBC TV serial The Borgias as example
Between 1985 and 1992 he hosted the Wogan television chat show thrice-weekly. Highlights of the show included interviews with a drunk George Best; a silent Chevy Chase; a nervous Anne Bancroft (who was so petrified she gave monosyllabic answers and counted to ten before descending the entrance steps to the studio); 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)
- Points of View (viewers letters)
- 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. This was highlighted when a poll apparently revealed him to be simultaneously the most and the least popular person in Britain. He was released from his talk-show contract after much pushing by the BBC, and was mocked for some time after this. He returned to Radio 2 to take back the breakfast show, by then presented by Derek Jameson. As a result Jameson was moved to a late night show, which he co-hosted with his wife.
In recent years Wogan's fortunes have improved. His BBC Radio 2 breakfast show is now 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 2005 it was reported his Breakfast Show ("Wake Up To Wogan") attracted listening figures of 8 million.
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