Monday, 1 February 2016

Wogan, Woe: gone.


Watching a clip of Terry Wogan’s final emotional Radio 2 sign-off on BBC Breakfast this morning reminded me just how warm, distinctive and individual his voice really was.

For a child of the Eighties like me, it was ever-present; be it on his chat show, on his famously cutting commentary of the Eurovision Song Contest, on Children in Need or on Blankety Blank. It was something I took for granted, as it had always been there; even if he wasn’t in attendance himself, when the likes of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Peter Serafinowicz would lovingly supply those instantly recognisable lilting inflections in his absence.

He somehow managed to be both mainstream and left-field; cheekily poking fun at those around him, and more often at himself. He was a safe, yet off-kilter pair of hands to be left in, particularly when the show he was presenting was loose enough for him to improvise as he would like (which was the ones with long running-times - such as Eurovision and Children in Need - always fit him so well).

We’ve lost so many key entertainment figures in the past few weeks that it's strangely commonplace to see another big name in the headlines; yet somehow, the death of Wogan feels more personal; more intimate. We’ll miss that gentle, jocular ribbing that no-one else could get away with. The constant presence of that familiar voice was a source of comfort for many. One thing's for certain: he'll be sorely missed. There was nothing commonplace about Terry Wogan.


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