Monday, 1 February 2016


From 1989: Leonard Nimoy is interviewed by Terry Wogan on WOGAN.

This weekend, British radio and television lost one of the true greats. Probably the greatest.

For me, Terry Wogan was the BBC. There was never a time when he wasn't there. When I was very little, mum would listen to his BBC RADIO TWO breakfast show (the first time around) every morning. His voice became part of the breakfast routine... along with the Weetabix.

And I loved his early undemanding telly game show excursion BLANKETY BLANK. Especially when mic-worrying Kenny Everett and nice-but-dim Lorraine Chase were on the guest list.

I never knowingly saw his late night TV chat show but I must have seen hundreds of episodes of the three-nights-a-week chatathon from 1985 onwards. I almost certainly saw this one. I can legitimately claim to have been there for David Icke and George Best. Although I can never claim to have set foot inside the hallowed halls of the BBC Television Theatre on the verdant Shepherd's Bush Green. But, now that I pass it every day (now the SB Empire), I wish that I had.

And, of course, there was the EUROVISION SONG CONTEST and BBC CHILDREN IN NEED. Two definitions of event television. And Terry was synonymous with both.

Plus, of course, there was AUNTIE'S BLOOMERS (the in-house Television Centre florists was the soundalike Auntie's Blooms... until changes to the corporation buying policy put such purchases beyond the reach of the all-powerful internal charge code) and a myriad of other projects.

I was lucky enough to work with him in a small capacity on a couple of occasions and I found him to be a true gentleman. They say "never meet your heroes" but I felt honoured to do so then and equally so today. 


  1. Possible correction: Wasn't the TV Centre florists called "Auntie's BLOOMS" not bloomers?

    1. Yes indeed. You are right. I have just consulted my TELEVISION CENTRE A-Z (a handy compendium of key information) and, under 'F' for florist, it was indeed AUNTIE'S BLOOMS.

  2. That interview was screened on bbc2 last year as part of Wogan's look back at his chat show. And what an amazing range of guests he had. It was essential viewing back then.

    And how wonderful that you got to meet El Tel, he seemed to be one of those few who were just as nice off screen as on.


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