THE death of Sir Terry Wogan will have saddened millions for whom he came to seem as much a friend as a broadcaster across the course of 50 years.
His witty, charming and relaxed demeanour on both radio and television made him one of the best-loved of all personalities, and amongst the brightest stars that the BBC ever had.
He truly was a national treasure, taken to the hearts of Britain, his adopted country, and much admired by his fellow broadcasters, who recognised the skill that lay behind the apparently effortless delivery.
The breadth of the tributes paid to him yesterday, from the Prime Minister to generations of entertainers, were testament to the affection in which he was held.
So was the knighthood he was granted in 2005, making him one of the relatively few citizens of another country to receive the honour.
Sir Terry’s audiences were measured in the millions, both on Radio 2, where his breakfast show was for decades the accompaniment to countless commutes or school runs, or on BBC1 and the early-evening chat show that came to define the genre.
And he was almost single-handedly responsible for the huge kitsch appeal of the Eurovision Song Contest, thanks to his joshing presentation that poked fun at the contestants and provided acerbic observations on partisan voting.
But undoubtedly his proudest achievement was fronting the BBC’s annual Children in Need appeal for 35 years – with Pudsey bear, who was named after the West Yorkshire town – which has raised hundreds of millions for the best of causes.
Sir Terry was the magic ingredient that brought the money rolling in, consistently breaking the appeal’s records for the amount raised.
By doing that, he demonstrated that he was more than just a beloved broadcaster. Sir Terry made a difference for the better, and there can be no more honourable legacy of a glittering career.