Stars pay tribute to Sir Terry Wogan

TRULY talented. A broadcasting hero. Radio Genius.

Sunday, 31st January 2016, 1:20 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st January 2016, 1:24 pm
Terry Wogan has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer

Tributes have poured in from the world of showbusiness and beyond for broadcasting great Sir Terry Wogan, who has died from cancer.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Terry Wogan has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer

Paying tribute to his friend, BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine said: “Terry started doing the Radio 2 breakfast show when I was six. When, aged 37, I joined the network, he was unfailingly encouraging and friendly. He did nearly 40 years at breakfast, with an intermission for TV work: surely an unbeatable record.

“Someone asked Terry how many listeners he had. Instead of answering nine million, which would have been accurate, he said: ‘Only one.’

“And it was this approach that made him one of the greatest broadcasters this country has ever seen. He only ever spoke to one person.”

Terry Wogan has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer

Vine also quoted a conversation between Sir Terry and the Queen, during which she asked him how long he had worked at the BBC.

Sir Terry replied: “Your Majesty, I’ve never worked here.”

Tony Blackburn added: “I can hardly believe my old friend Sir Terry Wogan has died. RIP Terry and thanks for being a friend.”

Fellow broadcasting DJ Lauren Laverne wrote: “Oh, man. RIP Sir Terry Wogan. Broadcasting hero”, while Julian Clary said: “RIP Terry Wogan. A witty, warm and wonderful man.”

Sir Roger Moore said: “Oh no. It’s a sad weekend. BBC News - Sir Terry Wogan: Veteran broadcaster dies aged 77.”

Presenter Dermot O’Leary described him as “just the most warm-hearted, generous, funny, clever, life-affirming man”, and Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans added: “We are all so terribly sad upon hearing of the passing of Terry. I can’t put into words how the whole Radio 2 family is feeling.”

Tess Daly, who worked with Sir Terry on Children in Need, said: “So so sad at the news Sir Terry has passed away. He was the funniest, kindest man, it was a huge privilege to work with him and a joy to know him.

“Terry was a true gentleman on and off camera. He never stopped working tirelessly for charity. A legend is lost. My thoughts are with his family.”

Piers Morgan hailed Sir Terry as “one of the greatest broadcasters who ever lived”, and fellow Irishman Graham Norton said: “He made it seem effortless and for a young boy in Ireland he made it seem possible. RIP Sir Terry Wogan. I’ll raise a glass during song 9.”

Richard Osman, of TV’s Pointless, said: “So sad about Sir Terry Wogan. What a wonderful, clever, funny man. Did nothing but make the world a happier place.”

Cricketer Ian Botham wrote: “Very sad to hear the news about Sir Terry Wogan passing away this morning !! A wonderful man just the same rain or shine !! RIP”, while actor Sir Roger Moore added: “Oh no. It’s a sad weekend. BBC News - Sir Terry Wogan: Veteran broadcaster dies aged 77.”

And English actor David Schneider said: “It’s truly like God’s put an intern in charge of deaths and he’s going through the list of celebrities people really love. RIP Terry Wogan.”

Actress Lisa Faulkner said: “I am so sad to hear Terry Wogan has died. I grew up listening to him on the radio. Memories of my sister and I dancing to The Floral Dance.”

Chris Moyles said: “A genuine, original, master of broadcasting who turned talking in between records into an art form. Sleep well Terry and thank you. Christy”, while Scott Mills added: “I’m so sad about Sir Terry Wogan. A radio talent like no other. So warm but so so funny. The best. RIP Terry.”

In a glowing tribute, Jo Whiley wrote: “That warm, golden voice. That twinkle. That wit. The broadcaster’s broadcaster. Kind. Funny. Lovely lovely lovely. Unutterably sad.”

Phillip Schofield said: “Waking up to the very sad news that Sir Terry Wogan has died. Such a very charming man & a great broadcaster. Sending love to his family.”

Suzi Perry wrote: “Fabulous man. Utterly adored Terry. So very sad.....”, while singer Sam Smith said: “Sending all my love and prayers to Terry Wogan’s family and friends. Such sad news.”

Nicky Campbell said simply: “The King. The maestro. A total natural. RIP Terry”, while Conor McNamara added: “I went to the same school as Terry Wogan. The idea that a kid from Limerick could go and make it at the BBC was so inspiring. Absolute hero”.

Singer Alison Moyet wrote touchingly: “He has now left, entirely empty, my childhood kitchen. The class of ‘77 have truly grown. I shall miss your voice terribly.”

Loose Women panellist Sherrie Hewson said: “Another day of sadness the truly talented Terry Wogan has died !!!! A lovely man met him 30 years ago he never changed ! Too sad !! RIP x”

West End star Kerry Ellis wrote: “O my god !!! Terry Wogan passed !?!! Such a wonderful man, so kind and generous What a sad loss. I’m gutted and lost for words.”

DJ Edith Bowman said: “Just so tragic to hear the news of Terry Wogan this morning. A true pro, a lovely lovely man. Love and best wishes to his family. Xx

“He was a huge influence, watching his chat show, his genius commentary of Eurovision, warm & genuine interest in people & music. RIP Tel”.

Presenter Dermot O’Leary tweeted: “Sir Terry. Just the most warm hearted, generous, funny, clever, life affirming man. Part of the foundations of BBC Radio 2 so very sad.”

Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans added: “We are all so terribly sad upon hearing of the passing of Terry. I can’t put into words how the whole Radio 2 family is feeling.”

Fellow broadcaster Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo described Sir Terry as a “radio genius”.

Speaking outside BBC Broadcasting House, he said: “I think people are shocked and stunned because of the fact that he was a radio genius. The staple of all great radio is the friend behind the microphone and he was the ultimate friend behind the microphone.”

Despite Sir Terry’s experience and great reputation Mayo, who first met him covering the 1992 Olympics, said he was the opposite of intimidating.

He said: “He was warm, funny, welcoming, generous. You would think ‘oh my goodness, it’s Sir Terry’ and then as soon as you met him he’d offer you a biscuit and some cold curry that had been brought in the night before. I’ve worked with intimidating broadcasters and Terry wasn’t that.”

Mark Linsey, acting director of BBC Television, said: “Terry Wogan was part of the fabric of BBC Television, a consummate broadcaster who entertained and delighted millions.

Lizzie Jones, the wife of rugby player Danny Jones who died last year, tweeted: “Rip Terry Wogan so sad sending love to your family xx”

Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris also recalled his experiences as a colleague of Sir Terry.

He said: “So sad about Wogan. He was a master broadcaster and a warm and lovely person. I first met him when I did my first ever radio show in 1970.

“My dad was with me and he and Terry sat chatting in the studio while I prepared for my first show. He was encouraging and supportive.

“Years later my dad saw Terry in Broadcasting House reception. He didn’t expect to be remembered but Terry strode over hand outstretched. ‘Hello Mr Harris’.”

Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said: “Farewell to Sir Terry, the master of radio communication. Chatted to millions, with each listener feeling he was talking just to them.”

And comedian Rory Bremner wrote: “So sad to hear Terry Wogan’s died. Big shock, and a huge loss. Broadcasting giant through sheer force of his warmth, wit and personality.

“He gave me my first big breaks in radio and TV. Loved by millions, and like the greats in any walk of life, made it all seem so effortless.”

Holly Willoughby said: “Just seen the news. Had the pleasure of meeting Sir Terry Wogan a few times, every time he was the wonderful man you hoped he’d be, RIP X.”

X Factor presenter and singer Olly Murs wrote: “RIP Sir Terry Wogan. To be on your show an honour, to have met you a pleasure. One of the greatest broadcasters ever!”

Eurovision, the song contest Sir Terry hosted for many years, tweeted: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Terry Wogan. He was without doubt the most remarkable Eurovision commentator in history.”

Fellow Irishman and Boyzone singer Keith Duffy said: “Very sad to hear about Sir Terry Wogan, I loved his TV chat show as a young boy A real legend! God Speed Terry.”

Aled Jones said: “Devastated that my ‘radio dad’ has passed away - he was my hero and the greatest broadcaster ever. RIP Terry and love to the Wogan family.”

Michael Ball wrote: “So sad to here about my colleague, friend and broadcasting hero Terry Wogan. We are so much the poorer without him.

“Terry was a touchstone from the very start of my career. So supportive, kind and funny. Can’t quite believe he’s gone. Cancer, I hate you”.

Children In Need’s chief executive David Ramsden said: “Sir Terry Wogan has been at the heart of the charity for over 30 years raising millions to change the lives of children.

“We have lost a wonderful friend and we will miss him so much. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Sad news. A broadcasting institution. Not sure we make them like #TerryWogan anymore. RIP”

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am so, so sorry to hear about the death of Terry Wogan. I used to love him on Radio 2.

“His Eurovision coverage was legendary for its wit.

“Children In Need was synonymous with Sir Terry and when he missed it in November, little did we think it was because he was terminally ill.

“A truly fabulous broadcaster and family man, we are certainly the poorer for his passing.”

She added the hashtag “#oneofakind”.

“His contribution - to Children In Need, Eurovision, Blankety Blank and his long-running chat show Wogan - was truly outstanding. We will remember him with warmth, affection and admiration, and our thoughts are with his family.”

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams tweeted: “I liked Terry Wogan. Sorry 2 hear he has died.”

In a statement, actress Lorraine Chase said: “I’m deeply saddened to hear of Terry’s death today. He was an extraordinary man, very cheeky and always full of joy. I have very, very fond memories of our time together on Blankety Blank, always so generous and so kind.

“During that period I was pretty inexperienced and to be lucky enough to be under his wing was invaluable. He had no ego and therefore brought out the best in his guests; his intention of course. Terry was a one-off. Irreplaceable.”

The University of Leicester has paid tribute to Sir Terry who was an honorary graduate, having received a Doctor of Laws degree in 2010.

A spokesman for the university said: “Sir Terry Wogan was a brilliant broadcaster who touched many people’s lives over a long and distinguished career.

“We are proud of his connection with the University of Leicester and to have counted him amongst our distinguished honorary graduates, and we were also delighted to be associated with some of his charitable work.

“We express our profound sorrow at the loss of such a remarkable personality.”

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale tweeted: “Very sad to hear loss of Terry Wogan. His gentle humour always brought a smile. He set the standard for British radio and TV broadcasting.”

Presenter Eamonn Holmes wrote: “The Don is gone - Will miss you so much head of The Murphia. Thanks for your blessing & your friendship.”

TV host Zoe Ball wrote: “Dearest Terry Wogan. master of the radio waves, so brilliantly naughty & funny, a true gentleman.”

Boyzone star Ronan Keating wrote: “Devastated to hear of the passing of Sir Terry Wogan. A true gentleman, a king of the airwaves. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Broadcaster Stephen Nolan tweeted: “Even if you didn’t know him personally, it will feel today that your friend has died. That was Terry Wogan’s brilliance. RIP.”

Singer Will Young wrote: “My dear dear buddy in broadcasting and favourite person and father figure Terry Wogan has passed on. Thank you for being so kind and supportive and such a wonderful person who always was nurturing. So rare to find . Peace Terry xxxxx”

Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon posted a photograph of herself with Sir Terry on Instagram, and wrote: “So sad to hear about Terry Wogan this morning. I grew up watching him, had the pleasure of presenting with him & more recently sang for him on his @bbcradio2 show.

“He always made me laugh, always made me feel welcome and he was a legend. Rest in peace Terry, you will always be in our hearts.”

O’Leary later posted an old photo of Sir Terry on Instagram with the caption: “Thank you Terry. For everything. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.

“May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Singer Andrea Corr tweeted: “Terry Wogan, unique, funny, clever, loveliest of men will be greatly missed by the bag of spanners ... Rest in peace ...”

Dame Joan Collins wrote: “So shocked and sad to hear about #terrywogan - one of the greatest TV personalities.”

In a statement, TV host Chris Tarrant said: “Such awful and unexpected news about Terry Wogan. Even though we had competing breakfast shows for many years, he was always incredibly kind to me : but of course he was kind to everybody.... unfailingly funny on and off the screen - just a lovely warm witty man.

“He had a unique radio presence that never came from a podium, rather a comfortable fireside armchair. He was the finest broadcaster of my lifetime. Simply the best. The airwaves have lost a great gentleman.”