President and Prime Minister lead tributes to Sir Terry Wogan, the ‘defining voice of BBC Radio 2’ and ‘a lovely, lovely man’

President and Prime Minister lead tributes to Sir Terry Wogan, the 'defining voice of BBC Radio 2' and 'a lovely, lovely man'
Sir Terry Wogan, who died early on Sunday after a short illness

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and British Prime Minister David Cameron have led the many, many tributes to broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, who died early on Sunday, aged 77

President Higgins praised his distinguished contribution to radio and TV in Britain and Ireland.

“People in Ireland will remember his early career in Irish broadcasting. On his move to Britain his voice became one of the most often quoted, favourite radio voices.

“Always proud of his origins in Limerick, he made many returns to his native country for television and radio projects.

“His rise to the top of radio listenership in the United Kingdom was a great tribute to his breadth of knowledge and in particular his unique, very personal sense of humour,” said the President in a statement.

Limerick City and County Council has confirmed that members of the public will be able to express their condolences from 10am on Monday with separate books being opened at the Council buildings in Dooradoyle and in Merchants Quay.

An online Book of Condolences also will be hosted on www.limerick.ie.

Recent tributes will be updated at the bottom of this page

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted shortly after the BBC revealed news of the death that Britain has lost “a huge talent – someone millions came to feel was their own special friend.

“I grew up listening to him on the radio and watching him on TV. His charm and wit always made me smile.”

His family issued the following statement: “Sir Terry Wogan died today after a short but brave battle with cancer.

“He passed away surrounded by his family. While we understand he will be missed by many, the family ask that their privacy is respected at this time.”

This morning, both Gay Byrne and Ryan Tubridy paid tribute on RTE radio. Listen here:

For many years Terry Wogan was the voice of the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest television coverage.

His successor in that role, fellow Irish broadcaster Graham Norton said:

Another fellow Irish broadcaster, Eamon Holmes of Sky News and ITV, who called Sir Terry ‘the Don’, said:

“Dublin was very much part of his life although he was born in Limerick.”

He said that for a young broadcaster to get Wogan’s imprimatur or blessing was a “marvellous, marvellous thing”.

“He was so indiscreet, he gossiped about everything,” said Holmes of Wogan.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Wogan, as an Irishman, occupied a special place in British listeners’ hearts and acted “in no small way as a bridge between Ireland and Britain”.

Sir Terry worked in banking after college, experiences he drew on for his first collection of short stories which he published last year.

He started his career in broadcasting in at Radio Éireann as a newsreader and announcer eventually getting his own BBC radio shows for which he used to fly from Dublin every week while retaining his day job.

President and Prime Minister lead tributes to Sir Terry Wogan, the ‘defining voice of BBC Radio 2’ and ‘a lovely, lovely man’
Dara O’Briain and Terry Wogan at the Women’s Irish Network audience with Sir Terry Wogan in 2015.

He got his own daily show on BBC Radio in 1969 and in April 1972 got the breakfast show on Radio 2 which until 1984, and presented a three times a week TV chat show, ‘Wogan’ on BBC One which ran for seven years.

Other TV shows included ‘Lunchtime with Wogan’, ‘Come Dancing’, ‘Celebrity Squares’, ‘New Faces’ and ‘Blankety Blank’.

He returned to Radio 2 in 1993 as host of ‘Wake Up To Wogan’ and presented the show until December 2009. He received his knighthood in 2005 and was proud of not just being Sir Terry bit that his beloved wife was Lady Helen.

His most famous listener was Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, whom he was proud to include as one of Terry’s TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers).

His final sign off from Radio 2 captured hearts across the nation:

His family home outside London boasts an unrivalled view of Windsor Castle and both Queen Elizabeth and Sir Terry reportedly told others they would occasionally wave in each other’s directions.

The tributes continue to flood in online:

BBC director general Tony Hall said: “Terry truly was a national treasure. Today we’ve lost a wonderful friend. He was a lovely, lovely man and our thoughts are with his wife and family.”

Crescent and Belvo boy – Rest in peace Terry.

Posted by IrishRugby on Sunday, 31 January 2016

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