We are sad to announce that veteran BBC broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan has died aged 77.
In a statement, his family announced today: “Sir Terry Wogan died 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.”
Tributes poured in, led by BBC director general Tony Hall said: “Terry truly was a national treasure.”
BBC radio and TV presenter Graham Norton tweeted:
“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.”
Comedian Sarah Millican tweeted:
“Very sad to hear about Terry Wogan. It was a true honour to meet him. Such a wit and a gent.”
Joan Collins commented:
Journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan tweeted:
“Children In Need raised over £600m during the 35yrs that Terry Wogan was its ‘face’. That’s a greater legacy than even his broadcasting. There are great TV broadcasters & great radio broadcasters. Terry Wogan was the greatest TV & Radio broadcaster. A legend of all airwaves.”
And singer Alison Moyet tweeted this poignant message:
“He has now left, entirely empty, my childhood kitchen. The class of ’77 have truly grown. I shall miss your voice terribly.
Sir Terry’s genial manner and Irish blarney made him a much-loved broadcasting institution.
He was a master of the live event, whether hosting his chat shows or compering Children in Need.
And he had built an audience of eight million for his radio shows.
Sir Terry Wogan was the face of Children In Need, along with Pudsey
An easy-going man off-air, as well as on, he remained remarkably untouched by fame, fortune or any whiff of scandal.
Michael Terence Wogan was born in Limerick on 3 August 1938, the son of a grocery shop manager.
His upbringing was strongly religious.
“We were brainwashed into believing,” he said and later lost his faith, saying it was a “relief”.
His father’s promotion in 1953 saw the family move to Dublin where he developed a love of amateur dramatics and rock ’n’ roll at school.
Sir Terry had a 50-year career on television and radio, including presenting Wake up to Wogan on BBC Radio 2 and the Wogan chat show.
He was also the voice of Eurovision for many years and had been involved in Children in Need since it began. He pulled out of presenting last year’s fundraiser at short notice, but no one then knew how ill he was.
BBC Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said: “As the host of Wake up to Wogan, Terry established himself as one of the greatest and most popular radio hosts this country has ever heard.
“We were brightened by his wonderful personality and charm as he woke us up every weekday morning, becoming an essential and much-loved part of our lives.
“His millions of listeners adored him, as did his whole Radio 2 family. We will miss him enormously and our thoughts at this very sad time are with Helen and all the family.”
Sir Terry is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Katherine and sons Mark and Alan.