Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sir Terry Wogan makes radio comeback


Sir Terry Wogan returns to the airwaves

Sir Terry Wogan has returned to BBC Radio 2, two months after bowing out as long-running host of the station's breakfast programme.

The 71-year-old opened the first edition of his new show by saying: "God, it's been hell without you!"

Weekend Wogan, broadcast live in front of a studio audience from central London, included performances and chat with Jamie Cullum and Norah Jones.

Sir Terry, succeeded by Chris Evans, ended his tenure with 8m listeners.

"Break and a half"

The new format brought the veteran broadcaster together with his faithful fans who made up the 300-strong audience at the BBC's Radio Theatre.

The tickets to the first 12 live shows were snapped up within 24 hours of being made available.

"I'm so pleased that you've turned up!" quipped Sir Terry, adding that he was worried the seats would be empty.

God, it's been hell without you!
Sir Terry Wogan

Sir Terry, who also welcomed actor Sir Ian McKellen to the show, earlier joked that he had enjoyed "one hell of Christmas break and a half" since retiring from the breakfast show on 18 December.

"It's been the longest eight weeks of my life," he declared.

In keeping with the format of the breakfast show, many listeners contacted the new programme, with one saying they heard Sir Terry on the radio, "got up and went to work".

Another listener welcomed his return, calling it "like finding a comforting old blanket at the back of the cupboard".

The presenter added that the shift would lead to his devotees becoming known as "Wogan's ageing Sunday participants" or Wasps.

Earlier on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, Sir Terry said that he had received "various offers" since leaving the breakfast show, but admitted: "I'd like to take it a bit more easily."

Weekend Wogan is due to be broadcast in three blocks of 12 programmes during the year.

Filmed highlights of the shows will be made available to Radio 2 listeners the following Monday morning on the station's website.

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Sir Terry Wogan makes radio comeback
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