Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 08:48 UK

Sir Terry's 'little bit of news'

Sir Terry Wogan
Chris Evans will take over the Radio 2 breakfast show from Sir Terry

Sir Terry Wogan has announced live on air that he will be stepping down as host of the Radio 2 breakfast show at the end of the year.

Here is how he broke the news to his millions of loyal listeners after the 0800 news bulletin on Monday.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own.

If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans.

And I hate to tell you, but it's true.

I was hoping to break it to you, my loyal listener, more gently. I wanted to be the first to tell you.

It's the least I owe you, for endless years, countless hours of morning companionship, friendship, good humour, and laughter. Your loyalty and support has been a beacon of love in my life.

There hasn't been a morning, no matter how dark and drear, that I haven't had a smile on my face and a song in my heart at the prospect of your company, your marvellous mail, your wit and wisdom.

It touches me deeply that I have played a part in your lives, for it seems like generations - mothers and fathers who tell me how they force their children to listen to me in the morning, just as they were forced by their parents.

And many many people, alone, ill or sad, for whom Wake Up to Wogan has been a comfort and a consolation. Let me tell you, it will never match what all of you have meant to me.

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my broadcasting career, to say goodbye to you in the mornings. But if not this year, when? Five years, 10?

I'd rather leave while we're in love, as the song says, while the programme is the most popular on British radio, while we still delight in each other's company.

And so we will, until the end of the year, when my good friend Chris Evans takes over. I know that you'll give him the same love and affection you've always shown to me.

However, before you heave a sigh of relief at my passing, you needn't think that you've seen or heard the last of me.

I'll be there until hell freezes over with Proms in the Park - see you there on Saturday next - and, of course, Children in Need.

My great and good Togs [Terry's Old Geezers and Gals] will still be rallying in that great cause, and I'll be with them every step of the way, including the voyage.

And in the new year, I'll be starting a really exciting new show, live from the BBC radio studio at Broadcasting House in front of you as my live audience, presenting the very pinnacle of live music, artists, guests, and of course, you - your mail, your warmth, your wit.

So, this is not goodbye. It's not even au revoir.

As they used to say when I was a lad, 'see you later, alligator, in a while, crocodile'.

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