Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Sir Terry Wogan bids farewell to show


Sir Terry: "I'm going to miss you. Thank you. Thank you for being my friend"

Sir Terry Wogan has hosted his last Radio 2 breakfast show after 27 years presenting the programme.

As the programme came to an end, the 71-year-old said: "The years together with you have not only been a pleasure but a privilege."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid an on-air tribute to the veteran DJ, saying he had "shaped the popular imagination of British viewers and listeners".

Sir Terry will begin hosting a new Sunday show from February.

"Five decades at the very top of British broadcasting is a towering, indeed an unparalleled achievement," Mr Brown said.

"As you move on from Wake Up To Wogan, I wanted to let you know how very dearly you'll be missed and how delighted we all are you'll be returning with another venture before too long."

Farewell poems

In response to Mr Brown's comments, which were played during the 0800 news bulletin, the DJ said: "How dare you slip that across me. Are you all trying to make me cry?"

As the show drew to a close Sir Terry addressed his audience and said: "You've allowed me to share your lives with you. When you tell me how important I've been in your lives, it's fairly moving. You've been every bit as important in mine.

I'm going to miss the laughter and the fun of our mornings together
Sir Terry Wogan

"If anybody embodies the generous, warm spirit of this country it's you, my listeners.

"Now, I'm not going to pretend that this is not a sad day - you can probably hear it in my voice. I'm going to miss the laughter and the fun of our mornings together.

"I know you're going to welcome Chris Evans with the same generosity of spirit that you've always shown me.

"I'm going to miss you - till we're together again in February. Have a happy Christmas. Thank you . Thank you for being my friend."

He then played Anthony Newley's The Party's Over.

Throughout the show, Sir Terry read out cards and emails from listeners wishing him well.

"I'm surrounded by farewell poems - I wish I could reply to all of you personally because I feel as if we've met," he said.

Later, as the tributes piled up, he joked: "I am having my obituaries while I'm still alive".

Sir Terry began his final programme saying he would "indulge" himself and "play all the music we've enjoyed so much over the years" which included tracks by The Who, Katie Melua, Abba and Elvis Presley.


"We make no apology for the music perhaps being a bit slower and sentimental. There's a reason for it - can't quite work it out."

The presenter said "a senior BBC man" had spoken to him during the show, asking: "You don't think you're overdoing the sentiment?"

Sir Terry joked: "I think they're making sure I don't come back."

Fellow Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker will fill in for Sir Terry until Chris Evans takes over the show on 11 January.

Wake Up to Wogan is the UK's most popular breakfast radio show, with 7.93 million listeners each week.

Last week, the veteran DJ was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall and also received the PRS John Peel outstanding contribution to music award.

Sir Terry asked that his legion of followers show his replacement the same "decency and devotion".

Evans paid a visit to Sir Terry's show on Thursday, during which he spoke of the daunting task he faced in following such a popular figure.

Chris Evans
Chris Evans will replace Sir Terry in January

"They're massive shoes and a little me," he said.

He went on: "Can I just say that everyone in our business wishes you so well and thank you so much for being so brilliant.

"No-one can come close to you. I know this is embarrassing for you, I know you don't want to hear it but it's all true."

Meanwhile, Sir Terry said he was pleased Evans would be his successor.

He said: "I hope that my listeners will treat you with the same respect and decency and devotion that they've always shown to me. I'm sure they will.

"I expect them to take you to their bosoms."

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