In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Monday, 1 February 2016

TERRY WOGAN

I was very fond of Terry Wogan, especially in the early years of his stint on BBC Radio 2. He was fresh, intelligent, innovative, very funny and, for a good decade and more, he was a must-listen-to radio broadcaster. In his twilight years, he was not as sharp but I tend to remember his greatest era when he was a wit like no other. He was much more than a disc jockey. He commanded the microphone with a skill and confidence that eludes many a jock. He was a master of the radio pause, the silence that would provoke a heart attack amongst many a producer. He could tell a great story or emphasise the most entertaining points of a listener's letter with cheek and relish, milking the daft with a natural deftness. He was Irish and he used the accent and the humour accordingly, sometimes for music hall emphasis and sometimes for slapstick effect, sometimes for an intelligent end piece. He  was better on radio than TV but the margin was narrow.

He was a firm family man and his family deserve the praise and prayers of people from wherever it comes. RIP Sir Terry Wogan.You were like no other, in the best possible way.

But the amount of news and general entertainment coverage of Terry Wogan's passing, rather like the David Bowie coverage, is enough to make you want to run to the hills. Celebrate the man, for sure, but don't go on and on and on about his life. Something tells me Sir Terry would wave a lot of this tribute stuff away.

Perhaps, since the death of Princess Diana, coupled with the voracious appetite of 24/7 news, big personalities are bestowed with disproportionate headline coverage that, possibly, tires people after a while. Overdosing is not a good thing, especially when A to Z personalities attempt to hitch their wagons, in this case, to Wogan's star. A simple obituary becomes an epic national period of mourning that taints the gilt that extraordinary people like Terry deserve. Less is more.

Again, RIP, Sir Terry Wogan. A broadcaster and writer to remember fondly. I switched off the coverage, including tonight's One Show, and remembered my own recollections. In the words of Sir Terry in his best radio days, I am banjaxed, malafoostered and reduced to the condition of a pig's breakfast by the media fauning but I do remember a genius who broke a mould and I can't think of many of them on the radio.

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