January 31, 2016

The Togmeister has Ascended…

Filed under: Uncategorized — madaxeman @ 11:26 pm

Like many of my cohorts, I was stunned this morning to learn of the death of Sir Terry Wogan – courtesy of a shocked phone call from a close friend who was perhaps even more of a fan than I… It was the kind of news that just slaps you in the face and makes you stop what you’re doing – and when my friend mentioned that Radio Two were broadcasting a tribute show, I knew I had to listen…

As I write this, thanks to the magic of the BBC IPlayer, I’m listening again. At the side of me I have a cup of tea mixed with something a little more potent, and a box of tissues. Both are getting some use.

You see, from late 1999 until about 2007, I was, in common with millions of other people up and down the nation, one of Terry’s regular listeners – or a TOG to those in the know… For most of the time in question I had jobs that involved about a 40 minute commute, so the “Wake Up To Wogan” show became a big part of my day. The irreverent humour of the team (the show was never simply about Terry), the banter between Terry and his producer Paul Walters, the finely tuned musical selection – all came together to get me fired up for the day, and to make sure I’d had a few smiles before finding my desk.

Listening to the tribute show now, I am inevitably reminded of listening to the tribute show Terry himself organised to mark the passing of Paul Walters. I can still remember lying in the bath listening to that show, how poignant it was, the “comforting pain” I felt as I listened to “He Ain’t Heavy”. Well, it’s even more intense now that we are marking the passing of Terry himself – but there IS comfort there…

Muscially, well – he had Paul Walters had amazing taste. They introduced me to several stars – people like Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua, the remarkable thing being that they were not the “known” figures of  today, but rather “unknowns” who made the playlist simply because of Terry and Paul’s love of quality. Listening to the tribute show, there are so many of these tracks that I would never identify as being amongst my favourites – but I’m struck by how good these records are… Exquisite was an everyday thing on the show.

Terry was, as they say, only human – and at seventy seven years of age, we should all be able to admit, as Terry certainly would, that the road ahead was somewhat shorter than the road behind. I’m sure, the humour of the man being what it was, he wouldn’t want to think of nation wailing in despair; rather, he would want us to remember all the fun we had…

So, to Terry, to Paul(ie) Walters, to Fran Godfrey, to Alan “Voice of the balls” “Deadly” Dedicoat, to John “Boggy” Marsh – Thank You. There’s much more to be said, but it doesn’t need to be – I’m sure they know… If God exists, his mornings have just got a little more interesting…





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