This is someone who had one of the most successful careers in TV and radio of anybody, and there isn’t really too much that I could tell you about him that you wouldn’t already know. But I wanted to include him in this series, because like many other people I’m sure, I always enjoyed his work. Terry Wogan‘s hosting career covered a lot of areas, including plenty of game shows.
He started out in Ireland, and shortly after, in the mid-60s, he hopped over the water to the UK. One of his earliest TV successes was Blankety Blank in the late-70s. Now it could be said that it seemed that he didn’t seem to know what was happening half the time, including trying to interact with the celebrity panellists, but this was a game where it wasn’t too much of a problem, as this wasn’t to be taken too seriously. Apart from the end, where a dishwasher could be won and it got very exciting.
For some reason, there was a repeat run of some of his editions of Blankety Blank almost two decades later, he returned with some newly-made introductions (and his microphone), and he still seemingly couldn’t make any sense of it. He also hosted A Song For Europe, the competition that would determine who would represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest, which was definitely a great honour. And of course, he would also commentate on the main contest for several years.
In the early-80s, there was the launch of his chat show that ran for about a decade, and for seven years was shown live three times a week, offering his now familiar style of wit. By the time this ended in the early-90s, he went on to other shows including Auntie’s Bloomers and its several spin-offs. And by this time he was as popular as ever on the radio in the BBC Radio 2 breakfast slot. In the mid-90s, he hosted Do The Right Thing, an interesting game based around debating moral dilemmas.
Going into the 2000s, he hosted a live show on Channel 5 alongside Gaby Roslin, that was a lot of fun. By the end of this decade though, he didn’t have as much TV work as he used to. He departed as Eurovision commentator, although it sounded like he had become sick and tired of the whole thing, complaining of political voting and dodgy songs, and he wasn’t seen much beyond his annual contribution to Children In Need.
He did go on to do another game show though, and surprisingly this was on Channel 4 in a daytime slot. Perfect Recall was a game that was a test memory, and by this point he had been doing this type of thing for five decades, making it look easy. When he died, it really was one of those moments where you realised that things wouldn’t be the same again, and we would’ve been infinitely poorer without his contribution.