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Michael Terrence Wogan was born in 1938, grew up in Limerick and started out in the media as a continuity announcer for RTE Radio in Dublin. And then he ended up becoming a legend in his own lifetime.
His breakfast show, both on Radio 1 and later Radio 2, achieved listening figures approaching 10% of the entire population of the British Isles. Consistently, five days a week for twenty-seven years, even with a ten-year break in the middle. Also the commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest for well over two decades.
He was also a familiar face on British television during the 1980s and early 1990s, hosting the chat-show Wogan on BBC-1.
His career contains examples of:
- Arch Enemy: The entire Kingdom of Denmark for a few years after he described their Eurovision hosts as "Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy".
- Audience Participation: Letters, emails, texts and tweets from listeners are a key part of the show's surreal and occasionally deranged humour.
- Big Eater: One of the many Running Gags was the amount of food he had delivered to the studio each morning. Or "the decided lack of provender" if they didn't have any food delivered to the studio that day. On occasion they'd have similar foods delivered in a week for occasions such as "Pie Week", where they'd dine on different types of pies all that week.
- Bottled Heroic Resolve: Four or five litres of it accompanied him into the Eurovision commentary box each year, purchased from the nearest off-license. And can you blame him?
- Eccentric Mentor: His semi-coherent, rambling yet still erudite and very funny tangents are the stuff of legend.
- Fan Nickname: "The Togmeister", after the Fandom's own nickname of TOGs and TYGs, or "Terry's Old/Young Geezers".
- Knight in Sour Armour: You could make a case for him being both, but either way he doesn't have to appear on Children in Need every year, let alone donate all the profits from his tie-in merchandise to it.
- The Nicknamer: Has one for all his regular support team, none of whom seem to mind much despite some of them being rather unflattering.
- Punny Name: The pseudonyms adopted by his correspondents, mostly of the Incredibly Lame variety. Examples include "Edina Cloud", "Lucy Lastic" and "Tess Tickles", the latter of which he didn't catch onto until it was rather too late.
- Real Person Fic: There was a trend in The Nineties for listeners to send in home-made 'bodice-ripping sagas' about the Love Dodecahedron between the people on Wogan's show (and the radio in general) such as Fran Godfrey, John Marsh and Alan Dedicoat.
- Running Gag: Plenty of them. Some of the classics over the years include the obsession with the real, dark purpose behind traffic cones; the man who takes his budgerigar for a walk; a lighthouse fifty miles inland; the idea that Wogan has a blackboard with him in the studio and encourages his listeners to 'look' at it through the radio speakers; and most generally of all, the problems and nostalgia associated with being a TOG.
- Despite having been married to the same woman since 1965 and not being married to anyone else before her, Wogan will usually publicly refer to his wife as "the present Mrs. Wogan".