Terry Wogan tribute at Westminster Abbey thanksgiving.
Richard Lynch pictured with Terry Wogan in 2012. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick
A Sir Terry Wogan tribute has taken place, as a thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, where colleagues celebrated the life and career of the broadcasting legend.
Performances at the event included Katie Melua, whom Mr Wogan played on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show and Peter Gabriel, whose ‘That’ll Do’ was chosen by Terry Wogan as his favourite ‘Desert Island Disk’ in 2012.
Also attending the event were Alan Titchmarsh, Tess Daly, Alesha Dixon, Maureen Lipman, Esther Rantzen, Gaby Roslin, June Whitfield among many other big names in showbusiness and the broadcasting world.
Paying tribute to the late broadcaster were Chris Evans and BBC Chief Tony Hall who thanked Sir Terry Wogan “for giving us so much sheer, unalloyed joy”. Joanna Lumley read a poem at the service which she co-wrote with Sir Richard Stilgoe, entitled ‘For The Former Greatest Living Irishman’.
Born in Limerick in 1938, Terry began his career which spanned over four decades at RTÉ; first in radio and later as presenter of shows such as Jackpot, a light entertainment quiz show.
Terry attended Crescent College and underwent a largely religious upbringing as a Catholic. His father was promoted to general manager of the grocery store he worked for, Leverett and Fyre. It was this promotion that put Terry on an unexpected career path as his family and himself moved to Dublin when he was just 15. However he never forgets his beloved hometown of Limerick, he often referred to it, as “Limerick never left me, whatever it is, my identity is Limerick.”
Despite his fame and the fact that he was based in the UK throughout much of his career, Sir Terry Wogan often returned home to Limerick and never missed an opportunity on radio or TV to speak about his Limerick roots. The Council honoured him with the title of Freeman of Limerick in 2007.
Sir Terry Wogan commentated on the Eurovision for more than 30 years and was also known for his chat show ‘Wogan’ and for his role presenting the ‘Children in Need’ telethon.
Following his retirement from full-time broadcasting in 2009, Terry continued to present a two-hour Sunday morning show, on BBC Radio 2.
Terry, who was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth in 2005, received the freedom of Limerick in 2007. In the same year, he was presented with a Special Lifetime Achievement Award at the Limerick Person of the Year awards.
One of his last public appearances in Limerick was in May 2012, which he attended the Mayor’s Ball at the Strand Hotel.
During Terry’s interview with Richard Lynch at the Mayor’s Ball in May 2012 he talked about his love of Limerick city saying, “I am Limerick’s, nothing will ever change me now. All my formative years were spent here, cycling back and forth across Sarsfields bridge, playing rugby in Thomond park, my heart is in Limerick.”