Terry WOGAN (1938-)

Terry Wogan
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Terry Wogan, Irish radio and TV broadcaster, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at BBC Broadcasting House.


In the first ‘hit’ of its kind, Eamonn interrupted Terry’s BBC Radio 2 morning show to surprise him live on air. The remainder of Terry’s show was then broadcast from the back seat of a car that drove him from Broadcasting House to the Thames studios on Euston Road, where his tribute was then recorded at 9.30 in the morning!


“I wish I’d shaved!”

Screenshots of Terry Wogan This Is Your Life (click images to enlarge)

Terry Wogan biography

Terry recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography Is It Me? reproduced here with kind permission of the author...


Then one bright morning in 1978, Eamonn Andrews burst into my studio at nine o’clock with the Big Red Book, and I realised that Helen had been deceiving me for months, and I had never noticed a thing.


Up to that moment, I had thought of myself as sensitive, aware of nuance and any deviation in the pattern of behaviour of my nearest and dearest. This Is Your Life helped me realise that I had all the sensitivity of a lavatory seat.



Terry Wogan

They dragged me out of the studio, and I continued to speak to my radio audience from the BBC Radio cab, as Eamonn, myself and blessed Derek Mills, who had connived at it all behind my back, drove to the TV studios on Euston Road.





They were all there, of course – friends from Ireland, Laurie Holloway, Marion Montgomery, Val Doonican, Frank and Peggy Spencer from Come Dancing, Pete Murray, Tony Blackburn, an audience full of the friends we had made in Britain, and, most importantly, Helen, with Alan, Mark and Katherine. Brian and his wife, Pauline were there, too, and with them, Rose and Michael.


It was a wonderful, emotional day; Eamonn and his team treated everybody with typical kindness and professionalism, and we all ended up with a late lunch at a trat in Charlotte Street.


I sometimes regret that I was done by This Is Your Life so early in my career in British radio and television. Compared with what was to come, I had done very little. On the other hand, I am grateful that it happened while Rose and Michael were still alive. They were bemused, but, I think, proud, and Michael T. got to sing ‘The Floral Dance’ along with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 489
  • Subject No: 487
  • Broadcast date: Wed 19 Apr 1978
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 19 Apr 1978 9.30am
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 18
  • Edition: 22
  • Code Name: Two

on the guest list...

  • Pete Murray
  • Tony Blackburn
  • Jimmy Young (live link)
  • Alan, Mark & Katherine - children
  • Helen - wife
  • Michael & Rose - parents
  • Brian & Pauline - brother & wife
  • Frank & Peggy Spencer
  • Ray Carroll
  • James Sexton
  • Ken Daly
  • Noel Curran
  • Val Doonican
  • Mark White
  • Marion Montgomery
  • Laurie Holloway
  • Derek Broadbent
  • Michael Heary
  • Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band

external links...

production team...

  • Researcher: John Viner
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 18 subjects: Richard Beckinsale > Peter Ustinov > Virginia Wade > Robert Arnott > Lin Berwick > Bob Paisley > The Bachelors > David Broome > Arthur English > Barry Sheene > Margot Turner > Pat Coombs > Michael Croft > Max Boyce > Nicholas Parsons > Richard Goolden > Ian Hendry > Marti Caine > Ian Wallace > Dennis Waterman > Anton Dolin > Terry Wogan > William Franklyn > Richard Murdoch > Harry Patterson > Jule Styne > Mike Yarwood