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Wake Up to Wogan

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Title: Wake Up to Wogan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Terry Wogan, Alan Dedicoat, Lynn Bowles, Paul Walters, TOGs, Wogan (name), Roger Royle, Fran Godfrey, David Sheppard (broadcaster), Charles Nove
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Wake Up to Wogan

Wake Up to Wogan
Genre Talk
Running time Weekdays 7.30am-9.30am
Country  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 2
Starring Terry Wogan

Alan Boyd

Paul Walters
Recording studio Western House, London
Air dates 4 January 1993 to 18 December 2009
Audio format FM and Digital radio
Website Official Website
Podcast Official Podcast

Wake Up to Wogan (WUTW) was the most listened to radio show in the United Kingdom and the flagship breakfast programme broadcast on BBC Radio 2. The show was presented by Terry Wogan who fronted WUTW from 4 January 1993; he had previously presented the breakfast show between 1972 and 1984, but the title WUTW was only added at the start of his second term. On 7 September 2009, Wogan confirmed to his listeners that he would be leaving the show at the end of the year, with Chris Evans taking over the breakfast show from 11 January 2010.[1] The final show was broadcast on 18 December 2009.[2] Regular stand in presenter Johnnie Walker would become interim host of the breakfast show for the three-week period between Wogan's departure and Evans' arrival.

The Show

Wogan took over the airwaves from Sarah Kennedy at 7.30am (following the news headlines) and finished with a hand over to Ken Bruce at 9.30am. WUTW was a music based programme that included listeners' views and comments which were often light-hearted and whimsical. Traffic bulletins interrupted the programme at half hour intervals and had until February 2007 been presented by that morning's newsreader. Similar to other programmes during the day the traffic bulletins are now delivered by a travel announcer.

The show was produced by Paul Walters for many years and in addition to these duties Walters often traded banter with Wogan and the newsreaders on-air until illness took him away from the studio at the start of 2006. He did, however, continue to programme WUTW until his death on 21 October 2006. Alan Boyd took over production duties in Walters' absence and has remained with the show since Walters' death. "Barrowlands" Boyd was at first rarely heard on-air, but often played a part in Wogan's "mini-dramas", usually as the dour Scottish soundalike for a Taggart character.

The newsreaders who contributed to the show are Steve Wright in the Afternoon) often address "the Team."

WUTW was one of the few Radio 2 programmes podcast.

Terry's Old Geezers and Gals - "TOGs"

Regular listeners to the show were often referred to collectively as TOGs (Terry's Old Geezers / Gals).[3] A running joke on the show was defining what it takes to qualify as a TOG. Much humour was drawn from identifying stereotypical traits of the elderly, such as absent-mindedness, cynicism and befuddlement at modern society's habits, as being those of a true TOG. Wogan, as the archetypal TOG, was sometimes referred to as the "TOGmeister".

Younger listeners were sometimes called "TYGs" (Terry's Young Geezers/Gals); a frequent joke being that many TYGs were children forced to listen to WUTW in the car while being driven to school. Often, younger listeners getting in touch with the show were jokingly told to "get lost".

Regular contributors

Humorous contributors

The show relied heavily on e-mailed material sent in by listeners that was then read out on air, and there were many regular contributors from the general public. Often a pseudonym was used by the contributor(s) for comic effect. A few of these regular contributors are listed below:

  • Mick Sturbs was the author of the Janet and John stories which were sent in to WUTW every three weeks so that they could be read out in the presence of John Marsh. The stories were released on four CD volumes, and the collected scripts have also been published under the title What Janet and John Did Next to raise money for the BBC Children in Need appeal. Betty Bickerdyke often featured in the Janet and John stories and she also appeared in emails relating to "Deadly", particularly those relating to the "Wealdstone Tan and Touch-Up Emporium". Melanie Frontage was a character from the Janet and John stories. See John Run: The Complete Radio 2 Janet and John Marsh Stories as Told by Terry Wogan by Kevin Joslin was published in October 2009.
  • Chuffer Dandridge, also a frequent contributor to Wake Up to Wogan, was a resting Shakespearean actor-manager who often e-mailed into the show to make comments regarding Sir Terry, or something in the news. He would also mistakenly refer to a road or place featured in the travel bulletins as an old acting friend: "Did I hear Lynn mention my old friend Bradford Bypass?" Chuffer often mentioned his producer/ director friend Dickie "Touch" Tingles who was, allegedly, a famous Music Hall veteran. Another long-running joke was the mention of him being owed a 'white fiver' (a pre-1957 Five Pound Note) by that person.
  • Barnsley Chop, Dora Jarr, Lou Smorrels, Edna Cloud, Tim Custard, Gethin Nunn, Palacia Betts and Tansy Whitebytts were also regular contributors to the programme.
  • Crookey of Old Bangor Town, Horatio Q. Birdbath, Katie Mallett and Wilting Baz often wrote poetry based on the days news stories or an ode to one of the newsreaders.

For a list of regular contributors to the show, see TOGs.

Often an e-mail was signed off with a name that is a double entendre. Wogan was (usually!) good at cutting off his reading of an e-mail if it starts becoming too rude for transmission.

Pause for Thought

During the last half hour of the show, the programme included a short interlude, where a moment of religious-related opinion was shared with Wogan and the listeners. Regular contributors included:

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Charles King - Editor-in-chief at the Salvation Army's International HQ
  • Fidelma Meehan - a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom

Holidays and cover

Wogan was famous for the amount of holiday leave he took and had numerous presenters cover his absence over the years.

Originally Dawn Patrol host Sarah Kennedy covered for him after persuading then Radio 2 Controller Frances Line that she was most suitable for the job. A couple of "dubious" moments whilst Kennedy was in the chair during the late 1990s under James Moir's reign, however, resulted in Ed Stewart being granted the accolade. In the last few years of the show Johnnie Walker had usually deputised for Wogan although Richard Allinson had also frequently taken this role. Allinson tended to cover the show during Bank Holidays.

During the Christmas break in 2007, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond covered the show's slot for several days and Jonathan Ross had been known to present the show on a one-off occasion. From 2008 until Wogan's final holiday leave prior to his retirement from the breakfast show, Johnnie Walker had been the usual stand-in for Wogan. Contributors often used to joke that it was Terry Wogan who was in fact the stand-in for Johnnie Walker.


External links

  • Wake Up to Wogan official show page
  • Official TOGs Website
  • Official TOGs and Children in Need merchandise
  • Chuffer Dandridge
  • Tansy Whitebytts

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