Sir Terry Wogan, the world-renowned television and radio broadcaster who has died aged 77 after a short illness, was famed for his quick wit and braggadocio. Here is a selection of his best quotations:
“Hang on: there’s 60 million people in the country – what are the other 52 million listening to?” – on hearing that his radio show audience in 2005 had passed 8 million.
“Go out and face the world secure in the knowledge that everybody else thinks they are better looking than they are as well.”
“My opinion has the weight of a ton of feathers.”
“The only physical adornments which grow bigger with passing years are the nose and ears. The rest, regrettably, diminishes.”
“Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy,” – Wogan’s take on the hosts of the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest in Denmark.
“Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.”
“Gratuitously hurtful folk declare that I am very popular in hospitals because the listeners abed there are too weak to reach out and switch me off.”
“The price of fame? Who in their right mind would want to pay it?”
“I don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a major musical event. I love the Eurovision Song Contest and it will continue long after I’m gone. Just please don’t ask me to take it seriously,” – speaking in 2008.
“Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? … Actually, I do. I’ve seen the rehearsals,” – opening remark for the 2007 show in Finland.
“If the present Mrs Wogan has a fault – and I must tread carefully here – this gem in the diadem of womanhood is a hoarder. She never throws anything out. Which may explain the longevity of our marriage.”
“Could it be that behind every great man there’s a woman working him with her foot?”
“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Tosh, mon brave. If there was any truth in that load of old frog spawn, would the present Mrs Wogan have spent a fortune doing the bedroom?”
“Every year I expect it to be less foolish and every year it is more so,” – on the Finnish rock band Lordi winning the contest in 2006.
“Nobody died. It’s a television programme. It wasn’t the general election. People got a bit confused,” – on his cock-up when he announced the wrong act had won the UK Eurovision in 2007.
“You’d never make a living as a presenter in the UK with a name like Leppy Lampen. A comedian, maybe, but not a presenter,” – on the male presenter of the Finnish contest in 2007.
“So many things I miss. And, you know, I wouldn’t have missed them for anything.”
“The girls themselves resemble nothing so much as garden rakes, and bad-tempered, pouting garden rakes at that,” – on thin models.
“Why do men think they know how to cook outside when they haven’t the smallest idea how to go about it indoors?” – on barbecues.
“Retirement is coming to all of us, and as my accountant said to me lately, ‘You’d better think of taking your pension soon, otherwise it won’t be worth your while.’”
“Get on your toes, keep your wits about you, say goodnight politely when it’s over, go home and enjoy your dinner,” – Wogan’s golden rule of broadcasting.