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Saturday 14 December 2019

'Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually I do, I've seen the rehearsals' - Terry Wogan's best Eurovision quotes

Sir Terry Wogan's scathing commentary was usually the best part of the Eurovision Song Contest for many viewers

Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan
Sir Terry Wogan back in his Radio 1 days

Doug Bolton

The BBC has announced that broadcasting legend Sir Terry Wogan has died at the age of 77, following a short illness.

In a career spanning almost five decades, Wogan became a national treasure for his work on the Eurovision Song Contest, bringing millions of viewers to the BBC for his hilarious commentary and scathing put-downs.

He stepped down as host in 2008, and was replaced by Graham Norton the next year, who continues to present the show to this day.

While Norton has successfully replicated Wogan's sarcastic tone, Sir Terry is bound to remain the marker against which all other Eurovision hosts will be measured. Here's some of his best quotes from his 37 years of hosting.

"Every year I expect it to be less foolish, and every year it is more so."

On Eurovision, after Finnish metal band Lordi won the competition in 2006.


"They will have to shoot me to stop it. I shall cling to the wreckage for as long as I can."

On his hosting of Eurovision. Wogan eventually stepped down from the role after 35 years in 2008.


"That's the whole point of it, of course, to sneer at the foreigners."

On the true meaning of Eurovision in 1997.


"Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy."

His nicknames for the hosts of the 2001 competition in Denmark, which prompted outrage among Danes.


"Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually I do, I've seen the rehearsals."

His optimistic introduction to the 2007 contest in Finland.


"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 one of the Finnish presenters of the 2007 contest.


"It's supposed to be bad. And the worse it is, the more fun it is."

Speaking about the contest in 1997.


"Every year I go to see it and every year I say: 'Isn't it terrible? It's worse than last year!'"

His verdict on the contest, after his 25th year as the host.


"Are you related to the Director General of Swedish television?"

Speaking about the incompetent Swedish representative at 2008's contest in Serbia.


"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."

His definitive verdict on the contest just before he stepped down in 2008.

(© Independent News Service)

Read more: Best Wogan chat show interviews: George Best turns up drunk, David Icke 'son of god'

Watch: Terry Wogan talk to drunk George Best in one of his most memorable TV interviews 

  'He died Sir Terry Wogan but he saw himself as Terry from Limerick' - Ryan Tubridy on the passing of veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan

Terry Wogan felt he had no choice but leave Ireland - yet, once abroad, being Irish proved pivotal to his success

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