Thursday 22 March 2018

Ruth Dudley Edwards: Britain's favourite Irishman is a credit to both his countries

'Terry Wogan's Ireland' may have been light, but it did address some contentious issues, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

'Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone," the London Times wrote poetically in September 2009. "Terry Wogan is abandoning his microphone."

He was in fact abandoning just his everyday microphone. Less than two months after Wake Up to Wogan ended and 8,000,000 or so listeners dried their tears, the 71-year-old Sir Terence began his Sunday TV show, and then embarked on Terry Wogan's Ireland: the first of two episodes was aired last Sunday night. In his Sunday Telegraph column, he told his readers: "the word 'journey' has become as abused as 'celebrity', so, if it's all the same to you, I'd rather you treated it as more of a meander, a dawdle".

And so it was, and, as always with Wogan, it was conducted with what calls to mind John Hewitt's line about the "leisured grace" of a favourite landscape.

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