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Anna Nolan: Wake up to it Wogan, you're too old to fill Wossy's shoes

Has Terry Wogan gone completely mad?

Jonathan Ross's top chat show slot is up for grabs and comedians, chat show hosts and A to Z-list presenters are chomping at the bit, desperate to make it their own.

Along with British personalities such as Chris Evans, Alan Carr and Paul O'Grady, I've heard that some Irish broadcasters are in the running -- Graham Norton, Dara O Briain, Anna Nolan. Okay, two out of the three anyway.

Oh, and 'our' Terry.

At the age of 71, the veteran broadcaster has not ruled out putting his name down.

Has he gone totally over into gaga land? Why on earth wouldn't he just hang up his ego, admit that he would never, ever be able to replace Ross, say he has had a wonderful career and put his mind and wit to enjoying his new radio show on Sunday morning.

Deluded ageing broadcasters are such a strange group of people. And they are in every media organisation.

They think they can still do the job they did when they were 31, they think they are as attractive and witty and engaging, and no one dares tell them otherwise.

The son of a grocery store manager in Limerick, Wogan worked his way from RTE radio, presenting, among other things, the quiz Jackpot.

His television highpoint was his BBC chat show Wogan, which ran for 10 years. His last radio show, Wake Up To Wogan, was the most listened to radio programme in all of Europe.

But the last couple of years of Wogan on the radio, with his "charming" begorrah drivel, made me want to throw my radio into the washing machine, and put it to boiling-hot wash.

He sounded like a child who had not quite learned to talk but was making the sounds of someone who spoke. As his voice lilted, up and down, reading out a poem about knitting from Pam in Shropshire, I knew he was speaking to habitual radio listeners who hadn't quite handled how to move the dial to another channel.

He spoke about the most inane subjects, expected his listeners to appreciate his pointless stream of consciousness and brought the term wittering-on to a whole new level. In fact, there should be a social network site for him and other demented hosts -- Witter.

Yes, I know his listening figures were hitting 8million by the end of his time on BBC2 radio, but how many people are in old folks' homes in Britain, who can't physically move to switch off the radio?

Terry Wogan is a national treasure in Britain and he gave his all to his career. But one has to know when they have had their day.

He should either put his feet up, if he wants to, or enjoy his two new projects -- his Sunday morning radio show and his daytime quiz programme Total Recall.

If any exec feels he is the man for an evening television slot, they should both be put down quietly.

Climbing Bray Head ... a near death experence I won’t repeat

Yes, it was me. I was the one holding you up on Sunday. I'm sorry, I am an unfit, puffing, saggy walker.

I decided to climb Bray Head and the event felt like a near-death experience. Every 20 steps or so, I had to move to the side and let a group of healthy, frustrated walkers over take me.

I haven't tried to climb the Head since I was six years of age. That too was a traumatic experience. I remember making my way up, through the trees and over the pine cones, desperate to reach the Cross that was calling me upwards and onwards.

That day, 30 odd years ago, I started to cry half way up. It was too terrifying. My dad came down and put me on his shoulders. He then began to slip as he was making his way up and I screamed so much, we had to say goodbye to the Cross and head back down.

Halfway up on Sunday, I had the exact same feeling that I wanted to turn around and go back. My thighs were shaking, my lungs were creasing and my motivation was diminishing with each step.

As I sat on a rock contemplating my second failure at Bray Head, I noticed that two children and their dad making their way up.

They walked past me and the young boy smiled at me as he effortlessly skipped up the mountain. I thought to myself, as I smiled back at the young boy, "Don't you patronise me, you pipsqueak".

And so I wheezed on up to the top.

Oh, there's nothing better than a blast of youth to take you to the top.


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