Much has been made of Terry Wogan, that genial stalwart of the BBC, "biting the hand that feeds him" in his autobiography, Is it Me?
, though his mild criticisms form a very small part of these witty, loquacious reminscences. Born in Limerick in 1938 to a grocer father and a mother who "was Ireland's worst cook", Wogan recalls that "most of my boyhood was spent on a bike"--though he did demonstrate a flair for amateur dramatics very early on. "The Great Move to Dublin" occurred in 1956, when his father was appointed to a general manager position. Wogan relates his teenage love of early rock and roll, his lack of interest in school exams and his early years as a bank clerk before he noticed an advertisement in the Irish Independent
for announcers for Radio Eireann. So began Wogan's long career in broadcasting; by the early 1960s he was a household name in Ireland. It was only a matter of time before he was courted by the BBC, and during the 1970s and early 1980s he was
the voice of BBC Radio 2, with a wry commentary style, an unthreatening playlist and a unique talent for tapping into the nation's obsessions (could anyone forget his "Who Shot JR?" campaign when Dallas
fever reached its peak?). Television presenting followed: there was the hit quiz show Blankety Blank
, "a watershed for me, the start of a decade of extraordinary success and acclaim"; and the thrice-weekly chat show Wogan
, attracting an average of 8 million viewers. The latter had its highs among the interviewees--Cilla Black; Dolly Parton; Mel Brooks--and its lows--comedian Freddie Starr, "the world's most frightening interviewee"; a monosyllabic Anne Bancroft; and David Bowie, who "would not speak ... or at least not sensibly ... he will never know how close he came to a slap on live television". Wogan has now come full circle and is back presenting the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, the annual Eurovision Song Contest
(which would be lost without his gentle mockery), with the centre of his life remaining his children and his wife of 35 years ("the present Mrs Wogan"), a man for whom "the trappings of fame came thick and fast" but who has never seemed to lose his sense of humour--or his sense of the absurd. --Kate Weaver
From the Back Cover
Terry Wogan has been clinging to the wreckage for so long now, you'd think he'd do the decent thing and silently steal away. Not likely...
Unaided and, indeed, unbidden, comes this forbidding tome - his latest cry for attention. From unremarkable childhood to a chequered career as a bank clerk, from the Cattle Market Report on Irish Radio to the appalling excesses of the Eurovision Song Contest, no stone is left unturned, no unsavoury detail spared. Has the man no shame?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.