Is it Me?: Terry Wogan - An Autobiography Hardcover – 7 Sep 2000
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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 the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Terry Wogan's style of writing is much the same as his style of broadcasting; full of warmth and charm and inclusive of his audience. Unlike so many media personalities today, this is a man who genuinely knows the value and the mechanics of communication.
The book is admirably devoid of self-justification and self-aggrandisement and is pleasingly frank. Mr. Wogan has managed to strike a fine balance: he is honest (sometimes searingly so) and forthright without, in my opinion, ever exploiting or abusing anyone featured within.
If any criticism can be levelled at the book it is that it finishes rather abruptly. It is almost as if the author suddenly grew bored and decided to stop or, perhaps, that he suspected he would have outstayed his welcome by this point. Not true in the opinion of this reviewer. I would welcome a second volume.
This book is clearly of appeal to Terry Wogan's many loyal fans (All you TOGs out there) but deserves a much broader audience. Anyone who appreciates gentle, intelligent humour with a sprinkling of irony and, above all else, the honesty of a man 'well stricken in years' should enjoy this book.
I started reading it, in the aftermath of Terry's passing, with a heavy heart. In no time I was smiling and at times chuckling out loud. This is classic Wogan. He writes as he would broadcast : it is full of warmth, sensitivity, good sense and gentle humour. And, yes, that streak of rebelliousness is present.
The book has a nice structure. It is chronological (despite some comments to the contrary in other reviews here) but it is not slavishly, dogmatically chronological. If a theme comes up, Terry will expand on the theme even if that means fast forwarding some years for a page or so. So, for example, in the mid-60s Terry encounters someone in Irish broadcasting who would later be involved in bringing "Dallas" to U.K. screens. It is a perfect moment for Terry to go off on one of his wonderful flights of fancy concerning billionaire oilmen who have walk-in wardrobes but use wire hangers etc. A page or so later you are smoothly landed back in the mid-60s. It is quintessential Terry Wogan.
There are some poignant parts to the book, of course. One paragraph in particular stays with me. It is (unintentionally) almost unbearably sad. Terry refers to his optimistic nature saying that he never believes that anything bad will happen to him and so he seldom troubles the doctor with ailments. Oh, Terry.Read more ›
Slan Agus Beannacht
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. His laid back and very human personality shone through. I was very surprised as I was expecting him to be rather standoffish.Published 2 months ago by weegranny
I have already written a short but sweet review on sir Terry's book "Mustn't grumble" ...I find his turn of phrase and observations on life always bring a smile and a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by jojochickenlegs
It was very entertaining and gave some very funny insights. However when reading the chapter "The Mists of Time" he was referring to his coverage of the wedding of Prince... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lynn