Sir Terry Wogan, Irish-born broadcaster and British Eurovision commentator sadly passed away this morning. He’ll be remembered for a long and successful radio and television career, but particularly by Eurovision fans for his humorous take on proceedings for the BBC over a number of decades.
Whether you liked his style or not, there is no doubt that he is one of the contest’s most enduring figures and defined Eurovision for generations of British viewers.
During his 35 years of presiding over the BBC commentary box he provided many many gems – too many to come up with a definitive list. Nevertheless here are ten of our favourite Wogan Eurovision quotes.
I never watch the Eurovision, I just do the commentary.
On Charmed (Norway’s 2000 entrants):
During rehearsal it was apparent that the Norwegian hairdresser had had a nervous breakdown.
On Lill Lindfors (1985 presenter in Gothenburg):
It’s old Lill Lindfors. All singing, all dancing, she’s probably done all the flower arranging and I understand she took the tickets on the way in, and painted the set!
On Jessica Garlick (UK 2002):
Let’s cheer her on with word and gesture! Mind you, her frock’s been through the shredder.
On Natasja Crone Back and Søren Pilmark (Danish presenters in 2001):
It’s Doctor Death and the tooth fairy.
On Azucar Moreno’s false start for Spain in 1991:
Will I hum you the first couple of bars while we’re waiting?
On Paul Oskar’s performance in Dublin (Iceland 1997):
I hope the mesh in those stockings pass the EU regulations.
On Estonia’s hosts in 2002 threatening to sing to one another:
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to have a stiff drink.
On ‘Desire’ (Claudette Pace’s song for Malta in 2000):
I like this. It bounces along and so, indeed, does the good Claudette.
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.