May 4, 1982: Wogan

Wogan-1982Wogan was a British television talk show which was broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 until 1992, presented by Terry Wogan. The show was generally broadcast live from BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd’s Bush, London until 1991. It was then broadcast from the BBC Television Centre. Some shows were pre-recorded, but broadcast unedited, ‘as live’. Wogan ended its run in July 1992 (it was replaced by the soap opera Eldorado).

Over the course of the show’s run, when Wogan himself was unavailable to host the show, guest presenters were brought in, with Selina Scott being the first stand-in in 1985 (and again in 1991). Others included Kenneth Williams (in 1986), Ben Elton (in 1989), Joanna Lumley (in 1989), Jonathan Ross (in 1990), Gloria Hunniford (in 1991), Felicity Kendal, Esther Rantzen and Bruce Forsyth. The most successful stand in was Sue Lawley (in 1988) who became the most frequent replacement for the host and indeed for some time was Wogan’s ‘official’ stand in. When Lawley gained her own late night chat show Saturday Matters with Sue Lawley on BBC1 in 1989, other celebrities again took it in turns to stand in for Wogan.

Notable interviews include Anne Bancroft, who gave monosyllabic replies during anTV-UK-05-04-1982 interview after being told that the show was being broadcast live moments before she left the green room; Ronnie Barker, who  announced his retirement from show business in 1988; George Best appeared on the show while drunk and swearing; Geoffrey Boycott talked about his bank account, which was “a proper one, not like Ken Dodd‘s”. Dodd was waiting in the wings to come on next; David Icke appeared on the show in a turquoise tracksuit and claiming to be “a son of the Godhead”; and Vivienne Westwood appeared on the show in 1988 when it was being guest-hosted by Sue Lawley, and displayed her latest medically inspired collection. [Wikipedia]

Watch highlights of Wogan on the BBC News YouTube Channel.


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