Wake Up to Wogan

Wake Up to Wogan (WUTW) is the name of the most listened to radio show in the United Kingdom and the flagship breakfast programme broadcast on BBC Radio 2. The show is presented by Sir Terry Wogan who has fronted WUTW since January 1993; he had previously presented the breakfast show between 1972 and 1984, but the title WUTW was only added at the start of his second term.

Wogan takes over the airwaves from Sarah Kennedy at 7.30am (following the news headlines) and finishes with a hand over to Ken Bruce at 9.30am. WUTW is a music based programme that includes listeners' views and comments which are often light hearted and whimsical. Traffic bulletins interrupt the programme at half hour intervals and had up until February 2007 been presented by that morning's newsreader. Similar to other programmes during the day the traffic bulletins are now delivered by a travel announcer.

The show was produced by Paul Walters for many years and in addition to these duties Walters often traded banter with Wogan and the newsreaders on-air until illness took him away from the studio at the start of 2006. He did, however, continue to programme WUTW up until his death on 21 October, 2006. Alan Boyd took over production duties in Walters' absence and has remained with the show since Walters' death. "Barrowlands" Boyd was at first rarely heard on-air, but now often plays a part in Wogan's "mini-dramas", usually as the dour Scottish soundalike for a Taggart character.

The newsreaders who contribute to the show are Alan Dedicoat ("Deadly"), Fran Godfrey ("Mimi"), John Marsh ("Boggy") who retired in February 2007 but who will still present news bulletins on a freelance basis and Charles Nove ("Super/Bossa") who joined the team following Marsh's "retirement". Each newsreader has become a star in their own right and John Marsh, along with his wife Janet, have had their life "stories" told in two "Janet and John" CDs, the second of which, "Janet and John: Reloaded" is a new release featuring 2 CDs. Both have been released to raise funds for the Children in Need appeal. The regular travel announcer is Lynn Bowles (known as the 'Traffic Totty'), who, prior to Marsh's retirement and a change in format, had only presented the travel on the programmes either side of WUTW. Sir Terry will often refer to Lynn and the newsreaders as his "underlings", "peons" and "numpties". This is a long standing gag, and is most likely used to make light of the fact that listeners who write into other Radio 2 shows (such as Steve Wright in the Afternoon) often address "the Team."

WUTW is one of the few Radio 2 programmes available which has edited highlights made available as a Podcast.

Terry's Old Geezers and Gals - "TOGs"

Regular listeners to the show are often referred to collectively as TOGs (Terry's Old Geezers / Gals). A running joke on the show is defining what it takes to qualify as a TOG. Much humour is drawn from identifying stereotypical traits of the elderly, such as absent-mindedness, cynicism and befuddlement at modern society's habits, as being those of a true TOG. Wogan, as the prototypical TOG, is sometimes referred to as the "TOGmeister".

Younger listeners are sometimes called "TYGs" (Terry's Young Geezers/Gals); a frequent joke being that many TYGs are children forced to listen to WUTW in the car while being driven to school. Often, younger listeners getting in touch with the show are jokingly told to "get lost".

Regular contributors

The show relies heavily on e-mailed material sent in by listeners that are then read out on air, and there are many regular contributors from the general public. Often a pseudonym is used by the contributor(s) for comic effect. A few of these regular contributors are listed below:

  • Mick Sturbs is the author of the Janet and John stories which are sent in to WUTW every six weeks so that they can be read out in the presence of John Marsh. The stories have been released on two CD volumes, and the collected scripts have also been published under the title What Janet and John Did Next to raise money for the BBC Children in Need appeal. Betty Bickerdyke often features in the Janet and John stories and she also appears in emails relating to "Deadly", particukarly those relating to the "Wealdstone Tan and Touch-Up Emporium". Melanie Frontage is a character from the Janet and John stories.
  • Chuffer Dandridge is a frequent contributor to Wake Up to Wogan. He is a resting Shakespearean actor-manager and often e-mails into the show to make comments regarding Sir Terry, or something in the news. He will also mistakenly refer to a road or place featured in the travel bulletins as an old acting friend: "Did I hear Lynn mention my old friend Bradford Bypass?" Chuffer often mentions his producer/ director friend Dickie "Touch" Tingles who is, allegedly, a famous Music Hall veteran.
  • Barnsley Chop, Dora Jarr, Edna Cloud, and Tansy Whitebytts are also regular contributors to the programme.
  • Crookey, Horatio Q. Birdbath, Katie Mallett and Wilting Baz often write poetry based on the days news stories or an ode to one of the newsreaders.

For a list of regular contributors to the show, see TOGs.

Often an e-mail will be signed off with a name that is a double entendre. Wogan is (usually!) good at cutting off his reading of an e-mail if it starts becoming too rude for transmission.

Holidays and cover

Wogan is famous for the amount of time he has off during the year and has had numerous presenters cover his holiday leave over the years.

Originally Dawn Patrol host Sarah Kennedy covered for him after persuading then Radio 2 Controller Frances Line that she was most suitable for the job. A couple of "dubious" moments whilst Kennedy was in the chair during the late 90s under James Moir's reign resulted in Ed Stewart being granted the accolade. In recent years Johnnie Walker has usually deputised for Wogan although Richard Allinson took on the role during Walker's illness in 2003/04 and his absence at the end of 2006. Allinson still tends to cover the show during Bank Holidays.

During the Christmas break in 2007, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond covered the show's slot for several days and Jonathan Ross has been known to present the show on a one-off occasion. As of 2008, Johnnie Walker is the usual 'stand-in' for Wogan. Contributors often joke that it is in fact Terry Wogan who is the 'stand-in' for Johnnie Walker.


External links

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