Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TOGs Army Mourns as Wogan Says He's Giving His Show to Chris Evans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

TOGs Army Mourns as Wogan Says He's Giving His Show to Chris Evans

Article excerpt

Byline: Kiran Randhawa

TERRY WOGAN'S cult following was in mourning today after he announced live on air his departure from his breakfast show on Radio 2. His army of fans known as TOGs (Terry's Old Geezers or Gals) called him a "national treasure" and said he would be greatly missed when he steps down from Wake Up To Wogan at the end of the year.

The 71-year-old's place will be taken by Chris Evans, who presents the Drivetime show on the station.

Norman Macintosh, a leading TOG from Newport, South Wales, said: "He's probably the best radio presenter going -- he is just a consummate professional. It feels as though he's been around for ever and in that time he has become a national treasure."

Mr Macintosh, 55, who helps run a charity calendar for TOGs, said of Evans: "Chris is a totally different person and hopefully we can have the same relationship with him."

But another TOG said on the Radio 2 message board: "What a disaster it will be to lose Wogan in the mornings and worse still to get Chris Evans, who is OK if a little childish at drivetime but would be terrible to wake up to."

Another fan wrote that bringing in Evans was a "mistake".

Wogan broke the news to his eight million listeners just after this morning's 8am news bulletin.

He said: "Now, if you'll pardon me, I've a little bit of news of my own.

"If the mail is anything to go by, most of the listening population have spotted a report that next year I'm going to turn into Chris Evans. And I hate to tell you, but it's true. I was hoping to break it to you, my loyal listener, more gently.

"I wanted to be the first to tell you.

It's the least I owe you, for endless years, countless hours of morning companionship, friendship, good humour, and laughter. Your loyalty and support has been a beacon of love in my life."

The decision was, said the veteran broadcaster, the hardest of his career. "I'd rather leave while we're in love, as the song says, while the programme is the most popular on British radio, while we still delight in each other's company," he said.

But Wogan, who has an honorary knighthood, added that he was not quitting the airwaves altogether and had an exciting new show lined up. …

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