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University of Leicester to honour 'the nation's favourite DJ'

Sir Terry Wogan is to be awarded an honorary degree by the University.

University of Leicester to honour 'the nation's favourite DJ'

Sir Terry Wogan to receive Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Leicester in July 2010

Issued on 10 September 2009

The University of Leicester has announced it is to award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws to Sir Terry Wogan in July 2010.

Sir Terry Wogan, who said this week he is to give up his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, has a long association with Leicester.

Sir Terry dubbed Leicester ‘the lost city’ in the 1980s, due to all the motorway repairs in traffic bulletins, but he has since found his way to the city on several occasions and his praise has been fulsome for the University, where his TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers/Gals) have taken to holding their annual meetings.

“What is memorable about Leicester is the kind of welcome you get from the University for the TOGs. That is why they keep coming back…I would like to have been a student here - it looks like a really nice campus,” he said. “I am not being sycophantic, but the University of Leicester has a very good reputation.”

For the third year running Sir Terry came to the TOGs’ convention at the University of Leicester in August this year, where he launched the 2010 BBC Children In Need TOGs’ Celebrity Calendar which has raised more than £800,000 for the charity.

It was at this event that the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Robert Burgess, announced that Leicester would be awarding Sir Terry an Honorary Degree. “I would like to pay tribute to a man who has made an outstanding contribution to both charity work and British culture,” he said. “In recognition of this, the University of Leicester has offered Sir Terry Wogan an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and we are delighted that he has accepted.”

Sir Terry replied: “I am deeply honoured to have been offered an Honorary Doctor of Laws. I will, of course, now demand a certain amount of respect!”

He also paid tribute to the TOGs: “I must say thank you to the TOGs for all the wonderful work that you do, including your outstanding contribution to Children In Need, raising millions of pounds for such a good cause. I am always touched by you being here in the 'Lost City'. It means so much to me and I really appreciate everything that you do.”

TOG, Norman Macintosh commented: “We’re obviously sad that Sir Terry’s not going to be a daily part of our lives, we’ll miss that. But he has said that he’ll carry on with Radio 2. He talked briefly about his new weekend show when we were recording at Abbey Road for our next album for Children In Need and he said he hoped TOGs would continue to contribute to that show. TOGs will not disappear totally. And he’s not giving up Children In Need, so the fundraising aspect will be continuing. I do hope that TOGs will continue and that we’ll come along next year to the University.

“As for the Honorary Doctorate, we were over the moon. All the TOGs were really thrilled that your Vice-Chancellor, Bob Burgess, had come along to welcome Terry and ourselves to the University. To top all that he made the announcement about the Honorary Doctorate and I think it’s a very nice gesture for Sir Terry, who I think has more of an affiliation for Leicester than for some other places – although he once called it the Lost City. He enjoys the time at the University, and he says they look after us very well. It’s a lovely honour to give him.”

Sir Terry Wogan has hosted his Radio 2 breakfast show, ‘Wake up to Wogan’, for a total of 27 years, in two stints broken only by a spell in television. He will not, however, be disappearing from public view, and will be taking on a new weekend radio programme to be launched early next year.

As well as presenting the annual Children In Need BBC charity fundraising event, Sir Terry has become a national figure for his – sometimes wry - presentation of the Eurovision Song Context, as well as Come Dancing, Blankety Blank and his own television Chat Show which ran for ten years from 1982 and included a glittering array of celebrities from the Royal Family to the Hollywood ‘A-List’.

Other shows include Lunchtime with Wogan, Celebrity Squares, New Faces, Wogan’s Island, Do the Right Thing, Auntie’s Bloomers, Auntie’s Sporting Bloomers and the National Lottery Live.

Sir Terry was born in Limerick in 1938 and went into banking for five years, before becoming a newsreader and announcer with Ireland’s national Radio Eireann. He moved into light entertainment, and a spell as a disc jockey, as well as hosting a TV quiz and variety shows.

He joined BBC Radio to host Midday Spin, and was one of the first DJs on Radio 1 when it opened in 1967. Two years later he also took on a Radio 2 show.

Sir Terry has won a number of awards, including the Variety Club Award for Radio Personality of the Year (1974), and he was voted TV Personality of the Year ten times by TV Times magazine readers. In 2005 he was awarded Radio Broadcaster of the Year at the Broadcasting Press Guild Award.

In 1994 he received the Sony Award for best breakfast show (the Queen was said to be a fan) and he is credited with playing a key role in the rise of popularity of Radio 2. In 2007 he received the title of Ultimate Icon, to celebrate the 40th birthday of the radio station.

Terry Wogan was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and received an Honorary Knighthood in 2005. Later the same year he became a British citizen. In 2007 he was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.

Notes to Editors: For more information please contact the University of Leicester Press Office: 0116 252 2415; EMAIL

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