Sir Terry Wogan’s 10 best running gags, from Janet and John to Eurovision

Terry Wogan kept us laughing for decades




Perhaps the first ‘fandom’ for a morning radio show. Frequent listeners were known as ‘Terry’s Old Geezers’ or ‘Terry’s Old Gals’. Children ‘forced’ to listen to the show on the way to school were known as TYGs: Terry’s Young Geezers.


Janet and John

No doubt responsible for more than one unfortunate rear ending, these hilarious innuendo-laden stories often had listeners (and Wogan himself) crying with laughter while driving to work.

Written by Mick Sturbs, they were proof that you could say some of the filthiest things imaginable, as long as you did it in the style of a children’s story.

Terry Wogan remembered

Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy


There’s a reason Eurovision is still an event in Britain, despite our less than stellar record. Without Wogan’s sly commentary, it would have been unbearable. He almost triggered an incident in 2001, after describing the Danish hosts Soren Pilmark and Natasja Crone-Back as “Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy”.

It was very, very funny though.

Chuffer Dandridge

The name-dropping old luvvie who tended to drop more clangers than anecdotes.

The Present Mrs Wogan

Terry was married to his wife Helen for over 50 years. Together, they had four children and five grandchildren, and they’re all in our thoughts today.

Nevertheless, until the very end, Wogan always referred to his life as “The present Mrs Wogan”.

“Is it me…”


The beginning of many a curmudgeonly rant, the catchphrase gave Terry the title of his autobiography. The key to Sir Terry’s success was that, no, it usually wasn’t just him.

“Mustn’t grumble”


Another catchphrase – another autobiography.

Children in Need

Even more than his five decades on the air, Children in Need might go down as Sir Terry’s greatest legacy. In the name of raising money he was willing to go to any length and often took parts in skits himself, including this 1983 meeting with Peter Davison’s Doctor. 

Terry is down with the kids

Terry was always gleefully old-school, and would often play the baffled old-timer faced with the new generation. Sometimes, that meant dancing Gangnam Style.

The Floral Dance


Terry recorded a version of this English classic in 1978. It reached #21 in the charts, and was occasionally broken out for special occasions.