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Priest friend of Sir Terry Wogan says he was "a man of spirituality and faith"

Mon 01 Feb 2016
By Alex Williams

An Anglican priest and friend of Sir Terry Wogan has described the radio presenter as a spiritual man.

Revd Roger Royle presented a Sunday morning slot on BBC Radio 2 alongside the broadcaster who died at the weekend, aged 77, following what has been described by his family as a short battle with cancer.

Sir Terry's career spanned more than four decades and he was known for his work on Children in Need and the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as his radio show, Wake Up To Wogan.

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Sir Terry Wogan with (left to right) Tess Daly, Alesha Dixon and Fearne Cotton during the BBC Children In Need Appeal 2011


Speaking on Premier's News Hour Revd Royle said the veteran broadcaster was "marvellous" to work with and he fondly reflected on joining Wogan's family for special occasions: "Being with his family for the three weddings of their daughter and two sons, sharing a couple of Christmases with them, being invited to lunches and knowing the warmth of that home - which was a very warm, secure home - was reflected in the way his broadcast.

"Terry was remarkably generous and he would share. It was his programme but he would share it with you. This was the great thing. He was an encourager as well and an enabler. He wanted people to do well. He didn't want to do people down and that, I think, is a remarkable aspect to his life."

In recent years, Sir Terry spoke about not believing in God following the death of Vanessa, his three-week-old daughter 50-years-ago.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Sir Terry Wogan (right), winner of 'Digital Radio Personality of the Year', with Chris Evans at the TRIC (Television and Radio Industries Club) Annual Awards


Revd Royle added: "The thing he did find difficult was institutional religion but, because of his reading, because of his culture, he was certainly a man of spirituality and faith.

Father Brian D'Arcy, priest from Co Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, contributed regularly to Wake Up To Wogan and knew Sir Terry for more than 40 years.

Speaking on The Chris Evans Show, he described he last encounter with Sir Terry, saying: "[Sir Terry] said, 'everything's going to be all right, old boy, and you'd better say a few prayers if you have any influence up there, if there's anyone up there'. You know how he used to go on with this atheism."

The Northern Ireland priest said he saw a change in Sir Terry after Christmas.

Arthur Edwards/PA Wire
Sir Terry Wogan meeting the Prince of Wales (left) at the Irish Embassy in London (2010)


He added: "I went over last Thursday and I am never as glad that I did, I just dropped everything and went over as he had often done for me over the years.

"I wasn't sure if it was goodbye, but as soon as I saw Terry I knew it was the last time I was going to see him, and the shake hands was the last shake hands I'd ever have with him."

"It was a beautiful day, a day I'll never forget, a sad day, because it was the end of a beautiful friendship."

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