Sir Terry Wogan titled Greatest BBC Radio DJ of the past 50 years

The Radio Times have placed the late Sir Terry as their greatest radio DJ.

Sir Terry spent decades on BBC Radio, their HQ was renamed Wogan House in November last year.

Sir Terry Wogan, best known to ‘wireless listeners’ as the host of BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show, has been named the greatest radio presenter on the beeb since the launch of Radio 1 and 2 fifty years ago. Polled by ‘broadcasting experts’ the top ten features John Peel, Annie Nightingale, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kenny Everett and Sue MacGregor. Other big names in the top list include Tony Blackburn, Melvin Bragg and Kirsty Young. There were some notable well known absences from the list including Noel Edmonds, Johnny Walker, Desmond Carrington and Ed Stewart, to name a few.

BBC Radio 1 will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday 30th September 2017. On the same date – 50 years to the day since Radio 1 launched – the station will bring to the airwaves ‘Radio 1 Vintage’ – a three-day digital radio station featuring 50 one-hour themed nostalgic shows made from Radio 1’s archive material from DJs across its entire history to celebrate the pivotal role that Radio 1 has played in music, entertainment and popular culture since its launch in 1967.

Kenny Everett, sacked by both BBC Radio 1 and 2, who also became a television sensation, was listed at number six

Radio 1 Vintage will feature hour-long ‘Best Of’ shows featuring iconic DJ names from the last five decades and programmes about classic shows including Radio 1 Roadshows, Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Radio 1’s Official Chart, Newsbeat, 1990s Comedy Shows, Hidden Gems, and Classic Albums with Roger Scott.

On Saturday morning, September 30th, Vintage BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 unite with Tony Blackburn – the first DJ heard on Radio 1 – to recreate that very first morning show five decades later. 

“Launching Radio, undoubtedly, the highlight of my career. Having worked on the great Pirate radio ships, Caroline and London, being the first DJ on Radio 1 I saw first-hand the impact that the stations had on the British public. It is hard to imagine that there was a time when the BBC would only play 45 minutes of popular music per day and we, as teenagers, had to wait until 7pm in the evening for Radio Luxembourg to come on, and play the music we wanted to hear. I owe so much to Radio 1 for my long career, to have been there at the beginning and to still be part of the BBC, it has been amazing to see how it has developed over the years to changes in technology, music, demand and, of course, its ever changing audience.” – Tony Blackburn

Sir Terry, born on the 3rd of August 1938, in Limerick, Ireland, began his broadcasting career after leaving college and a short spell in banking in Dublin, where the Wogan family had relocated when the young Tel was just 15.

He first ventured into broadcasting in 1959 as a newsreader, including in 1963 providing the commentary for the visit to Ireland of then President of the USA, John F. Kennedy, and programme announcer for RTÉ, later switching to fronting entertainment and quiz programming. In September 1966 he relocated to London and joined BBC Radio, presenting on The Light Programme and a number of other productions. A year later and he was one of the founding ‘DJ’s’ on BBC Radio 1 alongside the likes of Tony Blackburn, John Peel and Kenny Everett.

He of course found equal fame courtesy of television with shows on ITV, Channel 4, UKTV and most notably BBC One over the years, these included his self titled chat show, coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest, game show Blankety Blank and viewers opinions series Points of View.

Top Twenty Greatest BBC DJs of the Past Fifty Years, pop pickers:

  1. Sir Terry Wogan
  2. John Peel
  3. Sue MacGregor
  4. Annie Nightingale
  5. Alistair Cooke
  6. Kenny Everett
  7. Jane Garvey
  8. Humphrey Lyttelton
  9. Eddie Mair
  10. Jenni Murray
  11. Brian Redhead
  12. Kirsty Young
  13. John Humphrys
  14. Melvin Bragg
  15. Danny Baker
  16. James Naughtie
  17. Fi Glover
  18. Linda Smith
  19. Nick Clarke
  20. Tony Blackburn

Radio 1’s first heard DJ, Tony Blackburn, who also hosted Top of the Pops for BBC One, made the top twenty.
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2 Replies to “Sir Terry Wogan titled Greatest BBC Radio DJ of the past 50 years”

  1. Some top names missing and some included should not have made the list. Where’s Alan Fluff Freeman, David Hamilton, Stewpot and Steve Wright for starters and everybody would agree that Bob Harris should be up the top. A very influential DJ who has pioneered music for many years…and still is! To say I’m dissapointed is an understatement.

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