At the start of today’s This Morning on ITV, hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby spoke live to Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Langsford and Gloria Hunniford who were outside London’s Westminster Abbey ahead of Sir Terry Wogan’s memorial service.
Eamonn admitted, “It’s a mixture of sadness and smiles.”
Gloria said, “I’m really really glad to get a chance to say goodbye, and I think most people would feel like that. Everything was fought in such privacy for Terry, even his funeral… so it’s a mixture of sadness, but happy to be here and I think they’ll be some really funny retrospective moments being recalled today in the Abbey.”
Remembering the last time Eamonn and Ruth interviewed Sir Terry on This Morning [11th Sept 2015] Eamonn said, “He had no idea he was ill or verging on being ill then. It was all so sudden, and how I know is that he and I used to swap medical notes all the time about our bad knees and bad hips, all the time, when I was going to have my hips done, Terry would advise me on who the doctors would be, and I would get his knee doctor and we would talk aches and pains.”
Ruth added, “And that’s why it was a shock to us when we heard because we hadn’t realised that he had been so unwell.” She continued, “It is a tribute to him how many people are turning up here, lots of his togs from Radio 2. So it’s not just celebrities here.”
Gloria said, “As far as I understand 250 tickets have been allocated so that his really ardent fans will have a chance to be here and I think that’s lovely.”
Eamonn added, “We are gathered here today to pay tribute. To honour the life and the work of the type of broadcaster viewers will never see again. Because when you think of the eighties and when you switch on the television, he was either there on a chat show or Blankety Blank, or every day on the radio.”
Gloria said, “He was unique. There will never be another radio broadcaster like him, there might be other television broadcasters just as good, but what I loved about him was, he was mischievous but very intellectual… but liked to pretend he was the buffoon!”
Eamonn added: “When he and I would talk, it was always about the news and I was honoured that every morning he would watch Sky News after he retired, he was a real news junkie and loved what was going on… he was a very smart man, very well connected.”
Ruth: “Also, he didn’t take showbusiness too seriously and that’s what I loved about him, he was a family man and he had a quote where he used to say ‘show up, be good, keep on your toes, say goodnight politely, and then go home and enjoy your dinner’ and I loved that about him.”
Gloria: “He didn’t take any of it too seriously… He always said the public were the stars, and they are here today.”
Eamonn continued, “We were lucky enough to be invited into his home, and to see his home, the man who’s met and interviewed everyone… the one thing that stood out?”
Ruth replied, “Family photographs everywhere.”
Eamonn and Ruth also spoke with other guests arriving for the service including Jimmy Carr and Gaby Roslin, and back in the studio Phillip and Holly read out tributes and thoughts from This Morning viewers.
Terry Wogan died earlier this year at the age of 77.