Terry Wogan: wink-and-chuckle man

I watched the second of the Terry Wogan two-parter ‘ Terry Wogan’s Ireland’ on BBC TV last night and found myself feeling sorry, sorry, sorry I’m not English.  Had I been, I’d have loved the programme. There were lots of aerial shots showing gorgeous green fields and slate-blue water, lots of cheerfully-painted shops and comfortable cars (Terry in a chauffeur-driven Merc) and lots of compliant local celebs  ( Brian D’Arcy,  Gerry Anderson, David Norris).  And running through it all, the soft spine of a blancmange hour,  Terry himself…Sorry. Sir Terry himself.
Was there ever a man better able to glide over the awkward truth of things? He visits South Armagh: yes, it was known as bandit country during the Troubles but would you look at the Irish dancing! He talks with Brian D’Arcy: yes, there was terrible abuse in the Catholic Church but would you look at the Celtic beauty of Lough Erne! He tramps the walls of Derry with Gerry Anderson:  yes there was Catholic-Protestant antipathy but burble burble burble. He talks with David Norris, present front-runner to succeed Mary McAleese as President of Ireland: wasn’t the late Queen Mother wonderfully Irish with her fag and gin and love of horses, and really, it’s all tosh, there’s no difference between Irish and English people,  we’re all a mixture. He talks with Gay Byrne: no, Terry doesn’t believe in God, but if he dies and discovers there is one, he’ll say ‘I don’t believe it! Ha ha haaaa!’  Injustice, war,  national identity, eternity itself: all smoothed away with a reassuring chuckle from good old Sir  Tel. Wouldn’t it be great if all Irishmen were like that all of the time?

2 Responses to Terry Wogan: wink-and-chuckle man

  1. malachi January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I was amazed at how lazy the whole thing was, Jude. He appears not to have touched ground, on his tour of Ireland, between Galway and Derry.

  2. Jude Collins January 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    It was the quasi-leprachaun quality of what he did cover that irked me. But I'll bet it went down well on The Mainland…