And in the morning

Will you remember? Will you remember where you were and what you were doing? World leaders will remember (when they were failing to agree on how to save the planet); they will remember they were in Copenhagen, but where were you? Where were you when Terry did his final breakfast broadcast?

I had the day off (not because of it) to take part in the final stage of the Tour de Shops; to grapple with the crowds and queues – to spread a little Xmas cheer (Bah! Humbug!). As it turns out there weren’t any queues. I don’t remember a quieter day in the shops at any time of the year (although my experience is a bit limited). The stores were obviously expecting better things – shop assistants sometimes outnumbered shoppers.

Before that I tuned into Terry Wogan’s final breakfast show. I suspect it contributed to, at least, a slight rise in sea levels. It was the end of an era. The producer’s choice of music for the final show was so very appropriate and added to the pathos of the occasion. Terry had become an institution (some people thought he should be in one), not just a radio presenter. Much of his script and material was provided by his TOGs, but it is too easy to underestimate the skill of presenting the humour and encouraging the listeners’ participation. ‘Thank you. Thank you for being my friend’ he said as part of his signing off. His ‘listener’ knew he was talking to them.

Some people are very special for lots of different reasons. They have an ability to sometimes inspire, to amaze, to entertain and to contribute to our lives in a way that most of us cannot. Like the Major who lost both legs (I call that careless) serving in Iraq and who completed the London marathon only a year after being told he would never walk again. ‘I am lucky’ he said at the Sports Personality awards. Lucky because of the support he has had, from family, friends and others. How many of us would respond so well, whatever support we might have had? The young marine who lost an arm and a leg serving in Afghanistan, who ran the London Marathon. ‘I haven’t changed; I just lost a couple of limbs’. Nothing to worry about there then.

Terry Wogan hasn’t lost any limbs or fought for his country (that I am aware of) but he has provided a wealth of good humour and stability to many people for a long time. I think he will be sadly missed, and, in the morning, I will remember him.