"A lot depends on luck, and being in the right place at the right time; which was certainly true in my case."
Sir Terry Wogan, beloved stalwart of undemanding BBC breakfast-time radio, chat shows, game shows, the Children in Need telethon, Proms in the Park and the Eurovision Song Contest, has died.
On the latter, he famously said: "Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually, I do. I've seen the rehearsals."
Having been in the business for fifty years, he was an "institution", a wise (and self-deprecating) head among the babble.
He was often scathing about what he saw as a decline in standards:
"Television has changed. It's not what it was like 50 years ago. Light entertainment is no longer the expensive quality that it used to be. It's all quiz games, reality TV and talk shows. Talk shows these days are just cheap TV. In the same way that reality TV is cheap television that humiliates people. There's no point saying there can't be any humiliation, because the public seem to respond to it, it seems to be something they want. But then again the public liked mass executions as well, but we don't do those any more. To be honest, I don't know where we go from here."Among the condolences from celebs and politicians alike, BBC director general Tony Hall paid this tribute:
"You might say the lunatics have taken over the asylum. The culture now in television is that the presenter calls the financial and, increasingly, the creative shots. It is comparable to what happened in Hollywood 15 or so years ago. Agents have become far more powerful, and through them the stars are able to dictate their own terms."
"Terry truly was a national treasure. Today we've lost a wonderful friend.Rest in peace, Sir Tel. We will all miss you.
"He was a lovely, lovely man and our thoughts are with his wife and family. For 50 years Sir Terry graced our screens and airwaves. His warmth, wit and geniality meant that for millions he was a part of the family.
"Wake up to Wogan was for millions of Radio 2 listeners the very best way to start the day.
"For decades he's been such a huge part of the BBC on television and radio and leaves so many wonderful memories.
"At the centre of Children in Need since its beginning, he raised hundreds of millions of pounds and changed so many lives for the better. He leaves a remarkable legacy."
Sir Michael Terence Wogan KBE DL (3rd August 1938 - 31 January 2016)