It feels really strange to be writing this and part of me feels weird even putting a few of these thoughts down in words but I felt compelled to write a few words about Sir Terry Wogan and his sudden passing over the weekend.
When I heard the news yesterday morning I was struck with a sense of bewilderment - not another loss, not another British legend. Following the loss of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and countless other famous faces since the start of the year then this news was just a bit overwhelming. It also hit me a little harder simply because I had been lucky enough to have worked with Wogan - only once mind you - but its a day that I'll never forget. In all of the news reports and interview snippets that I've read and heard over the last couple of days it has been said that he was a kind, generous, genuine and funny man. It has also been said over and over that he made everyone that he worked with feel at ease - it didn't matter if you were a well-known celebrity or the person who made the tea - he would always take the time to make sure that everyone was included and felt valued. On the day that I worked with him there were many people rushing around preparing for the live broadcast during which anything could happen. I had been given the job of capturing photos of the behind-the-scenes goings on as well as trying to capture more formal photos of Wogan with his guests. To say I felt intimidated was a huge understatement! But from the moment I was introduced to him by his producers he was so welcoming, so very kind and greeted me with a huge smile and an encouraging word whenever I needed him to pose for a photo. I look back on that day and wonder why I didn't feel more starstruck but it was purely because he made me feel like an established part of the team from the word go that I relaxed and just got on with the job in hand.
I only spent a couple of hours in his company but the ripples of his presence spread well beyond that short amount of time. All of the other people I worked with at the BBC would often say nice things about him and listening to the radio this morning was heart-breaking! Chris Evans started his breakfast show with some amazing words - I could picture the studio and all of the people behind the scenes knowing that each and every one of them would have their own stories to tell and that they would all be feeling his loss on a much more personal level than me.
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