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Leicester Conferences was delighted to once again give a big welcome to the TOGs (Terry’s Old Geezers or Gals) as they arrived at the University of Leicester. This was the fifth time they have returned to Leicester for their annual convention and the slogan and theme for this year’s meeting was ‘AUSTRALIA’ (‘All Up Standing TOGs Rally AT Leicester In August’!)
Sir Terry Wogan arrived shortly after finishing his Radio 2 Breakfast Show and was greeted in true TOG style by a rendition of the ‘Frog Chorus – We all Stand Together’.
Accompanying Sir Terry were several other Radio 2 Breakfast Show personalities, including producer Alan Boyd, the News and Traffic team - Lottery ‘Voice of the Balls’ Alan Dedicoat and the ‘Welsh Traffic Totty’ Lynn Bowles, and presenters John Marsh and Charles Nove.
The ‘Pause for Thought’ team also attended, including Canon Roger Royle, Rev. Rob Gillian, Rev. Ruth Scott, Rabbi Pete Tobias, Lt. Col. Charles King of the Salvation Army and the Buddhist Dharmachari Nagaraja. BBC Children in Need was represented by Gareth Hydes, Head of Editorial at BBC Children in Need.
The TOGs gather annually in support and celebration of their highly successful Children in Need charity fund raising activities which generates around £2 million pounds each year. Much of their income is gained from their Celebrity Calendar which Sir Terry has for the third year attended the convention to officially launch with a champagne reception and garden party. The calendar and the majority of the TOGs fundraising are managed by Norman Macintosh and his wife Hellen who also work hard to put the convention together each year.
This year, Sir Terry was officially welcomed to the University by Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess who during his address commented “Welcome to the TOGs, I am pleased that you have been returning to Leicester for 5 years and it is great to see that Sir Terry Wogan is returning for the third time. Sir Terry Wogan has clearly made a considerable contribution to culture in Britain; you only have to think of the Floral Dance, the hosting of Eurovision – exposing European culture in ways you couldn’t imagine. And my personal favourite, a curfew on caravans, I couldn’t agree more!”
He continues “I would like to pay tribute to a man who has made an outstanding contribution to both charity work and British culture. In recognition of this, the University of Leicester has offered Sir Terry Wogan, and we are delighted that he has accepted an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from us.”
In reply to the Vice-Chancellor Sir Terry Commented “Thank you Vice-Chancellor – did I mention that Leicester is probably the finest university in the land? Seriously though I am deeply honoured to have been offered an Honorary Doctor of Laws, I will off course, now demand a certain amount of respect, so TOGs sit up straight when I’m talking to you! It is terrific to see you all here; I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.”
“I must say thank you to the TOGS for all of the wonderful work that you do including your outstanding contribution to Children in Need, raising millions of pounds for such a good cause. I am always touched by you being here; you do mean so much to me and I really appreciate everything that you do.”
After visiting the TOGs convention Sir Terry went on holiday and returned to his Radio 2 Breakfast Show on 7th September. He announced that he was going to retire from presenting ‘Wake up to Wogan’ in December 2009 and that Chris Evans will take over the breakfast slot on Radio 2.
At the end of the show Sir Terry commented to his 8 million listeners “Norman and Hellen just reminded me what a wonderful time we all had in AUSTRALIA – well University of Leicester really for the TOGs convention and we want to thank particularly those people, the University staff who did us proud and Jo Riley [Conference Coordinator] and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, a tremendous fellow. He even gave us champagne to ensure the TOGs Celebrity Calendar was well and truly launched so it was a really, really fine time we had there, and… we start booking for next year!”