Weekend Wogan

Weekend Wogan

BBC Radio 2's biannual series presented by Sir Terry Wogan, broadcast Sundays 11am-1pm

Exec: Neil Sloan
Producer: Ste Softley
Assistant Producer: David Manero
Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 19th January

This week’s show was simple and straightforward all thanks to two sublime, but very different guests. The West End Cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brand new musical Stephen Ward sung their hearts out in Terry’s live studio – he loved it! Then Chris Norman of Smokie fame performed material from his 24th (!) solo album and his classic hit Living Next Door To Alice. The two acts couldn’t have been more different but were both so engaging and so enjoyable to listen too. In fact if you missed it… http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03rm4lm

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 12th January

It’s great to have a mixture of old and new on Wogan. We’ve had some great established acts over this last year like Madness, Alison Moyet, John Legend, Ellie Goulding and Boyzone. Yesterday we had Eddi Reader of Fairground Attraction who has a new solo album Vagabond. She performed a great session and had some interesting stories for Terry from her days singing backing vocals for Annie Lennox.

But then in our second hour, something entirely different. It’s great every now and then to shine a spotlight on a new artist, especially this time of year. Last year’s success story was Emma Stevens. This week on the show Gregory Porter chatted to Terry and performed live. He was sensational. A man inspired by gospel, blues, funk and soul – and the most incredible voice to showcase it all. There is so much buzz around Gregory right now so it was perfect timing to have him in. A definite must to listen back if you missed it!  

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 15th December

This week we had two true pros performing in Terry’s live studio. Gabrielle celebrated 20 years since the release of her debut single Dreams by performing the song itself. It was impossible not to sing along in the production cubicle! Then Scottish legend Barbara Dickson OBE sang for us. She was a great interview too, they both were. Heston Blumenthal was a fun addition to the show. He usually comes in this time of year with a crate full of bizarre festive treats and this time was no different! 

For instance there were caramels. So naturally I helped myself but was swiftly corrected when I started to unwrap one! Heston advised me you’re supposed eat it all. Including the wrapper. And it tastes like a mince pie. Really! Then there was a candle which he burnt down, snapped in half and handed to Terry, who diligently took a bite out of it. Turns out it was white chocolate! What can I say, the man’s a genius. After the show we headed out to our team Christmas lunch and Heston joined us for the festivities. It was pizza with no surprises, since you ask.

Assistant Producer: David Manero
Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 8th December

This week we got into the Christmassy mood with a few festive songs peppered throughout the show. Just as well, as we arrived to find the studio had been dressed to the nines to suit the yuletide period! Our first guests in were the Overtones. These guys are great friends of the show, having closed this years Children in Need gala lunch down at London’s Savoy Hotel. They always know how to get audiences moving their feet (or tapping their feet at the very least!) and yesterday was no exception. Everyone was shuffling away in their seats in the production cubicle.

In hour 2 we welcomed Russell Watson on the show. What a voice. In fact he is so loud, it’s not a good idea to stand next to him in a small studio, to be honest. When he sings it’s like standing under a giant hairdryer. But he obviously makes a far more pleasant sound. So the Christmas season is in full swing, and next week we’ll be celebrating with Heston Blumenthal when he brings us some Great British Food!

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 1st December

Sometimes Weekend Wogan is all about contrast. This was never more true than for this week’s show! Our two guests were… US country superstars The Band Perry and Kings of ‘Rockney’ Chas & Dave. Talk about two worlds colliding! It was rather surreal introducing them to each other in the green room. Everyone was very polite...

The sessions couldn’t have been more different, obviously. But they were both brilliant! My particular highlight was The Band Perry covering Queen’s Fat-Bottomed Girls. I was sat in the production studio transfixed, what a performance! When you are a country act from the states, it is so competitive and the market is so crowded that you have to be good. So I particularly enjoy when we have US country acts over as they are always impressive. Chas & Dave were great value too. Check the clips on Terry’s show page and hear for yourself!

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 24th November

Well it’s been a while (far too long in fact) since I’ve blogged about all the goings on with Wogan. And for good reason – it’s been non-stop! Since our live extravaganza from Hyde Park we’ve hosted sessions from John Legend, Mark Owen, Katie Melua, Caro Emerald, Lawson, Ellie Goulding, Boyzone, Matt Cardle with Mel C and many more! There are just too many to mention, but suffice to say we’re having some great musicians on the show and some not to be missed live music. So if you have missed it… listen back! The clips section on Terry’s Radio 2 show page has all you need.

This week was typically busy. First in was the marvelous Olly Murs for a chat. We’re astounded he had the time to be honest. He’s in the UK between visits to Australia and Japan and on Sunday was due to be in rehearsals for this year’s Royal Variety Performance. PLUS he’d performed on the X Factor the night before and with Robbie Williams on Graham Norton on the Friday! Bless him, he was able to pause for breath for a brief chat with Terry and promised to be back next year to perform on the show. We’ll hold him to that!

We also had two terrific live sessions from The Feeling and the West End cast of The Commitments musical. Both sessions were ambitious, with The Feeling bringing in a huge drum (!) and The Commitments cast being 7 musicians in total! If you ever scan through the gallery on Terry’s show page you’ll know it’s not a vast studio. So it was quite a squeeze! But it was well worth it. We just didn’t stop moving until we were off air! Those two hours are my regular weekly exercise!

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 8th September

What do you get when you put Sir Terry Wogan, James Blunt, Josh Groban and Emma Stevens in a tepee in the middle of a howling gale? Two hours of busy live radio that’s what!

Yes, last Sunday it was time for Terry’s annual jaunt down to Hyde Park in London for Radio 2’s Festival in a Day. And what good fun it was too! The weather was… changeable. But the backstage area behind the main stage was an exciting bustle of activity. The whole event was cranked up a gear this year. Instead of squeezing into a broadcast truck for the show, we were in a luxurious open tepee, adorned with fairy lights and our own giant glitter ball!

Terry was on top form, fresh from closing the Proms in the Park the night before. Friend of the show Emma Stevens joined us to sing live at the top of the show. Hard to believe it’s already a year since she was discovered on Weekend Wogan, and on Sunday she headlined the BBC Introducing stage! Josh Groban dropped in for a chat. He and Terry got on famously, but then it’s hard for anyone not to be won over by Josh’s friendly charm. Then James Blunt played live to a packed out tepee and naturally had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand.

After the show, there was plenty to take in. My personal highlights were Jessie J’s blinding performance on the main stage followed by Smokey Robinson’s closing set. There are some great photos of Terry in his tent and clips from our live guests too so be sure to check them out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039bt6f

It really is a highlight of the year to bask in the festivities down at Hyde Park. Whatever the weather.

Assistant Producer: David Manero
Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 19th May

There’s nothing quite like live radio. Especially on the Sunday just gone. We had a guest cancellation literally as were going to air! So we had a last minute shuffle. But it was great to run on the adrenaline!

Joe McElderry joined Terry to chat about his brand new single and future recording plans. Then we had the world exclusive first play of the song itself, One World One Song. It’s a collaboration with Dionne Warwick which really packs a punch and will hopefully go on to raise lots of awareness for the World Hunger Day project.

Next in was Stewart Francis. Stewart is one of my personal favourite comedians, have a look at him online. He is the master of the killer one-liner! He told Terry all about his brand new Lumberjacks tour and the Canadian comedy scene… what little there is of it anyway. Grab the podcast for the best bits!

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 12th May

Sometimes on the show we break out of the four walls of Studio 6C to put on a live performance in the Radio 2 green room. Not only does this mean a little more wriggle room but it also gives us access to the famous grand piano, donated to the station by a one Sir Elton John. Sunday was such an occasion with the marvellous Jamie Cullum. His new album Momentum is fast becoming my record of the year and I was so excited to have him on the show!

We had a slightly earlier arrival time for a more complicated 2 room set up but it was so worth it. Any yawns were swiftly stifled as Jamie, ever the pro, performed his new single and a cover of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! He danced over the keys, it was quite a spectacle. And what a sound! Do listen back if you missed it.

Watching all this going on was the brilliant Phill Jupitus and his family. Phill was our guest in the second hour but arrived early with his mother and sister so they could all watch Jamie perform – and meet Sir Terry of course! When Phill arrived behind the mic he was on top form and explained the bizarre premise behind his new show where he plays three characters simultaneously. Grab the free podcast if you don’t believe me!

Assistant Producer: David Manero
Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 5th May

It was another busy one this week as we had 3 big guests on the show.

OMD were first in to play a live session for Sir Terry. They had quite a complex set-up so we arranged an earlier arrival to give plenty of time for sound check. They came in, set up their mics, keyboard and a mac and then made the most incredible sound! It was great to have them on and they even played their classic hit Enola Gay!

Towards the end of our first hour the cast of the Faulty Towers Dining Experience came on the show. It was rather surreal to see Basil, Sybil and Manuel roll into the studio and lark about for Sir Terry. We went to see them perform for us (and indeed with us) at the Charing Cross Hotel last week as we ate a 3 course meal. A great show to catch if you can – but beware audience participation is a must!

Jack Jones also paid a visit during hour 2, whereupon he tried to clarify whether he was actually retiring or not. I think the final conclusion was that he isn’t, but that he is going on a farewell tour anyway. Either way, he was dressed to impress and came armed with a Hollywood smile and charm to boot! 

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 28th April

It was a packed house for Weekend Wogan this week! Easily the busiest show I’ve done since I started in the AP role. Why? Well we had two live sessions from a couple of big names!

First up was Madeleine Peyroux. She’s a friend of the show and Sir Terry loves hearing what she’s up to – as do we! She was ever the pro as she performed two tracks acoustically from her brand new album The Blue Room.

Next up was Bonnie Tyler. Bonnie is our Eurovision hero in Malmo, Sweden this year. She was on top form as she chatted with Terry ahead of the contest and brushed up on a little Swedish – with hilarious results! Then she belted out this year’s Eurovision entry Believe In Me and her classic hit It’s A Heartache. That voice!

It was quite a show. Terry and Bonnie’s Swedish revision can be heard on the free download - available now. Plus you can see pictures, hear both the live sessions and listen back to the show on Terry’s Radio 2 show page at your leisure. Next week: OMD are in live and Terry will be chatting to Jack Jones too.

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 21st April

This week Kelly Jones, frontman of the Stereophonics, joined Terry in the studio to perform acoustically. We kept it simple, just Kelly and his guitar. But that was all it needed. He has an exceptional voice and provoked quite a response on Facebook and Twitter. He also spoke at great length about the screenplay he has written as the basis to the band’s new album Graffiti on the Train. It’s a great story – have a listen to the free download to hear it!

In hour 2 Omid Djalili dropped by. Is there anything this man can’t do? Actor, writer, comedian and high-board diver (!), he and Terry split the breeze over his upcoming tour, an Edinburgh play and an impending Hollywood film! I got the feeling he and Terry could have talked forever and we were certainly hooked on every word in the production gallery. Alas, as is always the way, time got away from us. But we’ll have to invite him back…

Assistant Producer: David Manero


Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 14th April

This week, Terry welcomed Thea Gilmore to studio 6C. Each week we do stripped back acoustic sessions on the show that we love – but Thea brought with her a mini string section! Together they created a beautiful sound for a Sunday – well worth a listen back on the iPlayer. Thea has a work ethic to really aspire to. She’s just released her 14th album in as many years!

Then in our second hour top comedian Paul Tonkinson provided the banter and lunchtime laughs. He had Terry and the production team in stiches with his impressions of laughter from different regions! A definite reason to check out the podcast for this week’s show. He also spoke at length about his comedy gigs for the troops out in Afghanistan and, in the past, Iraq. An inspiring man. 

Assistant Producer: David Manero
Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 7th April

This week was my first studio shift on Weekend Wogan. I was very excited to be working on one of Wise Buddah’s flagship shows, and with the incomparable Sir Terry Wogan!

Show 1 turned out to be incredibly busy with lots of visitors to the studio. Billy Ocean was first in with his guitar and breezy tones. It was great to hear him talking about his new album to Terry – he’s tackled some biggies like “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “No Woman, No Cry” – brave man! But needless to say he’s pulled it off. Next through our revolving door of top guests were Johnny Hates Jazz. They’re back after a 20 year absence and I think it’s fair to say they’ve most definitely still got it.

In the end the show flew by! Now I’m raring to go for our spring shows. We’ve got loads more great guests coming up including the Stereophonics, Bonnie Tyler, Jamie Cullum and UB40. Bring it on!

Assistant Producer: David Manero

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 31st March

For our Easter Sunday show, we were joined live in session by Madness. After performances to close the Olympics and on the roof of Buckingham Palace, it was probably a relief to be only on the sixth floor of the building. After helping to close Television Centre a few weeks ago, Terry had some concerns about what their appearance meant for Weekend Wogan as well! They played a couple of tracks for us in the studio, and Terry dug out a jingle they recorded for him way back in 1982. He, and they, seemed to somehow have forgotten all about it.

We also had the rare treat of an appearance from the Irish comedian Sean Hughes, who was in conversation with Sir Terry. At times, it was hard to tell who was interviewing who as they caught up about growing up in Ireland and the role of family in their lives - for better and worse! It was as great chat and well worth a listen on the iPlayer.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 24th March

This week Terry was joined by one of the original grumpy old men, Richard Wilson. Best known for his role as Victor Meldrew, he was in fact a delight to have on the programme - it's all an act for the telly! Also appearing in the BBC's Merlin, he's now directing Smack Family Robinson in Kingston with Denise Welch and Keith Allen. Apparently he's taking command with love rather than shouting, which shounds like a sure fire way to get ahead!

We were joined in session by a group that producer Ste had come across at Portobello Road market - the forties influenced group The Sugar Sisters. Brandishing a trusty ukelele, they were done up to the nines and performed some beautiful three-part harmonies. The weather outside was still rotten, but if you closed your eyes (and were close to a radiator) you could have imagined it was spring. Nearly.

After the huge reception our session with Jenn Bostic and Emma Stevens received last week, we took the opportunity to replay their cover of Ed Sheeran's "Give Me Love". Sounded even better the second time around - Mr. Sheeran even tweeted about the cover, so we're sure he enjoyed it!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 17th March

It was a St. Patrick's Day special on the show this week, as we were joined by Rose Marie to sing a special ditty for the day. She's almost certainly the loudest singer we've ever had on the show, and very much blew away the cobwebs on a grey Sunday morning.

We also had a very special session from Emma Stevens and Jenn Bostic. We played their tracks on the show last year, which led to them finding each other and becoming friends - they've even played concerts together! They gave us their new singles, plus a very special version of Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran - well worth a listen on the iPlayer.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 10th March

One of Terry's favourite singers joined him in the studio this week, as Beth Nielsen Chapman performed a stripped back session for him. Her new album The Mighty Sky is a science project in musical form, inspired entirely by astronomy and designed to increase understanding of the stars through song. She performed tracks from it at the United Nations last year, so obviously dropping by our studio was an improvement for her!

Marti Pellow also returned to the studio for a beautiful session at Elton John's piano. Having previously been a guest on the show in 2011, it was fantastic to have him back performing for us. With stage roles in shows including Evita plus new studio album Hope, he's got a busy 2013 lined up. Even busier if he takes up one listener's offer of a kebab and a night out!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 4th March

This week Terry was joined by the singer, actress and legend Petula Clark. With a career spanning over seven decades, she's coming along nicely and Terry thought her appearance on the programme might just see her come to a bit of fame. She's got a new album out that we played the beautiful track "Cut Copy Me" from, with Petula telling us about how she ended up singing in French and meeting John Lennon. More than a few stories to be told, just a shame we didn't have more time with her!

Terry was also joined by the rockabilly band Kat Men for a live session in the studio. Formed by Darrel Higham, he was joined on backing vocals by his wife (and friend of the show) Imelda May. While he was on the road with Imelda the band took a back seat, but now things are getting busy for the Kat Men Imelda's returning the favour! A highlight of their session was a fantastic cover of "I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen that's well worth another listen on iPlayer.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 24th February

A packed show this Sunday as we welcomed two live sessions to the programme. Performing in the studio were Blake, the vocal harmony group now down to a trio after founding member Jules left to appear in Holby City. Suggestions that Terry should join the group in his stead were met with cautious interest. Very cautious, in fact.

The French master pianist Richard Clayderman also joined Terry for a performance at Elton John's piano, generously donated to Radio 2. He performed Ballad Pour Adeline, which has sold over twenty two million copies worldwide, plus Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. It's always a treat to have performances at the piano, especially when the studios are so quiet of a Sunday!

The conductor and musician Suzi Digby also joined Terry, and told him all about the resurgence of choirs in Britain. They also got stuck into the Oscars as they took place that evening, with Suzi a big fan of Argo and Beasts Of The Southern Wild.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 17th February

On the show this week, Terry caught up with the broadcaster and comedian Sue Perkins, who last met when Sue was conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at Proms In The Park! Since then Sue's had great success with The Great British Bake Off, and has written the new sitcom Heading Out. Of course, Terry remembers Sue when she was nothing, even deigning to appear on Light Lunch all the way back in the nineties.

The soul singer and troubadour Allen Stone also came to the studio to perform two rocking tracks, and told Terry all about crossing America in a van and sleeping on his friend's sofas - when he wasn't on stage, of course.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 10th February

This week Terry was joined in the studio by the star of The Thick Of It and Grandma's House, Rebecca Front. Together they caught up on the latest films ahead of this year's BAFTA awards, with Rebecca a particular fan of Argo as directed by Ben Affleck. She and Terry also lamented the lack of accolades for Daniel Craig in Skyfall, despite what's it being called the best Bond yet.

We also had live music in the studio courtesy of Andy Grammer. After honing his craft on the streets of Los Angeles with over ten thousand hours of practise, he got his big break and new single Keep Your Head Up is set to go platinum in the US. He gave us two stripped back songs, with just him and his acoustic guitar filling the studio with sound. We'll have him back again!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 3rd February

We kicked off February with another packed show. Libby Purves joined us, and after telling us about her husband Paul travelling around Cape Horn in their boat last time she was on gave us an update. He's still seven thousand miles frome home! Libby also covered her concern at films getting longer but plays getting shorter, plus some of her favourite books at the moment.

There was a double bill of live music in the show to boot. Nell Bryden returned to Weekend Wogan having been a real favourite of Terry's back in 2010, and gave us a proper session in the studio. We also had the singer Deborah Rose in the studio, performing Eva Cassidy's "Songbird" on the weekend that Eva would have turned fifty. It was a beautiful version of the song, and a perfect way to pay tribute to a singer so loved by Sir Terry.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 27th January

It was a real treat to welcome Mel Giedroyc back to the studio for the show this Sunday. Not only do her and Terry share a mutual enjoyment of baked goods, but Mel is a Eurovision nut which means they'll always have plenty to talk about! This week she covered the upcoming production of A Chorus Line as it returns to the West End, The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief and The 4'OClock Show on BBC Radio 4Extra.

Live music came courtesy of Tunde Baiyewu, best known as one half of The Lighthouse Family. His acoustic version of Ocean Drive was probably my favourite song we've had in the studio since we started production of the programme last year. When you've got a voice as good as Tunde's it doesn't take much to sound fantastic, which came across wonderfully on air.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 20th January

Despite blanket media coverage of the snow blanketing Britain, we weren't stopped by the weather in getting in for this show. Of course, it was the main topic of conversation for the listeners - it was chilly out, after all. That aside it was another fun show, with Mariella Frostrup returning to tell us all about her views on the Golden Globe winners and BAFTA nominees, plus the state of British film.

We were also joined in session by The Overtones, who we last greeted at The Savoy for Children In Need. The reception for the group was unprecedented for us, with more tweets, emails and texts than we'd ever received! The band were in fine form and performed three live tracks for us, sounding fantastic in the Radio 2 studio.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 13th January

Back with a bang for 2013 with an absolutely packed show. I've no idea how we managed to fit it all in. Charley Boorman, fresh from gallavanting around South Africa on his motorbike joined us in the studio to talk about his new Channel 5 travel series, motorbikes and his acting career - including winning an award for his posterieur at seventeen!

Live music came courtesy of Sadie and the Hotheads, featuring Elizabeth McGovern from Downton Abbey on guitar and lead vocals. The always effervescent Jenny Eclair also came in to pick out the TV, films and books she's been enjoying lately. Great to be back in the studio for 2013!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: Sunday 23rd December

Our last show of the run and what better way to go out than with a gospel Christmas concert from the Union Chapel? After we took Weekend Wogan there in 2011 it was a real treat to return to the venue, along with the London Community Gospel Choir.

On stage we had performances of a festive nature from Brian May & Kerry Ellis, The Gypsy Queens, Joe McElderry, Lemar, James Torme, Steps, Mika, Shingai Shoniwa and Friar Alessandro Brustenghi.

It was a great way to end the series, and Weekend Wogan will return to the airwaves on Sunday 13th January. We’ll see you then!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan TX: 16/12/2012
A packed show this week, and our last in the studio this year - see below for more details! Ashley Jensen joined Tewrry, and told him all about her role in the West End, along with living in Los Angeles whilst working their. They do Christmas a bit differently there, it would seem!
Terry was also joined by Emilia Mitiku, performing live in session plus the great Irish chef Richard Corrigan who brought all manner of festive treats for Terry to sample. The turkey wellington was a particular favourite.
Next week will be the last show of this series, and what a way to go out - a Christmas concert from the Union Chapel in London with the London Community Gospel Choir! A real treat to get you in the festive mood.
Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 09/12/2012
Christmas is on the way, so it was a real treat to be joined by the welsh songbird Katherine Jenkins on the show this week. She's got a new Christmas album out, and huddled around Elton John's piano she performed a couple of tracks for us. Her first choice was "The Christmas Song", originally by Mel Torme which will also be performed for us at our Christmas concert on the 23rd December by his son James Torme! She had to dash off to her next gig in Manchester by helicopter, which unfortunately isn't her usual method of transport.
Terry was also joined by the actress and model Twiggy, who's just launched a winter fashion range ready for the party season. She told us all about the culture she's been enjoying lately, from the musical "Once" through to the new film of "The Life Of Pi", which she claims is the best 3D film she's ever seen. One to watch out for!
Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 02/12/2012
This Sunday we were joined by the tremendous tenor Alfie Boe, and the really quite funny Ronni Ancona as well. Not just an impressionist, she's also appearing in the BBC series "Last Tango In Halifax" where she's cast as a villain. According to Richard E. Grant (who she does an excellent impression of), this was because she has dark hair and a large nose! Ronni said she was happy with the role though, and had fun in the series.
Alfie Boe, who had appeared on the show in 2011 in conversation, returned for a session that blew the cobwebs away on a chilly Sunday morning! He even performed a cappella on one song, before being joined by Ronni and her daughter with handclaps. He's playing the Royal Albert Hall next year, a venue that his voice will fill easily. You can imagine the effect it had on the Radio 2 studio...
Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 25/11/2012
We were welcomed into the studio this Sunday with an uncharacteristic burst of sunshine. It proved to be fitting for the show however, as we had lively performances from Natalie Duncan and an appearance from Mariella Frostrup to brighten our day even further.
Natalie, who was previously played on the show last week, performed a session on Elton John's piano. These sessions are always a treat - when we arrive in the morning the piano is being tuned, and it's quite exciting to move out of the studio for a live performance. Natalie performed "Songbird" and a beautiful cover of Etta James' "At Last" for Sir Terry.
Mariella Frostrup managed to squeeze her appearance in between film screenings - such is the life of a critic! She even offered to take Sir Terry to the flicks for a showing, so we'll let you know more if that happens. Early next year she'll be appearing in The World's Most Dangerous Roads which is one to look out for, but in the interim she offered up her pick of the films at the moment. The Impossible looks like one to catch if you can!
Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 18/11/2012
Another packed show this week - we'll start getting a reputation at this rate. Mel Giedroyc of Mel and Sue and The Great British Bake Off dropped by to catch up with Sir Terry - turns out she's a big fan of the Eurovision which made for some great memories! She also picked out the best on offer in TV and theatre at the moment, including the musical "Top Hat" - apparently it's like going on holiday, so one to check out.
Live music came from Stooshe who performed their hit "Black Heart", and a beautiful version of Nina Simone's "To Love Somebody". Our main guest was the globetrotting Michael Palin, most recently on our screens in his travel documentary "Brazil". He and Terry caught up about the Python days, travelling all over the world and everything in between - perfect for a Sunday afternoon catch-up.
Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 11/11/2012

This week we continued the culinary theme after having Heston Blumenthal on the show last week, with the winner of Celebrity Masterchef Emma Kennedy in with Sir Terry. Also a writer and comedian of some acclaim, she told Sir Terry how she’s not getting lunch invites any more – in fact, she’s being asked to cook for up to twenty five people at a time! Of course, after cooking for two hundred that’s no problem for her – or so she claims.

The Radio 2 broadcaster and jazz singer Clare Teal also dropped by for a session on Sir Elton John’s piano. It’s a real treat to be able to use the piano, which sits in the green room at Radio 2 – it’s also where all the guests wait before coming on meaning Emma Kennedy got to enjoy Clare’s soundcheck as well! She performed “We’ll Gather Lilacs” and a cover of “Chasing Cars” which sounded beautiful on a bright but cold autumn day.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins
Weekend Wogan TX: 04/11/2012
I think today’s show was my favourite so far. We had no less than THREE guests on there, each different to the next but all very entertaining. First up, Lenny Henry. The man is a livewire! He has so much energy and has a great way of telling stories. Terry and Lenny have met several times over the years so there was a great rapport between them.

Next up, Heston Blumenthal.  As one  would expect – or hope - he brought with him some food…but no ordinary food. This was Heston Blumenthal-style food. From a distance I thought he was carrying a giant coral or a Lady Gaga hat. No, it was a huuuge pork scratching. But even stranger were the tomatoes he brought in. On the surface these were cherry tomatoes, picked from the vine. But – oh no – these were sausages. Sausages disguised as tomatoes. And actually very nice they were too! Next up were our music guests for the show, Deacon Blue.

They had been on Terry’s TV show, “Wogan” , back in the 80s a few times so, again, there was already a rapport there. They performed a couple of songs and they were brilliant, they just have such a great sound, as good now as they were back then. We had so many texts and emails coming through from people sharing their memories of seeing them live and what their music meant to them.
Producer - Ste Softley
Weekend Wogan TX: 21/10/2012
A gloomy day, but a packed Wogan show. We're gearing up for our big day out at the Savoy next week, with tickets to give away and artists still being confirmed - we're delighted to say Tim Minchin will be appearing, giving us an extra touch of comedy to the musical extravaganza.

This week however we had a session with Joe McElderry, who gave a stunning performance despite having a sore throat. Joe appeared on the show last year in conversation, so it was great to have him in singing live.

The esteemed broadcaster Libby Purves also popped in to review the latest cultural highlights she's encountered in the past week. She's particularly aggrieved by recent developments in Coronation Street, is loving The Thick Of It and also told us about seeing Jesus Christ Superstar at an arena. The rattling of her seat was a cause of some concern!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan: Children In Need
Weekend Wogan returns to the iconic Savoy Theatre in London live from BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 28th October with a stunning array of special guests…

Fresh from getting Boris and Dave dancing at the Olympics, Mel C will be performing music from her new album and will be joined for anexclusive duet with a fellow Spice Girl… I’ll leave you to guess who it’s with!

X Factor champions Leona Lewis and Matt Cardle each give us some sensational come-back performances of old and new material. 

Jazz vocalist, James Torme (son of legendary American singer, Mel Torme) joins us as do the Overtones, who bring us their unique blend of harmonies and song arrangements. As if all that wasn’t enough, the one and only Dionne Warwick is set to blow us all away with a show-stopping appearance.

We’re really excited to see the return of the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra (all 22 of them!) as our house band performing with all of our artists.

It’s going to be a big day and there is much to do in the build-up… we’re bursting with excitement for this one! We have a knock-out line-up in a legendary venue and I cannot wait for audiences to hear the surprises we have in store too…

The concert is all in aid of Children in Need. Last year alone Radio 2 audiences raised over £2 million! If you want to be at this once in a lifetime show, you can find out how to purchase tickets here  bbc.co.uk/pudsey

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Weekend Wogan, tx: 14/10/2012
After her unfortunate accident a few weeks ago, spraining her ankle while walking a marathon, we had Jessica Hynes on the show to catch up with Terry. She told us all about her performance in Twenty Twelve, one of Terry's favourite shows of the year. We also found out about a new Royle Family Christmas special, though unfortunately Jessica won't be taking part.

We also had Graham Gouldman of 10cc live in session in the studio – and he was so good that we asked him for another song! Along with his new track "Daylight" and "Dreadlock Holiday" from his 10cc days, he also played "Bus Stop" which he wrote for The Hollies. One of the best parts of the live sessions on the show is hearing classic tracks stripped back, right in front of Terry in the studio. It's a cosy space but produces a great sound!

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan, tx: 30/09/2012
Hi Ste here, Weekend Wogan Producer. I was particularly looking forward to this show because we had 2 really great guests. First up, Celia Imrie, who is a bit of a legend in British comedy, having made her name in TV shows in the 80s such as “Acorn Antiques” and gone onto success on the big screen in films such as “Calendar Girls”, “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and more. She was brilliant, very funny and I could have listened to her and Terry chat for the entire show.

Next up was The Gypsy Queens. Iwent to see them in a record company showcase a few months ago and knew instantly that they would be great guests on the show, so we booked them way back then. A few months on and things are looking very good for them with high pre-sales for their debut album. Each member is from a different country and their music is so much fun, I knew Terry would respond well to them. Definitely ones to watch and glad to say you heard them on this show first.
Producer - Ste Softley
Weekend Wogan, tx: 07/09/2012
Anything can happen in show business, and it usually does on Weekend Wogan! Just before this week's show we were notified that Jessica Hynes, scheduled to be our guest, had sprained her ankle in a charity marathon walk the night before and wouldn't be able to join us. Fortunately we took it in our stride (as she couldn't), and she'll be back on a future edition of the show.

Not to worry, as we had the magnificent Neil Sedaka in session and conversation with Terry. Sporting one of the finest jumpers ever seen at Radio 2, he played a new track on Elton John's piano, plus the classic "Is This The Way To Amarillo?" in his own inimitable style. One of the nicest men in music, with a songwriting career taking in over sixty years and five hundred songs. He even gave us a taste of the first song he ever wrote on the ivories – and it's aged surprisingly well.

Elsewhere in the show talk inevitably turned to having a light Sunday drink, developments on the new Radio 2 carpet and of course the Ryder Cup – did you know that in 1981, Sir Terry set the world record for the longest successful golf putt ever televised? Check it out on YouTube!

We're back next week with a rip-roaring session from The Gypsy Queens, and Celia Imrie in conversation!

Assistant Producer- Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan, tx: 13/09/2012
Just when we'd got back to being in the studio, we had to contend with the carpet being changed. Of course, being a consummate professional none of this threw Sir Terry out of his stride. I however had to avoid being the first person to baptise the carpet by spilling a cup of tea on it, which I managed to achieve.

Floor coatings aside we had a rip-roaring time – Andy Burrows, ex of Razorlight and now of solo fame joined us for an acoustic session and a Crowded House cover in "Pineapple Head". The Queen of Cakes Jane Asher also popped in for a chat, and told us all about her week, what she's got coming up and how baking is the new rock and roll.

Assistant Producer - Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan, tx: 16.09.2012
Back to the studio after the joy of Hyde Park – at least that meant less running around a field with an unwieldy radio mic belt for me. Still running around trying to find milk though – some things don't change!

This week we were joined by the legendary broadcaster Sue MacGregor talking about some of her highlights of the cultural week and what she's been up to. Her show Reunion actually broadcast at the same time as Weekend Wogan, which gave her a peculiar sense of being in two places at once. Terry was also joined by the folk-rock band Honey Ryder, who gave a blistering performance in the studio – and also gave Terry one of their very own hoodies afterwards! We predict he'll be wearing it for the rest of the run.

Assistant Producer - Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan live from Hyde Park, tx: 09.09.12
So, back to the park for another thrilling outside broadcast at Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park! And just to make things that little bit different, we were on later in the day and had an extra half hour in the show.

The team arrived bright and early at Hyde Park to de-brief, re-brief and time permitting, have a cup of tea. We couldn't have asked for better weather – blue skies as far as the eye could see across Hyde Park.

We had a packed line-up for the show – Katzenjammer, Rebecca Ferguson, the Average White Band, The Band Perry, Mick Hucknall, Paloma Faith and Status Quo all appeared for a chat or a session, cramming into Terry's "lavishly appointed" studio as he called it! Presenter of the day Simon Mayo also popped in for a chat, and his fellow presenter Jo Whiley went off into the park to talk to some of the festival-goers waiting to come into the park.

Everything ran relatively smoothly – the Average White Band arrived just in time after a buggy was sent at full speed to pick them up from the other end of the park! Turnarounds were swift as well – we had the length of a Radio 2 trail to get one guest out of the studio and another in!

At the end of the show we threw live to the big day on stage, with Mick Hucknall kicking the day off. The show team were then able to pop out and enjoy the concert after one of the biggest shows we'd ever done.

Assistant Producer: Mark Higgins

Weekend Wogan - With Emma Thompson, tx: 02.09.12

A packed show on Wogan this week – with it being the second show of the run everyone knew roughly where to be and had a half-decent knowledge of which buttons to push.

Zervas and Pepper provided a sun-drenched session – the Cardiff-based band are influenced by acts such as the Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash and Fleetwood Mac, which really came through in their acoustic session. The sun even came out while they were playing. It went back in as soon as Terry started talking again, mind.

Emma Thompson came on to talk about her new book, The Further Tale Of Peter Rabbit – unbelievably, she hadn't met Terry since she'd been on his TV show over twenty years perviously! They caught up on the book, her future film roles and everything else she's been up to – certainly worth a listen back on the iPlayer.

Next week we'll be coming live from Hyde Park with Terry in a sumptuous BBC truck, and Radio 2's own Jo Whiley catching up with some of the festival goers. We'll beon air from 1PM-3:30PM, a later time as we build up to all the live action from Tom Jones, Jessie J, Rebecca Ferguson and many more.


Weekend Wogan - With Emma Thompson, broadcasting 02.09.12

Sir Terry Wogan eases you into Sunday morning with music and musings. He's joined by the Oscar-winning actress, screenwriter and author Emma Thompson.

After coming to prominence in 1987 in the BBC series Fortunes Of War, Emma has become one of Britain's best-loved actresses picking up two Academy Awards on the way, as an actress in Howards End and for her screenwriting on Sense And Sensibility. Other notable appearances have included the Harry Potter film series, Love Actually and An Education.

110 years after the original was released, Emma has written The Further Tale Of Peter Rabbit. The book is now the 24th story in the series, which was originally written by Beatrix Potter between 1902-30. Emma was inspired to set the tale in Scotland by her knowledge of Potter's childhood holidays there.

Listen on BBC iPlayer now!

Weekend Wogan - With Nik Kershaw and Kiki Dee, broadcast 26.08.12
After 4 months away, Terry came back in grand style this weekend. I love doing this show. Without sounding like a mad fan that has crept in through the backdoor, I have been a fan of Terry ever since I was kid watching “Wogan” and then getting into his radio show later. So to be actually working on it, occasionally I have to pinch myself!

He strolls in, always smiling, and always laid back. It was Elton John weekend on Radio 2, so we had lined up 2 guests that were linked to Elton in some way,  I am fans of both artists so I had to hide my excitement. First off, Nik Kershaw. I have met Nik before, he is a really friendly chap and a brilliant musician and songwriter. He did a version of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” on Elton’s piano .Superb. We had some lovely feedback from listeners. And in the second hour we had Kiki Dee. Being from my hometown of Bradford, Kiki is a significant figure to me. She was absolutely lovey and very down-to-earth. Her solo version of “Don’t Go Breaking my Heart” was great and we also played her version of the Kate Bush song, “Running up that Hill”. A great way  to start the new season. I used this blog as an excuse to have my picture taken with her.
You can listen to a clip from Nik Kershaw's live session on the BBC Radio 2 website here.
We have some awesome quests coming up in the next few weeks. Makes getting up early on a Sunday morning actually quite exciting….keep listening!
Ste Softley (Producer)

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