Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth in 2005. After the ceremony he revealed the Queen listened to his morning radio show. REUTERS/Fiona Hanson/PA/WPA Pool

TV personality Sir Terry Wogan has died aged 77 due to cancer, his family have confirmed. The Limerick-born TV and radio presenter hosted many hit BBC shows such as Wogan, Children in Need and the Eurovision Song contest from 1971 until 2008.

In a 50-year TV and radio career he worked on other popular shows such as Blankety Blank and Come Dancing. Praised for his wit and charm, in 2009 he retired from his show, Wake Up to Wogan on BBC Radio 2, with regular listener figures exceeding 8 million.

Wogan was married to Helen Joyce in 1965. They have four children, and five grandchildren and split their time between Taplow, Buckinghamshire and Gascony. He once said of his fame: "If you don't go looking for trouble, it won't find you. It's no fun being well known anymore."

In a statement, his family said: "Sir Terry Wogan died today after a short but brave battle with cancer. He passed away surrounded by his family. While we understand he will be missed by many, the family ask that their privacy is respected at this time."

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "Terry, truly was a national treasure." He had achieved an Honorary Knight Commander of the same order (KBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2005 after receiving an OBE in 1997. Wogan was granted an honorary knighthood in 2005.

Wogan began his media career at Raidió Teilifís Éireann where he presented shows such as Jackpot in the 1960s. But was poached by the BBC to work on Light Programme, now Radio 2, in 1967.

Wogan was born in 1938, the son of a grocery shop manager and his upbringing was strongly Roman Catholic. At the age of eight, he was sent to Crescent College, a school run by Jesuits where discipline was harsh. He later relinquished his faith, becoming an atheist but did appreciate the "gift of faith".

In May 2007, he was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, and in June of that year Wogan's home City of Limerick honoured him with the Freedom of the City at a ceremony in Limerick's Civic Hall.

BBC Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said: "As the host of Wake up to Wogan, Terry established himself as one of the greatest and most popular radio hosts this country has ever heard."

Highlights from Terry Wogan's time presenting Children in Need BBC