Wogan was a leading media personality in Britain and Ireland from the late 1960s and was often referred to as a "national treasure". In addition to his weekday radio show, he was known for his work on television, including the BBC One chat show Wogan, presenting Children in Need, the game show Blankety Blank and Come Dancing. He was the BBC's commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest from 1971 to 2008 and its host in 1998. From 2010 to 2015 he presented Weekend Wogan, a two-hour Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 2.
In 2005, Wogan acquired British citizenship in addition to his Irish nationality and was thus entitled to use the title "Sir" in front of his name when he was awarded a knighthood in the same year. He died from cancer at his home in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, on 31 January 2016, aged 77.
Wogan, the son of the manager of Leverett & Frye, a high class grocery store in Limerick, Ireland, was educated at Crescent College, a Jesuit school, from the age of eight. He experienced a strongly religious upbringing, later commenting that he had been brainwashed into believing by the threat of going to hell. Despite this, he often expressed his fondness for the city of his birth, commenting on one occasion that "Limerick never left me, whatever it is, my identity is Limerick."
At the age of 15, after his father was promoted to general manager, Wogan moved to Dublin with his family. While living there, he attended Crescent College's sister school, Belvedere College. He participated in amateur dramatics and discovered a love of rock and roll. After leaving Belvedere in 1956, Wogan had a brief career in the banking profession, joining the Royal Bank of Ireland. While in his twenties, he joined the national broadcaster of Ireland, RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), as a newsreader and announcer after seeing a newspaper advertisement inviting applicants.
Wogan conducted interviews and presented documentary features during his first two years at Raidió Teilifís Éireann, before moving to the light entertainment department as a disc jockey and host of TV quiz and variety shows such as Jackpot, a top rated quiz show on RTÉ in the 1960s. When the show was dropped by RTÉ TV in 1967, Wogan approached the BBC for extra work. David Attenborough rebuffed Wogan's job application to be a BBC presenter as "to have two Irishmen presenting on BBC Two would have looked ridiculous". He began working for BBC Radio, initially 'down the line' from Dublin, first broadcasting on the Light Programme on 27 September 1966. He presented the Tuesday edition of Late Night Extra for two years on BBC Radio 1, commuting weekly from Dublin to London. After standing-in for Jimmy Young's mid-morning show, whilst he took a holiday throughout July 1969, he was offered a weekday afternoon slot between 3pm and 5pm