Wogan laments decline of 'old-fashioned thoroughness' at BBC

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The BBC's standing as one of the world's finest broadcasting organisations has diminished in the eyes of its workers, according to Sir Terry Wogan

The veteran presenter said old-fashioned thoroughness and commitment had vanished.

And he believes he probably would not have achieved his success if he were starting out now.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the 70-year-old said: "When I sent in my first tape to the head of gramophone programmes at the BBC, I had made the fatal mistake of forgetting to rewind it to the start.

"Yet that gentleman took the time to wind it all the way back, and once he'd listened to it, things went from there.

"I can tell you, if I was a young chap coming over from Ireland today, they probably wouldn't even listen to my tape, let alone rewind it.

"Somehow, that old-fashioned thoroughness and commitment have disappeared; I suppose no one has the time for it any more.

"When I started, people who worked for the BBC knew they weren't earning as much as people in commercial television, but they did have the satisfaction of knowing that they worked for one of the finest, if not the finest, broadcasting organisation in the whole world.

"I'm not sure they feel that any more, or at least that it means as much as it used to."

Sir Terry also confirmed he will almost certainly not host any more Eurovision Song Contests, after this year saw UK entrant Andy Abraham receive just 14 points from European voters, placing him joint last.

Sir Terry said former Eastern Bloc countries were not sufficiently versed in democracy to realise they were meant to vote for a song, not a neighbour.

He said he knew days before the contest that Russia would win.

He told the magazine: "The only way the UK will ever regain any respectability is if we get a major British star - Robbie Williams, Take That, God knows there are enough of them - to represent us, and then people will have to vote for us.

"I was considering giving up before Belgrade, and now I have to say I'm very doubtful about ever wanting to do Eurovision again.

"I've had so much fun, but I think it's time for someone else to take over."

The BBC said it had no comment