Terry Wogan dead: His best Eurovision quotes from almost four decades of hosting

Sir Terry Wogan's scathing commentary was usually the best part of the Eurovision Song Contest for many viewers

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The Independent Online

The BBC has announced that broadcasting legend Sir Terry Wogan has died at the age of 77, following a short illness.

In a career spanning almost five decades, Sir Terry became a national treasure for his work on the Eurovision Song Contest, bringing millions of viewers to the BBC for his hilarious commentary and scathing put-downs.

He stepped down as host in 2008, and was replaced by Graham Norton the next year, who continues to present the show to this day.

While Norton has successfully replicated Sir Terry's sarcastic tone, he is bound to remain the marker against which all other Eurovision hosts will be measured. Here's some of his best quotes from his 37 years of hosting. 

"Every year I expect it to be less foolish, and every year it is more so."

On Eurovision, after Finnish metal band Lordi won the competition in 2006.

"They will have to shoot me to stop it. I shall cling to the wreckage for as long as I can."

On his hosting of Eurovision. Sir Terry eventually stepped down from the role after 35 years in 2008.

"That's the whole point of it, of course, to sneer at the foreigners."

On the true meaning of Eurovision in 1997.

"Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy."

His nicknames for the hosts of the 2001 competition in Denmark, which prompted outrage among Danes.

"Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually I do, I've seen the rehearsals."

His optimistic introduction to the 2007 contest in Finland.

"You'd never make a living as a presenter in the UK with a name like Leppy Lampen. A comedian maybe, but not a presenter."

On one of the Finnish presenters of the 2007 contest.

"It's supposed to be bad. And the worse it is, the more fun it is."

Speaking about the contest in 1997.

"Every year I go to see it and every year I say: 'Isn't it terrible? It's worse than last year!'"

His verdict on the contest, after his 25th year as the host.

"Are you related to the Director General of Swedish television?"

Speaking about the incompetent Swedish representative at 2008's contest in Serbia.

"I don't make the mistake of thinking it's a major musical event. I love the Eurovision Song Contest and it will continue long after I'm gone. Just please don't ask me to take it seriously."

His definitive verdict on the contest just before he stepped down in 2008.