'I think he was the tops, the cat's miaow': Joanna Lumley reads poignant poem for Terry Wogan

Terry Wogan was remembered with a poignant Service of Thanksgiving at London’s Westminster Abbey today.

Actress Joanna Lumley read a new poem, co-written with songwriter Sir Richard Stilgoe, entitled For The Former Greatest Living Irishman.

She compared Limerick-born Terry’s voice to an “aural newly-ripened peach/That never spoke to all, but spoke to each” in the poem, penned especially for the service.

“I think he was the tops, the cat’s miaow,” she said.

“For pity’s sake, who else would you allow/To mutter in your ear each dawn of days/Just rambling on, with nothing on his mind?/A brainy burbling, charming us to shreds/When we should long have risen from our beds.”

The Absolutely Fabulous actress, who provided one of Children In Need’s most memorable moments when she stripped down to her underwear on live television in 1983 as host Sir Terry pretended to yawn, added: “If he was here I’d kiss his handsome face/And tell him that they simply broke the mould/When he was made.

“He’ll never now be old/For now he’s scripted by the Holy Ghost/And billions of lost souls are feeling cosier/As, with their morning helping of ambrosia/They listen in to their new heavenly host.”

She continued: “That voice – (an aural newly-ripened peach/That never spoke to all, but spoke to each, each one he never met, but made his friend)/Now sounds for evermore, world without end.

“Oh, lucky cherubim and seraphim, with breakfast hymns forever linked by him!”

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