Wogan vs Ike: round two

Thursday, January 19, 2006 by

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the recording of the first episode of Wogan: Now and Then. What can I say? Our man has still got the knack, with the whole evening feeling very much like an edition of Wogan in its pomp.

For all Tel’s claim he doesn’t like to bog himself down with research prior to meeting his guests, he was remarkably well informed, quizzing Christopher Lee on what it felt like to be Hollywood’s “most valuable player” in 2005, and taking Ulrika Jonsson to task for various unkind comments she made about Sven-Göran Eriksson’s (lack of) prowess under the covers.

The showpiece encounter of the evening was patently Terry’s reunion with David Icke, 15 years after the former sportscaster came out as the “son of the Godhead” on Terry’s teatime show.

The atmosphere in the studio was postively icy, despite Tel’s efforts to take a concillatory tone, expressing his misgivings about his own “they’re laughing at you” comment from 1991. Alas, Icke isn’t known for his magnanimity, and used this as an opportunity to berate the audience for its lack of maturity. Apparently we all should have been thinking “something really interesting is happening to this guy”, rather than pouring scorn on the notion Saturday Superstore’s sports desk anchor was some kind of modern day Messiah.

Although I was inclined to feel sympathy for Icke, I found that – and my patience – fast ebbing away as he launched into an ill-focussed ramble about bloodlines and a secret ruling class manipulating things from behind-the-scenes. “It’s written down, Terry!” he bellowed on various occasions, as though this in itself gave his theories credence.

For his part, Wogan valiantly battled to get some sort of concrete statement from Icke; name names – who exactly are “the illuminati”? Instead, all he got was confusing bluster and, with the floor manager desperately signalling it was time to cut to a break, things became somewhat fractious as our host challenged David on why he seemed to be the only person coming forward with all this stuff, particularly if it was apparently all so well documented – or “written down”. “So, you know it all?” said Terry. David bristled: “Oh, now that was a cheap jibe!”

“It seems nowadays we can’t have the word ‘conspiracy’,” railed Icke, “without the word ‘theory’.” Well, in this case all we did get is the conspiracy – any essence of a theory was lost in all the fuzzy polemic about world powers and secret orders.

“I hope he didn’t scare you!” shouted an audience-member to Tel, during a break in recording (and with Icke safely back in the green room). Much laughter.


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