As we always feared, Terry Wogan tonight takes over the BBC completely and between the hours of 6.55pm ad 1.15am there is hardly any escape from the lad's blarney.
Mind you, it's all in a good cause since the object of Wogan's persuasive tongue is to make viewers dip into their pockets to raise £1 million or more for children's charities.
Apart from a host of stars (including Kim Wilde, Cliff Richard, Petula Clark and Patrick Moore), the appeal this year links up ith the BBC's four national radio networks and numerous local stations. The main attack starts on BBC1 at 6.55 with stars like Toyah, Chas and Dave, and wrestler Big Daddy helping Terry to stimulate the charitable instincts of the audience.
There is another 40-minute chunk at 10.20 with Lulu, Henry Cooper and Paul Daniels. And the final thrust comes at 11.50 until 1.15 with Deryck Guyler, Colin Welland, Janet Brown and others holding Mr. Wogan up by the armpits when he shows signs of flagging. There will also be five-minute bursts of score-keeping throughout the evening as armies of telephonists count the pledges as they pour in from all over the nation.
The pledges can be anything from an individual pound to thousands, promised by companies, clubs, Scout troops, old wives' social evenings, young husbands' snooker soirées, or any other grouping or organisation known to charity. A lot of people donate just to get their names mentioned on television or the radio. Last year there were some nasties who got the mention but failed to fork out. Hopefully, there will be no such shameful behaviour this year.
Reporter Fran Morrison will introduce filmed reports of the kids who benefited from last year's million. They include deprived kids in Glasgow to handicapped children in Wales and the shell-shocked kids of Belfast. The tele-marathon is one of the most constructive contributions television makes to the life of the nation. Which only proves that even Terry Wogan has his uses.