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Graham Norton paid heartfelt tribute to Terry Wogan during the Eurovision

“Give thanks for the man who was, and always will be, the voice of Eurovision.”

Graham Norton opinion Jonathan Brady / PA Wire Jonathan Brady / PA Wire / PA Wire

GRAHAM NORTON WAS in excellent form during the BBC’s Eurovision coverage last night, with sassy quips and scathing put-downs aplenty.

He took a moment before song nine however to pay tribute to his predecessor, the late Sir Terry Wogan, who was BBC’s Eurovision commentator for 35 years.

Sir Terry Wogan death Katie Collins / PA Wire Katie Collins / PA Wire / PA Wire

In a heartfelt speech, he explained why song nine was so significant to him and Sir Terry:

Tonight’s Eurovision is a bittersweet one for many of us, because of course it is the first contest since the death of Sir Terry Wogan. Eight years ago when I was lucky enough to get this job of commentating, Sir Terry very kindly, graciously phoned me and the only bit of advice he gave me was “Don’t have a drink before song nine.” Now, this is song nine…

An audibly emotional Norton then asked the viewers at home to raise their glasses in honour of Wogan during the ninth song, Sweden’s entry.

So whilst the crowd here cheer on their home boy, I would urge you back in the UK to raise a cup, a mug, a glass, whatever you have in front of you and give thanks for the man who was, and always will be, the voice of Eurovision. Sir Terry, this is song nine.

And raise their glasses they did:

In a pre-Eurovision interview with the Press Association, Norton said Sir Terry’s voice is in his head the entire time he’s in the commentary box.

Sir Terry’s main advice to me when I took over was “Don’t open your bottle until song nine.” It was very practical advice, very sensible and very him.

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