How we all miss Sir Terry and his morning wit, it’s five years ago this month since we lost him. However he left behind a legacy of morning laughs as we remember Wake Up To Wogan and his original 1970’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show. Perhaps the most remembered highlight will be Janet and John.
The original Janet and John books, written by Rona Munro, helped parents of the 1950’s and 1960’s to teach their children to read. The innocent stories, about the adventures of a brother and sister, were bestsellers, but they eventually fell out of fashion.
In the 1990’s they became the basis for a series of parodies on Terry Wogan’s radio show that had a sense of innuendo. In the new stories the subjects were an adult Janet and John. Written by a listener using the pseudonym Mick Sturbs, they purported to be about newsreader John Marsh – who sat in on the readings – and his wife Janet.
The structure was simple. Wogan would narrate in the style of the original children’s stories but also “do” John’s voice in a squeaky lisp. A string of innuendo and a fit of giggles usually followed.
To take one example, Wogan told his morning audience how John had gone to the park, fallen off his scooter and scuffed his shiny new shoes, only to be helped by a kindly woman who repaired the damage.
Recapping events to Janet, using John’s voice, Wogan read: “On the way I fell off my scooter and Mrs Parks saw me and took me into her shop to sort me out. She got the wood out and saw that I had a nasty scuff. So she got on her knees, rubbed some cream in it and worked her fists up and down until I could see my face in it. She said it was a pleasure to find a man who wasn’t afraid to splash out on a decent pair. And she was surprised that my old cobblers didn’t get more work, and they’d done very well.”
The stories were compiled onto a series of CD’s to raise money for Children In Need. Sadly these have now been deleted although there are some used copies floating about.
You have to admit that in these troubled times the stories bring a a smile to your face. How we miss Sir Terry, John ‘Boggy’ Marsh has long since retired.