LONDON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Terry Wogan's family announced the beloved television and radio personality has died at the age of 77.
"Sir Terry Wogan died today after a short but brave battle with cancer. He passed away surrounded by his family. While we understand he will be missed by many, the family ask that their privacy is respected at this time," Wogan's loved ones said in a statement Sunday.
Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio 2, said the Irish-born host of the United Kingdom's Wake Up to Wogan "established himself as one of the greatest and most popular radio hosts this country has ever heard."
"We were brightened by his wonderful personality and charm as he woke us up every weekday morning, becoming an essential and much-loved part of our lives. His millions of listeners adored him, as did his whole Radio 2 family. We will miss him enormously and our thoughts at this very sad time are with Helen and all the family," Shennan added.
Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, deemed Wogan "a national treasure."
"Today, we've lost a wonderful friend. He was a lovely, lovely man and our thoughts are with his wife and family," Hall continued. "For 50 years, Sir Terry graced our screens and airwaves. His warmth, wit and geniality meant that for millions he was a part of the family. Wake Up to Wogan was for millions of Radio 2 listeners the very best way to start the day. For decades, he's been such a huge part of the BBC on television and radio and leaves so many wonderful memories. At the center of [the charity] Children in Need since its beginning, he raised hundreds of millions of pounds and changed so many lives for the better. He leaves a remarkable legacy."