Wogan, 73, a dual Irish and British citizen who was knighted in 2005 for his long career, was on-air
Jan. 22, 9 days after the Costa Concordia sinking, on his two-hour Sunday show 'Weekend Wogan', when he made remarks determined by the BBC Trust's editorial standards committee to have a "real risk of causing offence." The committee made its determination public on Tuesday, July 3.
Sir Terry Wogan: Rocking the boat
Wogan began his program that day playing an old disco song, 'Rock the Boat' and after it ended said: "Frankly if I had my time over again, and given the boating tragedy in Italy, I mightn't have picked that as an opening song. Rock the Boat, argh, Captain Coward."
Those were the first remarks that the standards committee felt carried the potential offense; later on that same program Wogan told the newsreader, Alan Dedicoat, that "I don't know about you, but I'll be the last to leave the BBC. Not sinking is it? Me first, never mind the women and children, I'm not even Italian."
They standards committee said the jokes were self-deprecating and that he meant no harm and so he was not required to make an apology to the pubic on-air. It's unclear if he was part of the private apology to the 7 listeners who filed a formal complaint. At the time of Wogan's remarks, 11 were known to have died in the tragedy; the final grim tally was 32.