Graham Norton defends Sir Terry Wogan's Eurovision legacy

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Eurovision host Graham Norton has defended Sir Terry Wogan's legacy with the competition after he was criticised for his gentle teasing.

Graham, who replaced Sir Terry in 2008, said this year will be "bittersweet" because of his predecessor's death in January.

Graham Norton during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at the London Studios in London
Graham Norton (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

Graham told the Mirror: "Sir Terry Wogan will always be associated with Eurovision .

"He took a role that wasn't really a role at all and he totally transformed it into the job it is today.

"When I am doing the commentary I still hear Sir Terry in my head as I am sure lots of other people do too.

Sir Terry Wogan leaving BBC Radio 2 in London after his final breakfast show, as the veteran broadcaster has died aged 77 following a short illness
Sir Terry Wogan (Zak Hussein/PA)

"I think this year will be bittersweet because we will all be thinking of Terry and I am sure I will say a few words about him as the night goes on as it is a night that will forever be associated with Terry Wogan."

Swedish producer Christer Bjorkman previously accused Sir Terry of damaging the show's credibility with his light-hearted jibes.

Hosts Terry Wogan and Natasha Kaplinsky
On stage with Natasha Kaplinsky (Yui Mok/PA)

Graham added he will even "raise a glass" live on air to the broadcaster.

He said: "For those who aren't aware, song number nine is famous because Sir Terry always warned me not to have anything to drink until that point.

"At song number nine this year the host country Sweden will be performing and I will be encouraging everyone to raise a glass.

"It has all worked out very nicely as Swedish people in the arena will be cheering their song in the stadium as everyone back in the UK will join me and cheers the memory and legacy of Sir Terry Wogan."