May 19, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 145 days
Last Friday (14May), was an exciting day for Queen Victoria as she welcomed the TOGs aboard for a wonderful Mediterranean voyage, joined by many familiar voices and faces from BBC’s Radio 2. For those of you still unfamiliar with this great institution, TOGs stands for Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals. Sir Terry Wogan is probably Britain’s best loved radio broadcaster who has become a national institution in his own right.
Joining Sir Terry, some of his intrepid team and the TOGs is Pudsey, who is the mascot for the BBC annual charity event; Children In Need. In fact Cunard is proud to reveal that in the last three years it has helped raise more than $250,000 for Children In Need. Although I wasn’t able to join the voyage I was able to meet some of the team who were going to make this a very special voyage.
On the back row next to me from left to right are Charles Nove, John Marsh, Amanda Reid and Dan & Helen Kirkby. Then in the front row, again from left to right, are Janet Marsh, Reverend Ruth Scott, Cristina Muñoz, Norman Macintosh, Hellen Bach.
It wasn’t long before Entertainment Director; Amanda Reid personally welcomed Pudsey aboard, in Queen Victoria’s elegant Grand Lobby.
The festivities that night began at a special reception for the 353 TOGs, and I’m happy to say our on board correspondent was there; so over to Cristina for the first of her Guest Tog Blogs!
The Radio 2 gang gathered in the Winter Gardens for a lavish champagne reception where they were regaled by guest speakers including Charles Nove (left) and Chief Tog Norman Macintosh (right)
Ash cloud permitting ‘Togmeister’ Sir Terry Wogan will be joining the 353 strong throng, when Queen Victoria reaches Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, at the end of the week. We look forward to him restoring order on board ship, but Pudsey and his pals have been quick to relax and enjoy Queen Victoria’s sumptuous facilities, as the ship sailed serenely toward her first port of call, Barcelona.
Having wined, dined and reclined, the shipmates ‘showed a leg’ on Saturday morning in The Royal Court Theatre to hear some hilarious news reading tales from Charles ‘Crasher’ Nove, who managed to find his way out of the Todd English restaurant from the night before!
Charles then turned the tables and enticed some brave TOGs to try their hand at news reading themselves – jingles, unpronounceable names and laughter inducing bulletins abounded.
Meanwhile it wasn’t long before Pudsey was seen enjoying many of the ship’s numerous activities including line dancing!
On Saturday night the team attended a performance of “A Stroke of Genius” featuring the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers, from the exclusive Royal Court Theatre Boxes. Here are Janet and John Marsh in the Royal Box.
On Sunday morning the group ‘Pawsed For Thought’ thanks to an intensely moving yet at times highly amusing lecture by Reverend Ruth Scott on her work in the field of reconciliation in some of the most troubled regions of conflict in the World; Northern Ireland, the Middle East and beyond.
Ruth was one of the first females to be ordained as a priest in the UK and has been working tirelessly to bring peace where unrest and division rein. Long may she continue her extraordinary work.
Pudsey and the TOGs have got so much more to look forward to in the days to come including special versions of the Generation Game and Blankety Blank as well as the long-awaited arrival of ‘Voice Of The Balls’ Alan Dedicoat and Weekend Wogan, which will feature a fabulous fundraising night with Sir Terry and the team – so watch this space …….
Thank you very much Cristina for a great post; we look forward to hearing from you again soon. I’ll be back tomorrow for a very special post about an event I’ll be attending this evening which will feature the unveiling of something very special for Queen Elizabeth. More of that tomorrow; in the meantime thank you again for logging on. Cheers for now Alastair.