Tearful Sir Terry Wogan signed off his breakfast show for the final time and told his eight million listeners: "I'm going to miss you."
The veteran presenter, who received a special message from the Prime Minister during the show, said his 27 years on the Radio 2 morning show had "not only been a pleasure but a privilege".
Sir Terry was not alone in feeling weepy. Many fans from his legion of TOGs (Terry's Old Geezers/Gals) were in tears as they gathered outside BBC studios in London.
Choking back emotion, Sir Terry said: "This is the day I've been dreading. The inevitable morning when you and I come to the parting of the ways - the last Wake Up To Wogan."
As he bade a fond farewell, the 71-year-old added: "It's always been a source of enormous pride to me that you come together in my name, that you're proud to call yourselves my listeners, that you think of me as a friend."
During the show he received gifts including a model Routemaster London bus from his team, and was visited by fellow presenter Sarah Kennedy for an on-air goodbye. She jokingly gave him a cabbage soup diet sheet.
BBC director general Mark Thompson was in the studio for the end of the show, alongside members of Sir Terry's team including Alan Dedicoat, Lynn Bowles, Roger Royle and John "Boggy Marsh. They gave a Champagne toast as the show ended, and as he walked from his studio, station staff cheered him along the corridor.
Sir Terry, who first presented the Radio 2 breakfast programme in 1972, was taking no chances to ensure he was prepared for the final show. The presenter stayed across the road from the BBC's Broadcasting House instead of commuting from Buckinghamshire to avoid any delays from snow.
Irish-born Sir Terry was surprised by the recorded message from Gordon Brown which was played after the 8am news bulletin. The PM said: "Terry, five decades at the very top of British broadcasting is a towering, indeed an unparalleled, achievement.
"From Wogan to Eurovision to Children In Need, you've shaped the popular imagination of generation after generation of British viewers and listeners. And as you move on from Wake Up To Wogan, I wanted to let you know how very dearly you'll be missed, how delighted we all are you'll be returning with another venture before too long."