He argued that the decade created plenty of musical talent and said he was proud of the unusual clothing fashions that dominated the era.
Chegwin told DS: "People have been knocking the '80s - what's going on, how can they do that?
"In this survey, people said they couldn't stand things like the fashions, the hairstyles and the mullets. TV shows like Dallas, Rainbow, and Timmy Mallet, but in my recollections the '80s were fantastic.
"We produced such great bands like Ultravox and Duran Duran. Then there was the clothes; on Cheggers Plays Pop I couldn't wait to put on my flares and gold jacket and say 'wahey!'."
When asked about the most popular decade, the '60s, he commented: "I don't mind the free love, but the rest of it you can keep."
The veteran TV presenter also defended Timmy Mallet, who was voted one of the most embarrassing things in the decade.
"I thought he was bloody brilliant," said Chegwin. "I thought he was very inventive with his mallet and his silly games.
"I heard on the grapevine that he was left to his own devices on the show and I think he did really well. People enjoyed it and loved it, and even now he still packs out the discos, so good luck to the bloke."
The survey was commissioned by UKTV Gold to promote the When We Were Funniest? series.