Radio Luxembourg (English)

Radio Luxembourg (English)

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Radio Luxembourg is a commercial broadcaster in many languages from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is nowadays known in most non-English languages as RTL (for Radio Television Luxembourg).

The English-language service of Radio Luxembourg began in 1933 as one of the earliest commercial radio stations broadcasting to Britain. It was an important forerunner of pirate radio
Pirate radio
Pirate radio is illegal or unregulated radio transmission. The term is most commonly used to describe illegal broadcasting for entertainment or political purposes, but is also sometimes used for illegal two-way radio operation...

 and modern commercial radio in the United Kingdom. It was an effective way to advertise products by circumventing British legislation which until 1973 gave the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 a monopoly of radio broadcasting on UK territory and prohibited all forms of advertising over the domestic radio spectrum. It boasted the most powerful transmitter in the world (1200 kW broadcasting on medium wave); in the late 1930s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s, it captured very large audiences in the British Isles with its programmes of popular entertainment.

Radio Luxembourg's parent company, RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

, continued broadcasts to the UK until July 2010 as the owners of the British TV channel Five.

Preamble


In 1922 the British government awarded a monopoly broadcasting licence to a single British Broadcasting Company
British Broadcasting Company
The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was a British commercial company formed on 18 October 1922 by British and American electrical companies doing business in the United Kingdom and licensed by the British General Post Office...

, whose shares were owned by British and American electrical companies. Although in theory the BBC could have sold sponsored airtime, it attempted to gain its revenue by selling its own brand of licensed radio receivers manufactured by the member companies of the BBC. This arrangement lasted until 1927, when the broadcasting licence of the original BBC was allowed to expire. The assets of the former commercial company were then sold to a new non-commercial British Broadcasting Corporation, which operated under a UK charter from the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

.

With no possibility of commercial broadcasting available from inside the UK, a former RAF Captain and British entrepreneur (and from 1935 Conservative Party Member of Parliament) named Leonard F. Plugge set up his own International Broadcasting Company. The IBC began leasing time on transmitters in continental Europe and then reselling it as sponsored English language programming aimed at audiences in Britain and Ireland. Because Plugge successfully demonstrated that State monopolies such as that of the BBC could be broken, other parties became attracted to the idea of creating a new commercial radio station specifically for this purpose.

Formation of Radio Luxembourg


In the Grand Duchy during 1924, Francois Aneu built a 100-watt
Amateur radio
Amateur radio is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication...

 transmitter to broadcast military music
Military band
A military band originally was a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Director of Music...

 concerts and plays to listeners in Luxembourg. Because the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (see map) is centrally located in western Europe, it was an ideal location for transmitters aimed at reaching audiences in many nations, including the United Kingdom. Aneu became inspired by the activities of Captain Plugge, who was using transmitters licensed in other countries to broadcast English-language radio programmes to Britain and Ireland, where commercial broadcasting had not been licensed by the British government. On 11 May 1929 he brought together a group of mainly French entrepreneurs and formed the Luxembourg Society for Radio Studies (La Société Luxembourgeoise d'Etudes Radiophoniques) as a pressure group to force the Luxembourg government to issue them a commercial broadcasting licence.

On 19 December 1929 the government passed a law awarding a monopoly licence to operate a commercial radio broadcasting franchise from the Grand Duchy. On 29 December this licence was awarded to the Society, which in turn created the Luxembourg Broadcasting Company (Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

) to be identified on the air as Radio Luxembourg.

In May 1932 Radio Luxembourg began test transmissions directed at Britain and Ireland. The reaction of the British government was hostile, as the long-wave band
Longwave
In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

 used for these tests radiated a signal far superior to anything previously received from outside the country. The British government accused Radio Luxembourg of pirating the various wavelengths it was testing. The station had planned to commence regular broadcasts on 4 June 1933, but the complaints caused Radio Luxembourg to keep shifting its wavelength. On 1 January 1934 a new international agreement, the "Lucerne Convention (European Wavelength Plan)" (which the Luxembourg government refused to sign up to), came into effect, and shortly afterwards Radio Luxembourg started a regular schedule of English-language radio transmissions from 8:15 am until midnight on Sundays, and at various times during the rest of the week.

Radio Luxembourg began broadcasting in both the French and English languages via a new 200 kW transmitter on 230 kHz (1304 metres) in the long-wave band. The English service was leased to Radio Publicity (London) Ltd in the United Kingdom. In December 1933 they transferred 23-year-old Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams (Radio Luxembourg)
Stephen Williams was a British radio announcer, presenter and producer, and a pioneer of commercial radio for the UK....

 from directing their English language programmes transmitted over Radio Paris
Radio Paris
Radio Paris was a French radio broadcasting company best known for its Axis propaganda broadcasts in Vichy France during World War II.Radio Paris evolved from the first private radio station in France, called Radiola, founded by pioneering French engineer Émile Girardeau in 1922...

 to become the first manager of the English language service of Radio Luxembourg.

1933–1939


In the years from 1933 to 1939 the English language service of Radio Luxembourg gained a large audience in the UK and other European countries with sponsored programming aired from noon until midnight on Sundays and at various times during the rest of the week.

Programmes


These were some of the shows heard in 1935 as listed in the 3 May edition of Radio Pictorial:
  • Sundays: 12:00 Noon – Musical Voyage – with Bobbie Comber
    Bobbie Comber
    -Selected filmography:* Brother Alfred * There Goes Susie * Lilies of the Field * Be Careful, Mr. Smith * Sporting Love * A Romance in Flanders * The Singing Cop -External links:...

     and Reginald Purdell
    Reginald Purdell
    Reginald Purdell was an English actor and screenwriter who appeared in over 40 films between 1930 and 1951...

     and sponsored by Halls Wine.
    • 12:15 pm – Do-Do Broadcasts – sponsored medication programme "for asthma suffers".
    • 12:30 pm – Golden Hour of Music – the Irish Concert recorded programme
    • 1:00 pm – Zam-Buk Broadcast – the latest dance music sponsored by a medication "for cuts, burns and bruises."
    • 1:30 pm – Littlewoods Broadcast – sponsored by a football pools coupon company in Liverpool.
    • 2:00 pm – English service ends until 2:30 pm.
    • 2:30 pm – Vernon's All-Star Variety Concert
      Ladbrokes
      Ladbrokes plc is a British based gambling company. It is based in Rayners Lane in Harrow, London owned by Bhavin Kakaiya. From 14 May 1999 to 23 February 2006, when it owned the Hilton hotel brand outside the United States, it was known as Hilton Group plc...

       – gramophone records presented by a football pools company.
    • 5:30 pm – League of Ovaltineys – presented by the makers of Ovaltine
      Ovaltine
      Ovaltine is a brand of milk flavoring product made with malt extract , sugar , cocoa, and whey...

      .
      (The anthem of this children's show was still being celebrated by fan sites in 2007. Another version of the Ovaltineys programming began again after World War II on Radio Luxembourg over its 208 wavelength.)

Presenters

  • Stephen Williams
    Stephen Williams (Radio Luxembourg)
    Stephen Williams was a British radio announcer, presenter and producer, and a pioneer of commercial radio for the UK....

     – the first station manager, who resumed his duties with the English service when the station resumed commercial English language transmissions after World War II
  • Gerald Carnes
  • Charles Maxwell
    Charles Maxwell
    Charles Carlton Maxwell was an American character actor who worked primarily in television.Maxwell frequently appeared as a guest star in Western shows such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, and The Rifleman, among others. He appeared on Bonanza eight different times as eight different characters...

     (1936)
  • John Bewley
  • S.P. Ogden-Smith (Chief Announcer in 1938)

1940–1945


On 21 September 1939 the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 government closed the radio station down to protect the neutrality of the Grand Duchy during World War II. The station and its transmitters were taken over by the invading German forces in 1940, and were used for English-language propaganda broadcasts by William Joyce
William Joyce
William Joyce , nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw, was an Irish-American fascist politician and Nazi propaganda broadcaster to the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He was hanged for treason by the British as a result of his wartime activities, even though he had renounced his British nationality...

 ("Lord Haw-Haw
Lord Haw-Haw
Lord Haw-Haw was the nickname of several announcers on the English-language propaganda radio programme Germany Calling, broadcast by Nazi German radio to audiences in Great Britain on the medium wave station Reichssender Hamburg and by shortwave to the United States...

"
) and others. When Allied forces took over Luxembourg in September 1944, the station was transferred to US Army control and used for black propaganda
Black propaganda
Black propaganda is false information and material that purports to be from a source on one side of a conflict, but is actually from the opposing side. It is typically used to vilify, embarrass or misrepresent the enemy...

 purposes for the remainder of the war (see Radio 1212
Radio 1212
Radio 1212 or Nachtsender 1212 was a black propaganda radio station operated from 1944 to 1945 by the Psychological Warfare Branch of the US Office of War Information under the direction of CBS radio chief William S. Paley, who was based in London...

).

1946–1953


When the Allied armed forces vacated the Radio Luxembourg premises at the close of World War II, the English-language service attempted to restart transmissions to the United Kingdom as a full-time commercial radio station using the European long-wave band, once more under the management of Stephen Williams.

During the war Geoffrey Everitt served his last few months in Luxembourg and this led to his employment by Stephen Williams on 21 June 1946. Williams soon left the station and Everitt found himself in charge of a small on-air staff of three women and one man. Because of the dearth of advertising available in English, the early morning shows on long wave quickly disappeared and made way for French-language programmes. More contractions followed and this led to cuts in more of the morning, afternoon and evening programming in English.

By the start of the 1950s, sponsorship of the English service had begun to grow once more, and while initially some of the English-language programmes continued via Radio Luxembourg I on long wave, a second but less powerful wavelength was opened up as Radio Luxembourg II on medium wave. The English programmes of Radio Luxembourg moved on July 2, 1951 from long wave to the medium wave frequency of 208 metres (1439 kHz). The controversy over the station's broadcasting frequencies had been resolved with the 1948 Copenhagen plan (which this time the Luxembourg government did sign up to), which allocated the country two high-power frequencies, one on long wave and the other on medium wave. Eventually all English programming moved to MW, with LW being dedicated to French programmes, while German, Dutch and other languages used MW during the daytime.

In 1955, Hal Lewis
Hal Lewis (Aku)
Hal Lewis , aka J. Akuhead Pupule or Aku, was the morning air personality in 1965 at KGMB, an AM station in Honolulu, Hawaii.-Brief biography:...

 who was better known at Hawaiian radio station KPOA-AM as J. Akuhead Pupule (and later became the morning DJ at KGMB
KSSK-FM
KSSK-FM is an adult contemporary radio station licensed to Waipahu, Hawaii, serving the Honolulu, Hawaii market, and owned by Clear Channel Communications. It is simulcast on AM 590 . The station is home to the "Perry & Price" morning show...

 in Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and...

 during 1965), offered to buy the morning time from 6 am to 9 am for his own show on 208, but his offer was rejected. The 208 signal could be received satisfactorily in the United Kingdom only after dark, when it was able to strike the ionosphere
Ionosphere
The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere...

 and bounce back to the British Isles.

It was this second wavelength that eventually became dedicated to English-language programming after 6 pm under the slogan of "208 – Your station of the stars", referring to the entertainers heard on the station.

Programmes



These were some of the shows heard in March 1952 as reported in the 208 programme schedule:
  • Sundays: 6:15 pm – Ovaltineys' Concert Party
    Ovaltineys
    Ovaltineys or League of Ovaltineys was a children's club developed in the 1930s to promote the sale of Ovaltine brand drink in the United Kingdom.-Original Ovaltineys:...

     – a version of the popular show that was originally broadcast before World War II over the original Radio Luxembourg long-wave station.
    • 9:15 pm – Leslie Welch
      Leslie Welch
      Leslie Welch was a British radio and television entertainer known as the Memory Man.- Early life and career :Leslie was born in Edmonton...

       – "
      the famous Memory Man.".
    • 10:45 pm – The Answer Man – "anything you want to know.", (Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays).
    • 11.00 PM – Top Twenty – introduced by Pete Murray.
  • Mondays: 7:15 pm – The Adventures of Dan Dare
    Dan Dare
    Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero, created by illustrator Frank Hampson who also wrote the first stories, that is, the Venus and Red Moon stories, and a complete storyline for Operation Saturn...

    , "Pilot of the future" – fifteen minutes serial heard Monday to Friday and featuring the voice of Noel Johnson
    Noel Johnson
    Noel Johnson was an English actor.He was the radio voice of Dick Barton special agent on BBC radio and Dan Dare pilot of the future over Radio Luxembourg....

     who also played the part of Dick Barton
    Dick Barton
    Dick Barton - Special Agent was a popular radio programme on the BBC Light Programme. Between 1946 to 1951 it aired at 6.45 each weekday evening and at its peak it had an audience of 15 million listeners. Despite popular belief, it was not actually the BBC's first daily serial...

     on BBC radio. This serial began on July 2, 1951 and ran for five years.
    • 9:30 pm – Perry Mason
      Perry Mason
      Perry Mason is a fictional character, a defense attorney who was the main character in works of detective fiction authored by Erle Stanley Gardner. Perry Mason was featured in more than 80 novels and short stories, most of which had a plot involving his client's murder trial...

       
      serial heard Monday through Friday.
  • Tuesdays: 10:55 pm – Soccer of Leicester – odds announcement.
  • Wednesdays: 8:30 pm – The Story of Dr. Kildare
    Dr. Kildare
    Dr. James Kildare is a fictional character, the primary character in a series of American theatrical films in the late 1930s and early 1940s, an early 1950s radio series, a 1960s television series of the same name and a comic book based on the TV show, and a short-lived 1970s television series...

     –
    every Wednesday starring Lew Ayres
    Lew Ayres
    Lew Ayres was an American actor, best known for starring as Paul in All Quiet on the Western Front and for playing Dr...

    , produced in Hollywood by MGM.
    • 11:00 pm – Back to the Bible
      Back to the Bible
      Back to the Bible is an international Christian ministry based in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States, using radio, the internet, television, and other media...

       –
      religious broadcast.
  • Thursdays: 8:00 pm – Music From the Ballet.
    • 8:30 pm – Movie Magazine with Wilfrid Thomas.
    • 11:00 pm – Old Fashioned Revival Hour
      Charles E. Fuller
      Charles Edward Fuller was an American Christian clergyman and a radio evangelist.Charles Fuller was born in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Pomona College in 1910, he worked in the citrus packing business in southern California until 1918...

       –
      religion (Charles E. Fuller
      Charles E. Fuller
      Charles Edward Fuller was an American Christian clergyman and a radio evangelist.Charles Fuller was born in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from Pomona College in 1910, he worked in the citrus packing business in southern California until 1918...

      )
  • Fridays: 8:00 pm – Scottish Requests with Peter Madren.
    • 11:00 pm The Voice of Prophecy
      Voice Of Prophecy
      The Voice Of Prophecy is a long-running Seventh-day Adventist religious radio broadcast founded in 1929 by H.M.S. Richards, Sr.. Initially aired on a single radio station in Los Angeles it has since grown to numerous stations throughout the United States and Canada and more recently has begun...

       –
      Adventists' Union religious programme.
  • Saturdays: 7:00 pm – Chance of a Lifetime – quiz programme with Dick Emery
    Dick Emery
    Richard Gilbert "Dick" Emery was an English comedian and actor. Beginning on radio in the 1950s, an eponymous television series ran from 1963 to 1981. He was the brother of Ann Emery.-Life and career:...

    .
    • 10:00 pm – At Two-O-Eight – dance music with Russ Morgan Orchestra compered by Pete Murray.
    • 11:00 pm – Bringing Christ to the Nations – The Lutheran Hour
      The Lutheran Hour
      The Lutheran Hour is a U.S. religious radio program that proclaims the message of Jesus Christ on nearly 800 stations throughout North American, as well as by weekly audiences on the American Forces Network and XM Satellite Radio FamilyTalk 170...

      .


Radio Luxembourg also served as a refuge for stars and shows previously heard on the BBC but with whom the BBC had fallen out for one reason or another. Thus, when in 1951 the BBC wanted Vera Lynn
Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn, DBE is an English singer-songwriter and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during World War II. During the war she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for the troops...

, one of its biggest singing stars, to perform more upbeat material than her traditional repertoire, she refused, and signed up to record 42 shows for Luxembourg instead – which, she said, also paid better. Likewise, the comedy series Much Binding in the Marsh
Much Binding in the Marsh
Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh was the title of a comedy BBC radio and Radio Luxembourg show broadcast from 1944 to 1954, starring Kenneth Horne and Richard Murdoch as senior staff in a fictional RAF station battling red tape and wartime inconvenience...

, terminated by the BBC after six years, transferred to Radio Luxembourg for a period in 1950–51 before the BBC relented and revived the show.

Presenters


Resident announcers in Luxembourg at different times:
  • Stephen Williams
    Stephen Williams (Radio Luxembourg)
    Stephen Williams was a British radio announcer, presenter and producer, and a pioneer of commercial radio for the UK....

     – the English service manager before World War II, resumed his duties when commercial broadcasting began again.
  • Ursula Brennan
    Ursula Brennan
    Ursula Brennan has been the Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the UK's Ministry of Defence since November 2010. A career civil servant, she joined the MOD in October 2008, having spent most of her career at what is now the Department of Work and Pensions .-Background:Brennan was born in...

     – Patricia Giles
    Patricia Giles
    Patricia Jessie Giles AM is a women's activist and former Australian Senator. She was the President of the International Alliance of Women for three terms, the last ending in 2004....

     – Beatrice Feltes – John De Denghy – record presenters who all left the station with Stephen Williams around 1948.
  • Geoffrey Everitt – joined Radio Luxembourg on 21 June 1946 after being demobbed from British Army in Luxembourg. He was hired by Stephen Williams and when Williams returned to the UK, Everitt took over his job. In later years he became the London-based boss of the entire English-language operation.
  • Teddy Johnson – joined in May 1948 and he and Everitt ran the English service in Luxembourg by themselves until 1950 due to the lack of advertising income. Then Johnson returned to England to develop his singing career and later returned to join Pete Murray.
  • John Drexler  – joined after Johnson departed but Drexler left after one month.
  • Roger Moffat; Richard Beynon; Warren Mitchell
    Warren Mitchell
    Warren Mitchell is an English actor who rose to initial prominence in the role of bigoted cockney Alf Garnett in the BBC television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part , and its sequels Till Death... and In Sickness and in Health , all of which were written by Johnny Speight...

     – all joined with Drexler and left shortly after Drexler.
  • Pete Murray – joined with Drexler, Beynon and Mitchell; remained in Luxembourg until 1956.
  • Peter Madren – joined Everitt, Johnson and Murray in May 1951.

1954–1963


Following the merger of the English-language service of Radio Luxembourg I with the new English-language service of Radio Luxembourg II on 208 metres medium wave, the station came to be known as Radio Luxembourg. A British company, Radio Luxembourg (London) Ltd, controlled the programme content and sold the advertising time.

The station sign-on time at dusk varied between summer and winter to allow maximum benefit to be gained from a skywave propagation
Skywave
Skywave is the propagation of electromagnetic waves bent back to the Earth's surface by the ionosphere. As a result of skywave propagation, a broadcast signal from a distant AM broadcasting station at night, or from a shortwave radio station can sometimes be heard as clearly as local...

 at night that covered the British Isles, although reception was stronger in northern England. By restricting the service to night-time, the sales representatives were able to sell most of the available airtime both for spot commercials and for sponsored programmes. One spot commercial that became burned into the minds of every Radio Luxembourg listener was for Horace Batchelor
Horace Batchelor
Horace Cyril Batchelor was famous in the UK during the late 1950s and early 1960s as an advertiser on Radio Luxembourg. He advertised a way to win money by predicting the results of football matches, sponsoring programmes on Radio Luxembourg...

's "Infra-Draw Method" of winning money on football pools
Football pools
A football pool, often collectively referred to as "the pools", is a betting pool based on predicting the outcome of top-level association football matches set to take place in the coming week. The pools are typically cheap to enter, with the potential to win huge money. Entries were traditionally...

, turning the previously obscure Bristol suburb of "Keynsham
Keynsham
Keynsham is a town and civil parish between Bristol and Bath in Somerset, south-west England. It has a population of 15,533.It was listed in the Domesday Book as Cainesham, which is believed to mean the home of Saint Keyne....

, spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M" into a household name throughout the country.

Programmes were partly live disc-jockey presentations by the team of "resident announcers" from the studios in Luxembourg City, partly shows pre-recorded in the company's UK studios at 38 Hertford Street, London W1. This was not made clear to listeners, who were allowed to form the incorrect impression that all the presenters were sitting in the Grand Duchy or, alternatively, that they were indeed in London but performing live via a hypothetical landline to Luxembourg – a landline which in reality the British government was never prepared to permit until well into the 1980s.

A strange conspiracy of silence operated throughout this period between sworn enemies Radio Luxembourg and the BBC, each of which never mentioned the existence of the other, although many famous names appeared on both, often almost simultaneously.

Programmes


During this period, and particularly from about 1960, the station's output came to be much more explicitly targeted at the burgeoning teenage market, with the emphasis increasingly on pop music. Drama productions, comedy, variety and sports programming disappeared altogether. By about 1963, almost the station's entire output was based around the playing of music on discs. This must have greatly reduced its production costs. It also reflected the fact that the mainstream evening audience for middle-aged "family entertainment" had by this time largely migrated to television.
These were some of the shows heard in December 1956, as listed in the 208 programme schedule for that month:
  • Sundays: 6:00 pm – Butlin's Beaver Club
    Butlins
    Butlins is a chain of large holiday camps in the United Kingdom. Butlins was founded by Billy Butlin to provide affordable holidays for ordinary British families....

     –
    with Uncle Eric Winstone.
    • 8:30 pm – Take Your Pick
      Take Your Pick
      Take Your Pick was a UK game show originally broadcast by Radio Luxembourg in the early 1950s. The show transferred to television in 1955 with the launch of ITV, where it continued until 1968...

       –
      with Michael Miles
      Michael Miles
      Michael John Miles was a TV presenter in Britain, best known for the game show Take Your Pick from 1955 to 1968, produced by Associated Rediffusion and later by Rediffusion London....

      .
    • 9:30 pm – This I Believe
      This I Believe
      This I Believe was a five-minute CBS Radio Network program hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow from 1951 to 1955. A half-hour European version of This I Believe ran from 1956 to 1958 over Radio Luxembourg....

       –
      the Edward R. Murrow
      Edward R. Murrow
      Edward Roscoe Murrow, KBE was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss, and Alexander Kendrick...

       show presented by Sir Basil Bartlett.
  • Mondays: 9:30 pm – Candid Microphone – starring listeners caught in the act.
    • 11:15 pm – Frank and Ernest
      Frank and Ernest (broadcast)
      Frank and Ernest is the name of an international religious broadcast by the Dawn Bible Students Association that has been heard on many stations including Radio Luxembourg...

       –
      religion from Dawn Bible Students Association
      Dawn Bible Students Association
      The Dawn Bible Students Association is a legal entity used by a branch of the Bible Student Movement.It was founded with the intention of becoming a publishing house to begin printing and distributing the first six volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures series that were written by Charles Taze...

      .
    • 11:30 pm – The World Tomorrow
      The World Tomorrow
      The World Tomorrow is a now-defunct radio and television half-hour program which had been sponsored by the Radio Church of God which ran from 1934 to 1994...

       –
      with Herbert W. Armstrong
      Herbert W. Armstrong
      Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon...

      , later heard on Tuesdays as well replacing Oral Roberts
      Oral Roberts
      Granville "Oral" Roberts was an American Pentecostal televangelist and a Christian charismatic. He founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University....

      .
  • Tuesdays: 9:00 pm – Lucky Number – with Keith Fordyce.
    • 10:00 pm – The Capitol Show – Mel Thompson presenting Capitol Records
      Capitol Records
      Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...

       new releases.
  • Wednesdays: 8:00 pm – Double Your Money
    Double Your Money
    Double Your Money was a British quiz show hosted by Hughie Green. Originally broadcast on Radio Luxembourg, it transferred to ITV in 1955, a few days after the commercial channel began broadcasting. It was produced by Associated-Rediffusion until 1964 and then by Rediffusion London, and it finished...

     – Hughie Green
    Hughie Green
    Hughie Green was the host of numerous British television shows.-Early life:Hugh H. Green was born in London; his Scottish father was a former British Army Major who made his fortune supplying tinned fish to the Allied forces in World War I, while his mother Violet was the Surrey-born daughter of...

    .
    • 10:00 pm – Rockin' To Dreamland – with Keith Fordyce playing the latest British and American hit records.
    • 11:30 pm – The Hour of Decision
      Hour of Decision
      Hour of Decision is a weekly radio broadcast by the Dr. Rev. Billy Graham. Graham began it with a few of his own dollars and ties with a radio station through a friend at his old church. As more and more people listened to the show, donations poured in to keep the show on the air...

       –
      with Billy Graham
      Billy Graham
      William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. is an American evangelical Christian evangelist. As of April 25, 2010, when he met with Barack Obama, Graham has spent personal time with twelve United States Presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman, and is number seven on Gallup's list of admired people for...

      .
  • Thursdays: 8:30 pm – Lucky Couple – with David Jacobs
    David Jacobs (disc jockey)
    David Lewis Jacobs CBE is a British actor and broadcaster who gained prominence as presenter of the peak-time BBC Television show Juke Box Jury and the BBC Radio 4 political forum, Any Questions?-Early career:...

     recorded on location in the UK.
    • 9:30 pm – Irish Requests.
    • 10:45 pm – Italy Sings – presented by the Italian State Tourist Office.
  • Fridays: 10:30 pm – Record Hop – Benny Lee presents the latest Columbia
    Columbia Records
    Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

     and Parlophone records
    Parlophone
    Parlophone is a record label that was founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch was formed in 1923 as "Parlophone" which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a leading jazz label. It was acquired in 1927 by the Columbia Graphophone Company which...

    .
  • Saturdays: 7:00 pm – Amateur Football – results of the matches played today.
    • 8:00 pm – Jamboree – 120 minutes of exciting, non-stop, action-packed radio ..."Teenage Jury" and at approximately 9:30: Alan Freed
      Alan Freed
      Albert James "Alan" Freed , also known as Moondog, was an American disc-jockey. He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country and rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll...

      , the remarkable American disc-jockey whose programmes in the States cause excitement to rise to a fever pitch, presents "Rock 'n' roll".
    • 10.00 PM – Tonight – Peter Haigh
      Peter Haigh
      Peter Varley Haigh was a familiar and popular face as an in-vision announcer on BBC Television in the years after the Second World War.-Education:...

       presents news, music and personalities recorded at the Embassy Club in London
      .
    • 10:30 pm – Philips' Fanfare – records from this label
      Philips
      Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

       presented by Guy Standeven
      .

Presenters


The following were some of the resident announcers in Luxembourg during this period:
  • Barry Alldis
    Barry Alldis
    Barry Alldis was an Australian-born presenter on British radio, most notably on the English service of Radio Luxembourg, otherwise known as "208, Your Station of the Stars"...

     – joined the team in 1956, becoming Chief Announcer and staying until 1966, when he left to work for BBC radio. He returned to Luxembourg in 1975 and remained on the staff until his death in 1982.
  • Chris Denning
    Chris Denning
    Chris Denning is an English disc jockey. His career was effectively over when he was revealed as a paedophile, and he has spent three decades in and out of prison in Britain and Eastern Europe...

  • Colin Hamilton
  • Ted King
    Ted King
    Theodore William King is an American actor, formally credited as T.W. King.-Personal life:In September 2008 King married his girlfriend Maya Rodwell, with whom he became engaged the year before...

  • Johnny Moran
  • Don Moss 1957–60
  • Don Wardell (became Chief Announcer after Barry Alldis left in 1966)


The following disc-jockeys recorded shows in the London studios at 38 Hertford Street. Many of these programmes were sponsored by record companies:

(A-Z)


(A): Peter Aldersley – (C): Sam Costa
Sam Costa
Samuel Gabriel 'Sam' Costa was a singer and a voice actor on the show Much Binding In The Marsh. He was also a Radio Luxembourg and BBC disc jockey.-Life:...

 – (D): Alan Dell
Alan Dell
Alan Dell, born Alan Creighton Mandell , was a BBC radio broadcaster, associated with dance band music of the 1920s, 30s and early 40s.- Formative years :...

 – (F): Keith Fordyce
Keith Fordyce
Keith Fordyce was an English disc jockey and former presenter on British radio and television. He is most famous as the first presenter of ITV's Ready Steady Go! in 1963, but was a stalwart of both BBC radio and Radio Luxembourg for many years.-Career:Born Keith Fordyce Marriott in Lincoln, he...

 – Alan Freeman
Alan Freeman
Alan Leslie "Fluff" Freeman, MBE was a British disc jockey and radio personality in the United Kingdom for 40 years.-Career:...

 – (G): David Gell
David Gell
David Gell was a DJ on Radio Luxembourg, and later on the BBC Light Programme, Radio One, and Radio Two.Born in Canada on 23 August 1929, he worked for radio station CFAC in Calgary before relocating to Europe....

 – (H): Tony Hall
Tony Hall
Tony Hall may refer to:* Tony P. Hall , U.S. politician, representative and ambassador* Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead , chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London...

 – (J): Jack Jackson
Jack Jackson (British radio)
Jack Jackson was a British trumpeter and bandleader who became a highly influential radio disc jockey....

 – David Jacobs
David Jacobs (disc jockey)
David Lewis Jacobs CBE is a British actor and broadcaster who gained prominence as presenter of the peak-time BBC Television show Juke Box Jury and the BBC Radio 4 political forum, Any Questions?-Early career:...

 – (M): Brian Matthew
Brian Matthew
Brian Matthew is a veteran English broadcaster, who became well known in the 1960s. He is still broadcasting on radio for the BBC, having presented Sounds of the 60s since 1990, often employing the same vocabulary and the same measured delivery he used in previous decades.-Early life and...

 – Don Moss – Pete Murray – (O): Ray Orchard – (S): Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile
Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG was an English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality, best known for his BBC television show Jim'll Fix It, and for being the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops...

 – (T): Shaw Taylor – (Y): Jimmy Young
Jimmy Young (disc jockey)
Sir Jimmy Young CBE was a British singer, disc jockey and radio interviewer.-Early life:...

 – Muriel Young
Muriel Young
Muriel Young was a British television continuity announcer, presenter and producer.-Early life:...


1964–1967


Until March 1964, Radio Luxembourg had enjoyed its own commercial radio monopoly of English-language programming heard in the UK.

In March 1964 Radio Caroline
Radio Caroline
Radio Caroline is an English radio station founded in 1964 by Ronan O'Rahilly to circumvent the record companies' control of popular music broadcasting in the United Kingdom and the BBC's radio broadcasting monopoly...

 began daytime commercial radio transmissions to southern England from a ship anchored less than four miles off the coast (the station later acquired a second ship, and moved the first to the Irish Sea). In Caroline's primary reception areas, her groundwave signal was strong and unaffected during daylight hours by fading and interference. Following the success of this first offshore station, others soon followed and formed a fleet that ringed the British Isles. These transmissions were eventually extended around the clock and featured many different broadcasting formats, though pop music on discs predominated.

As a result of this competition, Radio Luxembourg gradually abandoned pre-recorded sponsored programmes for a more flexible continuity. Its new format featured mainly spot advertising within record programmes presented live by resident DJs in Luxembourg, some of them recruited from the offshore stations.

In August 1967 British legislation came into effect that forced all but the two Caroline stations off the air by shutting off their means to sell commercial advertising in the UK. However, simultaneously with the demise of offshore "pirate radio", the British government instructed the BBC to create its own non-commercial replacement service called Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

. Radio 1 commenced transmissions at the end of September 1967. While Luxembourg almost had the UK commercial airwaves to itself, it was still restricted to evening and night hours.

Presenters

  • Pete Brady
  • Tony Brandon
    Tony Brandon
    Tony Brandon is a British radio presenter and comedian.-Early career:Brandon originally worked on television and abroad as a comedian...

  • Paul Burnett
    Paul Burnett
    Paul Burnett is an English radio disc jockey, who began his radio career while in the Royal Air Force in the Persian Gulf in 1964. In 1966 he joined offshore radio station, Radio 270, broadcasting off Scarborough, North Yorkshire...

  • Dave Cash
    Dave Cash (disc jockey)
    Dave Cash is a veteran British radio presenter who works for BBC Radio Kent, having had previous spells at Radio London, BBC Radio 1, Capital Radio, Radio West , Country 1035 and PrimeTime Radio.-Radio career:Cash was born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, U.K...

  • Simon Dee
    Simon Dee
    Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd , better known by his stage name Simon Dee, was a British television interviewer and radio disc jockey who hosted a twice-weekly BBC TV chat show, Dee Time in the late 1960s...

  • Noel Edmonds
    Noel Edmonds
    Noel Ernest Edmonds, is an English broadcaster and executive, who made his name as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 in the UK. He has presented many light entertainment television programmes, including Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Top of the Pops, The Late, Late Breakfast Show, Telly Addicts, Noel's Saturday...

  • Stuart Grundy
  • Tommy Vance
    Tommy Vance
    Tommy Vance was a British pop radio broadcaster, born in Eynsham, Oxfordshire. He was one of the few music broadcasters in the United Kingdom to champion hard rock and heavy metal in the early 1980s, providing the only national radio forum for both bands and fans...


Source: Peter Alex, "Who's Who in Pop Radio", London, 1966 (British Library: 000047169)

1968–1988


By the middle of 1968 even the two Caroline offshore stations had left the air and, while other attempts were made to restart offshore radio commercial broadcasts aimed at the UK in the early 1970s, Luxembourg did not face commercial competition, only a growing increase in audience share by more BBC services. For a time in the late 1960s Luxembourg advertised itself as "The O.I.S. - the Only Independent Station on the Air". But in 1973 the BBC radio monopoly was finally ended by new legislation introducing Independent Local Radio
Independent Local Radio
Independent Local Radio is the collective name given to commercial radio stations in the United Kingdom. The same name is used for Independent Local Radio in Ireland.-Development of ILR:...

, funded by the sale of advertising time.

In 1983 Radio Luxembourg marked its fiftieth anniversary as a station, but the British commercial radio stations kept whittling away the 208 audience and advertising, while a brief replay of competition for audiences began to emerge from off the British coastline with new radio ship transmissions.

Programmes


These were shows heard in 1982 as reported in the Radio Luxembourg Research Report (page 20) of 208 listeners. The Survey was conducted during the last quarter of 1982 by British Market Research Bureau for Radio Luxembourg (London) Ltd. By the time the survey appeared, the programme line-up below had changed in various ways, including the untimely death of Barry Alldis
Barry Alldis
Barry Alldis was an Australian-born presenter on British radio, most notably on the English service of Radio Luxembourg, otherwise known as "208, Your Station of the Stars"...

 in the middle of the survey:
  • Sundays: 7:00 pm – Haunted Studio – with Stuart and Ollie Henry. 9:00 pm – Star Chart and Top 30 UK Singles – with Tony Prince
    Tony Prince
    Tony Prince is a British radio disc jockey and businessman, remembered for programmes on Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg in the 1960s and 1970s....

    . 11:00 pm – Sunday's Top 20's – with Barry Alldis and Rob Jones. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Benny Brown.
  • Mondays: 6:45 pm Radio Outreach with John Knight; Battle of the Giants; Top 30 Airplay; Top 30 Disco – with Rob Jones and Benny Brown. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Barry Alldis.
  • Tuesdays: 6:45 pm – 208 Editorial with Rodney Collins; Beatle Hour; Daily Mirror Rock and Pop Club; Top 30 UK; Top 30 Albums – with Rob Jones and Barry Alldis. 9:00 pm – Top 30 UK; Top 30 Albums – with Benny Brown. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Mike Hollis.
  • Wednesdays: 7:00 pm – Gold and Games – with Rob Jones and Benny Brown. 9:00 pm – American Top 30 – with Bob Stewart. 11:00 pm – Top 30 Easy Listening – with Benny Brown. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Mike Hollis.
  • Thursdays: 7:00 pm – The Number Ones; Top of the Pops – with Bob Stewart and Mike Hollis. 9:00 pm – Top 30 Futurist – with Rob Jones. 11:00 pm – Discothèque – with Benny Brown. Midnight – Spotlight On … – with Stuart Henry. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Stuart and Ollie Henry.
  • Fridays: 7:00 pm – The Record Journal – with Stuart and Ollie Henry. 9:00 pm – Top 30 Disco – with Tony Prince
    Tony Prince
    Tony Prince is a British radio disc jockey and businessman, remembered for programmes on Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg in the 1960s and 1970s....

    . 11:00 pm – Top 30 Airplay (repeat) – with Bob Stewart. 1:00 am – Earthlink – with Barry Alldis.
  • Saturdays: 6:45 pm - 208 Editorial - with Rodney Collins.7:00 pm – Street Heat; Top 30 Rockshow – with Stuart and Ollie Henry. 11:00 pm – Big L Marlboro Top 20 Country – with Bob Stewart. Midnight – Midnight Memories – with Barry Alldis. 1:00 am – Earthlink; Love Songs – with Mike Hollis.


Some other presenters in the 1970s and 1980s:
  • Dave Christian
  • Neil Fox
  • Peter Powell
    Peter Powell (disc jockey)
    Peter Powell is a former disc jockey, popular on BBC Radio 1 in the late 1970s and 1980s, who has a second career in talent management.-Early career:...

  • Tony Prince
    Tony Prince
    Tony Prince is a British radio disc jockey and businessman, remembered for programmes on Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg in the 1960s and 1970s....

  • Tony Blewitt
  • Bob Stewart
  • Rob Jones
  • Mike Read
    Mike Read
    Michael David Kenneth Read is an English radio disc jockey, writer, journalist and television presenter.-Early life:...

  • Emperor Rosko
    Emperor Rosko
    Mike Pasternak, better known by his stage name of Emperor Rosko is a well known pop radio presenter.Born Michael Joseph Pasternak, he is the son of Hollywood film producer Joe Pasternak. He was influenced in his career choice by KYA Radio Los Angeles DJs Lord Tim Hudson and Wolfman Jack...

  • Mark Wesley
    Mark Wesley
    Mark Wesley is an English disc jockey.Born as Martin Wesley Cole, Wesley started his career on the offshore radio station Radio Essex in the 1960s, but is best remembered working at Radio Luxembourg throughout the 1970's. He joined Luxembourg in May 1971 and was on the station for more than a...

  • Paul Burnett
    Paul Burnett
    Paul Burnett is an English radio disc jockey, who began his radio career while in the Royal Air Force in the Persian Gulf in 1964. In 1966 he joined offshore radio station, Radio 270, broadcasting off Scarborough, North Yorkshire...

  • David "Kid" Jensen
  • Stuart Henry
    Stuart Henry (DJ)
    Stuart Henry was a disc jockey on pirate radio station Radio Scotland, then BBC Radio 1 from its start in 1967...

  • Ollie Henry
  • Rodney Collins
  • Keith Fordyce
    Keith Fordyce
    Keith Fordyce was an English disc jockey and former presenter on British radio and television. He is most famous as the first presenter of ITV's Ready Steady Go! in 1963, but was a stalwart of both BBC radio and Radio Luxembourg for many years.-Career:Born Keith Fordyce Marriott in Lincoln, he...



During the 1980s one of the station's slogans was "Planet earth's biggest commercial radio station".

1989–1992


In 1989, hoping to build a new audience, Luxembourg in English once more returned with a daytime schedule for the first time since the early 1950s, but this time it was aimed at Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n audiences using a 24-hour stereo
STEREO
STEREO is a solar observation mission. Two nearly identical spacecraft were launched into orbits that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth...

 transponder on the Astra
SES Astra
Astra is the name for the geostationary communication satellites, both individually and as a group, which are owned and operated by SES S.A., a global satellite operator based in Betzdorf, in eastern Luxembourg. The name is sometimes also used to describe the channels broadcasting from these...

 1A
Astra 1A
Astra 1A was the first satellite launched and operated by SES . During its early days, it was often referred to as the Astra Satellite, as SES only operated one satellite originally....

 satellite to supplement the 208 analogue night-time service. The end eventually came for 208 at 3 am GMT on 1 January 1992 (or 30 December 1991, depending on source), with the last record played on AM being Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

's "In the Days Before Rock and Roll" (chosen mainly because of its mention of Luxy), before "At the End of the Day" (one of their closedown songs) was played heading into the top of the hour (even though DJ Jeff Graham had said that they were going to play the original closedown tune, "It's Time To Say Goodnight" http://members4.boardhost.com/motland/msg/1172498020.html). The station then went satellite only, with the first songs played being "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)
When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)
"When Will You " is a single released by the Scottish group Deacon Blue in 1987 and in 1988. The song features prominent backing vocals from members of R&B group Londonbeat...

" by Deacon Blue
Deacon Blue
Deacon Blue are a Scottish pop band formed in Glasgow during 1985. Their name was taken from the title of the Steely Dan song "Deacon Blues". The band consists of vocalist Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh, keyboard player James Prime and drummer Dougie Vipond....

 and "Always
Always (Atlantic Starr song)
"Always" was the second single from All in the Name of Love, the seventh album from R&B group, Atlantic Starr. The song went to number one on both the Hot Black Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts in June 1987. The song also spent two weeks atop the U.S. adult contemporary chart...

" by Atlantic Starr
Atlantic Starr
Atlantic Starr was a 1980s R&B band. Among their biggest hits were "Always" and "Secret Lovers."- History :The group was started in 1976 in White Plains, New York by trumpeter Duke Jones , drummer Porter Carroll Jr., bassist Clifford Archer, percussionist and flautist Joseph Phillips, and three...

.

The satellite service continued until midnight on 30 December 1992. The closedown night was relayed on various stations, including the old 208 wavelength. The Van Morrison song was the next-to-last record that night, followed by Marion Montgomery
Marion Montgomery
Marion Montgomery was a United States born jazz singer who lived in the United Kingdom.Born Maud Runnells in Natchez, Mississippi, she began her career in Atlanta working clubs, and then in Chicago where singer Peggy Lee heard her on an audition tape and suggested she should be signed up by...

's "Maybe the morning".

The 208 service from that moment on carried an oldies service in German, identifying itself as "Die Oldiesender".

Presenters in the 90s:
  • Chris Moyles
    Chris Moyles
    Christopher David Moyles is an English radio and television presenter and author, who currently presents The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 and Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Channel 4....

     under the "broadcast name" Chris Holmes
  • Jonathan Miles
    Jonathan Miles (radio presenter)
    Jonathan Miles is a British radio presenter. He has previously worked for a number of radio stations, including Channel 4 FM in Dubai, Radio Luxembourg, Jazz FM, British Forces Broadcasting Service, Capital Life, Invicta FM and South London Radio....

  • Mike Hollis
  • Bob Stewart
  • Mark Page
  • Peter Antony
  • Wendy Lloyd
  • Tony Adams
  • Shaun Tilley
    Shaun Tilley
    Shaun Tilley is a British radio presenter, currently working for Gold & Wish FM.He has worked for a variety of other radio stations, including Rock FM, Capital FM, Radio Caroline, Real Radio, KCFM, Time 106.6, Big L, and Radio Luxembourg...

  • Jeff Graham
  • Steve Joy
  • Sandy Beech
  • Jodie Scott
  • Nik Martin

Atlantic 252


In 1989, Radio Luxembourg's parent company RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

 teamed up with RTE to create Atlantic 252
Atlantic 252
Atlantic 252 was a long wave radio station broadcasting to Ireland and the United Kingdom on 252 kHz from its 1988 purpose built transmission site Clarkstown radio transmitter, which provided service to Atlantic 252 from 1989 until 2002. The station's studios were located just 12 km away in...

, an English-language pop music station on longwave
Longwave
In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

, based in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 and with advertising content aimed at a UK audience. Initially this only broadcast until 7 pm and ended with an announcement specifically encouraging listeners to switch to Radio Luxembourg on 1440 kHz mediumwave
Mediumwave
Medium wave is the part of the medium frequency radio band used mainly for AM radio broadcasting. For Europe the MW band ranges from 526.5 kHz to 1606.5 kHz...

. Atlantic 252 switched to 24-hour broadcasts around the time that Radio Luxembourg shut down its mediumwave broadcasts. Atlantic 252 closed down in 2002 and the longwave frequency is now used for RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926...

. Presenters common to both Atlantic 252 and Radio Luxembourg include Cass Jones and Sandy Beech. The voice of Henry Owens was also heard on promos for both stations in the early 1990s.

Radio Luxembourg (digital)


An English-language classic rock digital station from RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

 under the name of Radio Luxembourg began in 2005. It was briefly available in the UK using DRM
Digital Radio Mondiale
Digital Radio Mondiale is a set of digital audio broadcasting technologies designed to work over the bands currently used for AM broadcasting, particularly shortwave...

 (digital broadcasts over shortwave
Shortwave
Shortwave radio refers to the upper MF and all of the HF portion of the radio spectrum, between 1,800–30,000 kHz. Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m which marked the original upper limit of the medium frequency band first used...

) but the transmitter power was scaled back, and by 2008 was not receivable outside Luxembourg itself (essentially, a test transmission). The digital station continues broadcasting over the Internet. Both the station and its website make numerous references to the old 208 service.

Five (television channel)


RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

, Radio Luxembourg's parent company, was an initial minority shareholder in the UK's Channel Five terrestrial analogue television channel, launched in 1997. RTL became the majority shareholder from 2006. Five was one of more than fifty television stations that RTL owned throughout Europe. Unlike RTL's television stations in Belgium, Germany and Holland, most of which are explicitly branded as RTL, Five did not significantly acknowledge its Luxembourg heritage on-air. RTL sold Five to Richard Desmond
Richard Desmond
Richard Clive Desmond is an English publisher and businessman. He is the owner of Express Newspapers and founder in 1974 of Northern & Shell, which publishes various celebrity magazines, such as OK! and New!, and British national newspapers Daily Star and Daily Express...

 on 23 July 2010.

Transmitter history


The wavelengths and frequencies used by the English service of Radio Luxembourg changed throughout the years, although "208" was by far the longest-lasting and most famous one.
  • Marnach transmitter
    Marnach transmitter
    Marnach transmitter is a broadcasting facility of RTL near Marnach in the commune of Munshausen, in northern Luxembourg. The Marnach transmitter was built in 1955 for improving the transmission of the English-speaking program on 1439 kHz , which was transmitted from 1951 with an...

  • Junglinster Longwave Transmitter
    Junglinster longwave transmitter
    The Junglinster Longwave Transmitter is a longwave broadcasting facility used by RTL near Junglinster, Luxembourg, which went into service in 1932. Its aerial consists of three free-standing steel-framework towers, which are ground fed radiators. These towers formed a directional aerial for the...

  • FM- and TV-mast Hosingen
    FM- and TV-mast Hosingen
    The FM- and TV mast Hosingen is a 300 metre high guyed radio mast outside the town of Hosingen, Luxembourg used for FM and TV broadcasting. It has a diameter of 2 metres and was built in 1970. The FM- and TV-mast Hosingen is the tallest construction in Luxembourg and property of RTL.The FM- and...


Radio Luxembourg publications

  • Radio Pictorial (magazine) – radio publication pre-World War II that published programme schedules for all the continental stations broadcasting in English
  • Radio Parade – radio publication after World War II that published news about Radio Luxembourg in English.
  • 208 (magazine) – radio programme schedules and features after 1951 until 1959 whose name varied as it was merged with other publications and issued by various publishers.
  • Fab 208 (magazine) – radio programme schedules and features publication during the 1960s.


See also: "Radio-Luxembourg, Histoire d'un média privé d'envergure européenne", by David DOMINGUEZ MULLER, L'Harmattan, Paris, 2007.

See also

  • Radio Luxembourg (DRM)
    Radio Luxembourg (DRM)
    Radio Luxembourg is the name of a commercial radio station that has broadcast in many languages in conjunction with a television service operated from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.-Background history:...

     – the new 2005 service.
  • Radio Luxembourg (disambiguation) – other language services.
  • Radio Luxembourg (French)
    Radio Luxembourg (French)
    Radio Luxembourg - 1933-1939 and 1951- is the name of a Long Wave commercial radio station that began broadcasting from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1933 as a daytime and evening service in the French language from Monday to Saturday and until 12 Noon on Sundays.The station closed down at the...

     – French language station.
  • Radio Luxembourg (German) – German language station.
  • International Broadcasting Company – IBC created by Leonard Plugge

External links