History of Radio in British Guiana

This entry was inserted on March 29, 2010. Some new readers may not have seen it so we have re-blogged it. It will surely bring back memories.

Guyanese Online


The Ovaltine Show was a show for the little people. In this picture, the real stars are in the front row. Can you identify them?

Behind them – left to right – are Rafiq Khan (Program Director), M. R. Lam (Agent for Ovaltine), Unidentified Person,  Olga Lopes-Seale (Announcer) and E. R. Burrowes (Quiz Master).


Radio broadcasts were started in Guyana (then British Guiana) in the 1920s by a number of enthusiasts. In 1926, just 4 years after the British Broadcasting Company (later the British Broadcasting Corporation) started regular broadcasting in Britain, there was a small wired service that relayed broadcasts, especially from the BBC’s Daventry transmitter, over the Georgetown telephone system. From 1927, however, experimental short wave broadcasts (on 47 meters and later on 43.86 meters) were introduced for two hours a week. This lasted until 1931 when economic considerations brought the effort…

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  • Dmitri allicock  On 10/18/2012 at 3:55 pm

    Radio was very importance in Guyana before the entrance of television.
    The Radio Demerara’s nine am children programs of Uncle Sidney and Aunty Pat plus 11am Teenager’s Choice were some of my favorites.
    G.B.S- Poncho Carew’s “Best By Request” one pm show was a delight.
    I spent many nights awake and glued to the radio listening commentary of the boys playing cricket in India and Australia.
    The death announcement was not missed by most people in the outlying regions of Guyana. It was the fastest way to get a death message around.
    Radio was so important in Guyana that is was later targeted and used as a political propaganda outlet-many sought accurate Guyana news by listening to Radio Antilles out of Montserrat and other Caribbean Islands.

  • Ron Persaud  On 10/22/2012 at 12:43 am

    Many obtained the first news of events in the country by listening to the BBC news.
    Two instances are the tragic death of Sir David Rose and the Jonestown tragedy.
    It was a (Sunday?) morning that the BBC news opened with the announcement of the death of Sir David Rose but the station went silent almost immediately.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 10/22/2012 at 11:08 am

    What about ‘Broadcast to Schools’? I cannot remember if it was once a week or daily progamming, but one of us had to go get the radio and plug it in so the rest of the class could listen.

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