BBC Listener’s Choice

MOST POPULAR RADIO PROGRAM OF THE KARACHITES OF LATE 60’s-70’s; “LISTENER’S CHOICE” OF BBC FROM BUSH HOUSE, LONDON…EVERY SUNDAY AFTERNOON 1.30 PM ON MEDIUM WAVE THROUGH BOOSTER IN OMAN.

By Raju Jamil

JamilRajuSmall

“LISTENER’S CHOICE” BBC WORLD SERVICE — SUNDAY AFTERNOON MUSIC BY REQUEST PROGRAM FROM BBC BUSH HOUSE LONDON IN 70’s………..

Yes, there was time that we use to enjoy the program direct from London on MW service on Radio ( broadcast via BBC booster in Oman ).

We use to send our request for the song of our choice with a message to our friend, buddy, relatives, sweetheart… occasionally which two most popular female RJ’s of BBC World Service at Bush House, London use to present. One was Margaret Howard the other Elizabeth London. They had beautiful voice. It became more beautiful when we heard our message. Alongside our choice of the popular song of that era and singers like Elvis, Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Cliff Richard, Lulu, Helen Shapiro, Millie Small, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Do ris Day, Mango Jerry, Dean Martin…the list goes on….were a craze.

Our Sunday afternoons were beautiful. We had time for Radio. Our parents had time for us. They were not continuously busy in making fast bucks at any cost—:) probably because the TV productions were limited:)

I was the most ardent and diehard audience of LISTENER’s CHOICE and most of my pocket money or money sought from Ammijan and Dadi Amaan or Abbu or earned from plays in PTV (maximum of Rs.100/- cheque for any number of scenes and days) were spent on purchasing aero grams and writing to BBC London for our request, message. My messages were mostly for my college mates and some close TV artiste’s of that era.

BBC World Service not only reciprocated wonderfully…… they ensured that we are by the side of our Radio set or Transistor (battery Radio) at the fixed time of that commercial less program of half an hour and enjoy….

How they ensured that?

See the attached front and back side scan of the post card I use to receive. Once I requested Elizabeth to send me her autographed photo and she did. I am desperately searching for it. I requested Margaret also and she obliged..as you can see from the attached two pics.

In 1979 during my first ever visit to London, I visited BBC Urdu Service at Bush House courtesy Ather sahab….and saw the Urdu service transmission. I have always been a regular listener of Urdu Service because my father’s closest friend from Delhi, Abbas Ahmed Abbasi…remained the program presenter there…for many years.
My father was also offered but he opted out because of his mother and mother in law who lived with us.

Found some memories from my archives and thought to share with my wonderful Facebook Group friends.

Amin H Karim. Wonderful memories of the program and thoroughly impressed with your fanship! That was one area where the British kept up with their colonies. (other than us all crashing in to their home! 🙂 I think Voice of America had a similar program, may be not similar; All India Radio broadcast from Ceylon as Radio Ceylon. Binaca Geetmala by Amin Sayani was a weekly program but throughout they played Bollywood songs by request. On Radio Pakistan listener’s choice program I cannot forget two names that requested songs every day (A. Aziz Memon and M. Chandio Baluch form Larkana in that order) even though it has been more than half a century since I heard their names. They still ring in my brain! I think like Raju Jamil they also spent all their hard earned pocket money in mailing postcards to Karachi and probably were proud that their names were on the air daily. May Allah bless them wherever they are! Memories! 🙂

Felix Gois Dear Raju – Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories – I eagerly await your write-ups as you bring long lost memories to an aging person who still cherish the good old days of my beloved Karachi – Pakistan. What good times there were – life was so good those times although not being well off we still loved those times. God Bless you Rahu Sahib and my class-mate Amin Sahib for all the good works. Another great read is from Mr.Zafarullah Syed who works tirelessly in keeping us with those wonder years. GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND YOUR FAMILY.

 

About Amin H. Karim MD

Graduate of Dow Medical College Class of 1977.
This entry was posted in Entertainment in Old Karachi. Bookmark the permalink.

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