Sep 22, 2012
Some mysteries remain unsolved. So let's reveal a rather old one. In February of 1988, George Wood of Radio Sweden visited Radio Netherlands on a duty trip. He was there to see how we were doing things in the English department. He dropped by on a Wednesday. Over lunch we decided on a prank. We'd swap programmes for one week only. He gave me some scripts to read and he read the texts I'd compiled for that week's show. And then Pete Myers, Mike Bird and other contributors played along. We changed the jingles for that week only. It was if George had always presented the programme.
On the day of transmission I took the day off. After the European transmission at 1130, listeners started to call the station, asking what happened to Jonathan Marks. Had I been fired? Had I said something wrong? The sweet lady operator on the Radio Netherlands switchboard tried to connect the listeners, but there was no answer from my extension. She told the callers that I was not "in anymore", implying that I had left for the day. But that's not what callers assumed.
Within a few days my demise was already being posted in weekly DX newssheets that were around. Until I popped up the following Tuesday on Radio Sweden, presenting Sweden Calling Dxers as though I had always been there.
Two days later everything was back to normal. George and I both made no reference to the swap. Ever. There's nothing like a mystery. When some people asked me about the incident a few years later, I wondered whether it might have been a trick of propagation? Did anyone have a recording? No-one ever did. But I kept one. Here it is back on the Interwebs. Everyone loves a mystery.