David Jacobs, the British broadcasting legend recently passed away on the 2nd of September 2013. He was 87 years old. David Jacobs was a year older than the Sri Lankan broadcasting legend, Vernon Corea. We don’t know whether their paths crossed but both David Jacobs and Vernon Corea began their radio careers in Ceylon and ended up working for and retiring from the British Broadcasting Corporation.
David Jacobs was appointed Chief Announcer of Radio Seac from 1945-1947 stationed in Ceylon. He went on to become the Assistant station director of Radio SEAC during World War II broadcasting from Ceylon. Jacobs lived in Colombo. Lord Louis Mountbatten was very interested in radio and saw the importance of radio to boost the morale of allied troops in Asia. He authorised the setting up of a radio station in Sri Lanka with a powerful 100kw Marconi transmitter. Radio SEAC began broadcasts using a smaller 7.5kW transmitter, as well as a low powered 3395kc transmitter for broadcasts into Ceylon. The British Forces Radio was heard right across the Indian sub-continent and as far as China and New Zealand. Radio SEAC was hugely popular during World War II and David Jacobs was a favourite with the British and Ceylonese armed forces during World War II.
The Radio SEAC transmitting site was in Ekala in Sri Lanka. David Jacobs went on to become a popular broadcaster with the BBC, presenting programmes such as Jukebox Jury, Housewvives Choice, Come Dancing and the Eurovision Song Contest. He was truly a legend in broadcasting with Radio SEAC and with the BBC.
Radio SEAC was sold to the Government of Ceylon for the princely sum of one rupee and was launched as Radio Ceylon.
Broadcasts from Radio SEAC in Ceylon:
David Jacobs of the BBC:
David Jacobs with the BBC’s Jukebox Jury from 1960:
David Jacobs – 1926-2013: