The Tuesday Night Show – South Africa’s first nationally broadcast radio programme dedicated to the gay and lesbian community – is set to return to the airwaves next month, almost two years after it was shut down by the SABC.

This time round, the Tuesday Night Show will air on 1485AM Radio Today and also on DStv Audio Channel 70, at 8pm every Tuesday.

Launched in 2004, the two-hour-a-week programme was on air for nine months on Radio 2000 until unreasonable terms to continue broadcasting were placed on the table by the SABC, forcing the producers to discontinue the show in August 2005.

The Joint Working Group – consisting of various LGBTI NGOs – and the Freedom of Expression Institute wrote to the broadcaster at the time to protest the closing down of the programme.

Various attempts to restart the Tuesday Night Show, including a meeting between the producers and the SABC’s Group CEO, Dali Mpofu, came to naught. Shortly thereafter, in a surprise move, Radio 2000 announced another gay radio show by a different team, called Bravo Brava.

Tuesday Night executive producer Maciek Mazur says that he prefers to focus on the excitement of the re-launch, rather than the way in which the show was mishandled by the public broadcaster.

“When we were elbowed out by the SABC, we always knew that we would return in some form or the other. We had fallen in love with radio as a medium,” said Mazur.

The Tuesday Night Show will discuss current affairs and focus on community events, social issues, arts and entertainment, advice and will also feature audience call-in segments.

The weekly programme will be broadcast live and will be presented by Perdita Bokeer and Troy Thiel – the same team that produced the original Tuesday Night Show.

“We’re excited to resume broadcasts and will continue to address the needs of the entire gay community,” said Mazur.

1485 Radio Today is a community radio station broadcasting in Johannesburg on 1485AM and can be heard on DStv Audio Channel 70 in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa. It was recently named Runner-up Station in the BBC Radio Africa Awards in the Southern Africa region.

“Radio provides the truest voice of our diverse communities. We’re excited about bringing The Tuesday Night Show into Gauteng via 1485 Radio Today every Tuesday at 8pm. Given the dynamic and cosmopolitan nature of Jozi, this makes perfect sense and being able to reach so many Southern Africans via DStv Audio Channel 70 makes it all the more powerful,” said Station Manager Sanele Sobantwana.

“Airing the Tuesday Night Show is an act of living our constitutional rights and is another step towards empowering our new democracy,” said Dr. Ivan May, Chief Executive of 1485 Radio Today.

The producers of Tuesday Night Show say that the editorial content will include “everyday issues like equality, empowerment, mental fitness, HIV / AIDS, spirituality and entrepreneurship. All of that mixed with a healthy dose of entertainment and plain fun.”

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