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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

The FM Bets Are On

Which country will be the first to switch off FM? Norway has long been in the lead. Apparantly. It’s been a little over two years since the government in the land of the midnight sun decided to switch off FM in January 2017. Given some preconditions. Denmark later followed with 2019 as a tentative FM switch-off date, whereas Sweden as the third Nordic country said 2022 only last month. But now the UK has joined the competition. Yesterday British Minister of Culture, Mr. Ed Vaizey, promised that he will come up with a switch-off date later this year. Britain originally aimed for 2015, but 2016 or 2017 now looks likely, according to London Evening Standard. That may very well mean before Norway which is currently set for January 11, 2017. Will you beat us to it, Ed Vaizey?

It could be a tiny revenge after Norway’s 2-1 victory over England (admittedly not all of UK) in football on September 9, 1981. You know, when Bjørge Lillelien delivered what the Guardian described as the greatest bit of commentary ever (hear it here):

“Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher – can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!”

A sweet revenge would of course be to set digital switchover to January 10, 2017. One day before Norway’s.

A little relevant trivia, in the end. The late Bjørge Lillelien is the father of Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s Head of Radio, Mr. Marius Lillelien. He is of course involved in the FM switch-off here.

William Hill and Ladbrokes, I challenge you to set up the bet.

My money will be on Norway.

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