Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vernon Corea

Vernon Corea was a pioneer radio broadcaster with 45 years of public service broadcasting both in Sri Lanka and the UK. He joined Radio Ceylon, South Asia's oldest radio station, in 1957 and later the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. During his time he presented some of the most popular radio shows in South Asia, including the Maliban Show, Dial-a-Disc, Holiday Choice, Two For the Money, and Old Folks at Home. He was well known not only in Sri Lanka but right across the Indian Sub-Continent.

Corea was born in Kurana, Katunayake in Ceylon on 11th September 1927. His parents were Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea. Rev. Corea was Vicar of St. Luke's Church, Borella, and St. Paul's Church, Milagiriya.

Vernon Corea joined Radio Ceylon as a Relief Announcer in 1956. He became well known as The Golden Voice of Radio Ceylon, presenting shows of popular music, especially Indian filmi or film music, Sinhala music, and western music. He was later News Director at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

Throughout his life and his broadcasting career Corea promoted the very best of Sri Lankan talent in the world of popular music. He was the first to consistently promote Sri Lanka's musicians through his highly influential entertainment column - EMCEE published in the Ceylon Daily News in the 1960s-1980s. Vernon introduced hundreds of musicians to listeners at Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and in the studios of BBC Radio London when he presented the popular 'London Sounds Eastern' radio program.

Vernon Corea also introduced artists like Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Louis Armstrong, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow, and Cliff Richard over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

The respected Hindu Newspaper placed Vernon Corea in the Top 5 Broadcasters of the World stating that he introduced Sinhala Music onto the English Services of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

He and his family migrated to England in 1975. Vernon Corea worked for WEC, then for BBC Radio London as a presenter for the popular London Sounds Eastern. In 1978 he was appointed Ethnic Minorities Adviser to the BBC; he held this post until his retirement.
He died in New Malden in Surrey on 23rd September 2002.

Quotes on Vernon Corea
'Vernon was a pioneering influence in the BBC and helped to lay the foundation for the work we are continuing to do to make sure our staff and our programmes are truly representative of our nation's diverse population.' (Greg Dyke - Director-General BBC)


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