English Options on Czech Radio

Expats looks at what's on in English on local Radio

Ryan Scott

Written by Ryan Scott Published on 01.11.2010 17:24:36 (updated on 01.11.2010) Reading time: 5 minutes

With iPods and the Internet, the radio has become less necessary as a source of music. However, there is something about tuning into a regular show, such as personality of the presenter, the chance of hearing rare recordings or performances, to share opinions, find out what’s happening in our local area and the feeling of being part of some broader community of listeners. So what options are their for English speakers?The answer to that question depends on whether you’re interested in music or discussion. A search through the FM band at any given time uncovers plenty of English language tunes from a variety of genres from Top 40, classic rock to contemporary RnB. While most of the presentation is done in Czech, it probably wouldn’t hurt to contact them in English when requesting a song or asking for a track that was just played since English is pretty much the dominant language, for good or ill, of contemporary music.


 Here is a sample of some musical stations covering a variety of genres. The station number is given for Prague; a visit to their websites will give you the frequency for other locations.

 runs under the slogan “víc hudby, míň slov”, literally “more music, fewer words,” or as they would say back home “more music, less talk”. Regular shows include Hity bez Reklam (Commercial Free Hits) Monday to Friday, except Thursday, from 15:55 to 16:55 and Osmdesátka (Eighties) and Devadesátka (Nineties) every week night starting at 8pm and 9pm respectively. If you prefer commercial pop, this would be the place to start.Radio Bonton 99.7 FM is another option for pop music aficionados.  From 8pm until midnight, the show runs without a presenter. The music is a mix of popular hits from the last few years in a number of genres. If you want just music, this would be for you, though it does lack the human touch.

Fans of classic rock might want to tune into Radio Beat 95.3 FM in Prague (only in Czech). Sunday night from 8pm there is Hard ‘n’ Heavy. Wednesday from 8pm there is a special of live performances called Bez lupenu do kotle (Without a Ticket into the Moshpit. Kotel, literary ‘boiler’, is the slang for mosh pit.) You can send music tips during the show to the host Honza ‘Metal’ Hamerník by SMS: 724 58 58 58, or e-mail studio@radiobeat.cz. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there is the Midnight Album which you can vote for on-line. Otherwise, late in the evenings there is ‘non-stop rock’  to satiate your inner rock’n’roll animal.

Rock Zone 105.9 FM is another obvious choice for rock music. The play list varies in its heaviness with everything from metal to alternative played in succession. However, it does give you the option to request a song under ‘Song na přání’

Český rozhlas also offers music beyond the main forms of contemporary music. Radio Vltava 105 FM has many shows on jazz and classical music, including live performances. One such show is the Euroradio Jazz Session, which is on air on the last Friday of every month. The show features a live concert from one of the countries from the European Broadcast Union. It’s a good way to keep up with what is happening in modern European jazz.

For those into country music, Country Radio 106.8 FM (only in Czech) plays –  to steal a line from the Blues Brothers movie – both kinds of music: country and western. The station particularly recommended Country Time at 7pm on Wednesday nights for only American country and western. The station may also be of interest to people curious about the Czech country music scene.


 Music isn’t everything about the radio experience. To borrow a line from Tim Otis, one of the few English language presenters working in Czech radio, “There’s a romanticism to late night radio. The only guy who’s awake while the city’s asleep. All the people with night jobs have got a dialogue, an open dialogue.” Sadly, opportunities for that dialogue for expats who don’t speak Czech are few and far between.

Tim’s show, High Fidelity airs from 8pm to 10pm every Friday on Radio 1 91.9 FM, a community station. Tim plays what he calls a mix of rare groove and bossabeat, and also keeps English-speaking people in the city informed about what’s going on. Radio 1 generally has a good mix of non-commercial music from indie, to hip-hop and beats.

Another English presenter can be found at Radio Wave, a part of Český rozhlas. His name is Craig Duncan and he hosts a show called Friday Ripple on Friday evenings at 5pm  The show is truly eclectic and refreshingly diverse. You can hear Armenian post-rock, afro-punk from Trinidad, and Cambodian surf rock, and that’s just in one show. Duncan, who has been doing the show since 2008, clearly has a passion for his music. For him, cities like Soweto and Beirut are at “the forefront of modern music.” He thinks, “The future of alternative music is not the First World.” If you miss the show, you can catch it on the archive on the Jukebox.

 Radio Wave is also another good source of specialised shows, featuring latest releases: Scanner, 8pm Tuesday; punk: Out of Step 10pm Tuesday, and reggae and ska; Rude Boy Audio 8pm Thursday. Every Monday from 22:00 – 00:00, Wave features The Best Damn Rap Show, a bilingual (Czech & English) program hosted by Emdee, C Monts, Tuco & Affro.


 The first radio station which comes to mind is the BBC World Service. In Prague, they broadcast 101.1 FM in English is 18 hours a day at 00:00 – 8:00, 11:00 – 13:00, 16:00 – 24:00. Of particular interest would be the chance to follow news about Europe in English.For more local content, Radio Praha is the most comprehensive station. Radio Praha is actually the international broadcast service for Český rozhlas. Apart from programs in English, the station broadcasts in French, Spanish and Russian. The easiest way to follow Radio Praha here is online. If you’re not familiar with the station, it covers wide range of topics from literature, history and current affairs.

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