S. P. Mylvaganam
|S. P. Mylvaganam|
|Born||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|Employer||Radio Ceylon / Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation|
S. P. Mylvaganam (Tamil: எஸ். பி. மயில்வாகனம்) was the first Tamil Announcer of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon. He was hugely popular not only in Ceylon but right across the Indian sub-continent. Mylvaganam received bags full of fan mail from India.
Listeners liked his relaxed style and they recognised his voice instantly when he uttered one word ' Vannakam ' - in Tamil, it means ' Welcome.' His wife, Chenthimani Mylvaganam, was the first lady news reader at Radio Ceylon. It was through his wife that Mr Mylvaganam was introduced to announcing .He presented a range of Tamil programmes on the Commercial Service. He was trained by the Australian administrator Clifford Dodd who came to work for Radio Ceylon under the Colombo Plan and by Livy Wijemanne.
Mylvaganam belonged to that select band of announcers of Radio Ceylon who enjoyed iconic status in South Asia. Radio Ceylon, now the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, is the oldest radio station in the region.
He helped popularise Radio Ceylon in India - millions tuned into the station. In a time where announcers arose above narrow racial barriers, Mylvaganam had close friendships with Sinhala announcers who worked on the English and Sinhala services. He worked very closely with Vernon Corea on radio programmes and they shared ideas together. Mylvaganam was popular right across South Asia.
Involvement with Tamil Stars from India
Mylvaganam was very involved with Tamil stars of the time such as Shivaji Ganeshan, MGR and other popular stars, such was his pulling power on the Indian sub-continent. He and his wife were the catalysts who brought MGR and Saroja Devi to Sri Lanka on his first visit in October 1965, to judge a beauty pageant in Kandy, sponsored by the Independent Newspapers Ltd.It still remains very vividly in many peoples memory the day MGR and Saroja Devi visited Mylvaganan's residence in Colombo. The railway tracks, the streets and the beach were spilling with crowds shouting and screaming to see MGR and Saroja Devi.
In an Indian film titled "Poologa Rambai", the comedian Thangavelu goes to heaven and the first thing he hears is the voice of Mylvaganam and says "Oh! He has come here too". He was the first Tamil Disc Jockey in the sense of western radio.
- "When Ceylon ruled the airwaves". Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Wavell, Stuart. - The Art of Radio - Training Manual written by the Director Training of the CBC. - Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation, 1969.