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Former Radio Mi Amigo DJ Norbert has died

DATELINE  Rumbeke, Belgium 3rd February

Former Radio Mi Amigo DJ Norbert (Van Slambrouck) has died at the age of 85.

Norbert was born in Brugge on 31st December 1937, the son of bicycle dealer and manufacturer André Van Slambrouck.

He grew up in Brugge and after schooling at the institute of the Xaverianen brothers, he studied economic sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven, graduating in 1963.

In 1968 he began his successful singing career with hits such as "Song for Mary-Ann", "Watch Out for the Paint", "And I'll Never Forget", "Where is the Time" and "Summer Girl".

He performed almost everywhere and became one of Flanders' most popular singers.

In May 1968 he launched his own radio program on BRT 2: "Variété with Norbert", but at the peak of his success he became seriously ill, forcing him to avoid any activity for a year.

After recovery and discharge from the hospital, he took a job in real estate sales in Spain, then when he returned to Belgium Sylvain Tack offered him a job at his soon to be launched offshore station, Radio Mi Amigo.

Norbert was a prominent member of the first DJ team and presented his daily  "Norbert Show" as well as "Norbert's Saturday Showtrain". He also became a top DJ of the popular Mi Amigo Drive-in Show.

When the station became illegal in September 1974 and the organisation, including DJs, moved to Spain, Norbert left Radio Mi Amigo and became artistic director of a  discotheque in Sint-Kruis-Brugge staging "Norberts Hey Club" or the "Norbert Feestzaal".  Flemish and international artists such as Donna Summer, The Rubettes, The Tremeloes and Smokie, also appeared in his shows.

In 1979, after renovation, the business was renamed "Norbert Hey Center" and as soon as local radio stations were allowed to operate in Belgium Norbert started the Free Brugse Radio-Omroep, the VBRO in 1981.

VBRO quickly became very popular and a few years later it was a fully-fledged station, with its own news service, professional programming and a skilled team of presenters and engineers.

It was Norbert who created the station and distinguished it from the other stations on air at the time, with a wide range of music and programmes.

Following a change of management and reorganisation in 1991 Norbert left and moved first to Oostende and then Rumbeke, providing training courses for young radio presenters.

A few days before his birthday in 2022 Norbert had a fall at home and he died as a result of subsequent complications on 3rd February 2023.

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