A press conference held in Amsterdam at the beginning of October 1966 announced plans for a new Dutch language offshore station to be launched as competition for Radio Veronica, but with an ‘easy listening’ format.
Originally the station was to have been called Swinging Radio Holland, but because the name Radio Holland was already in use by a maritime radio station the name was changed to Radio Dolfijn.- which was nicknamed Radio Flipper by listeners.
Radio Dolfijn started broadcasting on 14th November 1966, hiring transmitter and studio facilities onboard the Laissez Faire, which had previously been used by the unsuccessful American format station, Swinging Radio England.
The new Dutch language station at first adopted an easy listening format (an alternative to Radio Veronica's Top 40 based programming) but later it too started to play Top 40 music during the evening hours. The station attracted a moderate audience in Holland, but was never as popular, or commercially successful, as the 'home based' and longer established Radio Veronica.
Radio Dolfijn went off the air in February 1967 when the Laissez Faire's aerial mast was damaged during a storm. By the time the ship returned to her anchorage off the English coast the broadcasting operation had been taken over by Ted Allbeury's Carstead Advertising Ltd. after the previous owners, Pier Vick Ltd. had gone into voluntary liquidation.
The new company opened an easy-listening English language station from the radio ship, Radio 355, to replace the former Britain Radio and for a while also continued the arrangement with the Dutch language Radio Dolfijn.
However, Ted Allbeury and his team realised that Radio Dolfijn’s format was having very little impact on either Dutch audiences or advertisers, both generally preferring the Top 40 format of Radio Veronica. So in March 1967 a decision was made to re-launch the Dutch language station from the Laissez Faire as Radio 227, using the former Swinging Radio England format and even that station's jingles which were cannibalised and edited for the new station.
Newspaper advert for the launch of Radio Dolfijn
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Opening announcement November 1966
The press conference announcing the launch of Radio Dolfijn (although the station’s name had not yet been finally decided).