Costas Constantinides

Today we bring you an interview with Radio Prague's listener Costas Constantinides from Cyprus. We also speak about the legendary Czech-born tennis player Ivan Lendl and decathlon world record holder Roman Sebrle. We quote from e-mails sent by Christine Takaguchi-Coates from Japan and Narayanan Kalyanam from India.

Thanks for tuning in to Mailbox. Today we bring you an interview with a very special guest who came in to Radio Prague but before that let's to quote from a couple of our listeners' e-mails.

Christine Takaguchi-Coates from Japan responds to last week's Mailbox in which we spoke about Czech records in the javelin throw.

"On the subject of Czech javelin throwers, I think we could also mention Roman Sebrle, Olympic Champion and decathlon world record holder, whose career best throw of over 71m clinched the world title for him in Osaka last month. Sebrle is an athlete whom I have long admired, and I was so happy that at last he claimed the one title that had eluded him for many years! Congratulations Roman!"

Staying with the subject of sport, Narayanan Kalyanam from India who listens to Radio Prague on the Worldspace satellite radio network on Asiastar, has this query.

Ivan Lendl
"I cannot find information about the tennis super star Ivan Lendl - could you give me some info about him? What is Ivan Lendl's website?"

This right-handed tennis legend, a native of the northeastern city of Ostrava, was born in 1960 and became an American citizen in 1992 after having lived in the country since 1981. He was ranked No. 1 in the world for 270 weeks, including 157 straight between 1985 and 1988. Ivan Lendl is the holder of 94 career singles titles. He currently resides in Connecticut and devotes much of his time to the development of his daughters' golfing abilities - four of his five daughters play golf at a highly competitive junior level. To my knowledge Ivan Lendl has no official website of his own.

As I mentioned earlier, we had a very special guest here at Radio Prague last week. It has been a while since we last had a listener call on us here at Cesky rozhlas. Last week we had a guest from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Costas Constantinides
"I'm Costas Constantinides from Limassol, Cyprus but I'm originally from Johannesburg, South Africa."

How long have you been listening to Radio Prague?

"I've been a listener to Radio Prague since 1972."

Where - in Cyprus or in South Africa as well?

"Yes, I've been DXing in both countries, Cyprus and South Africa, and also a little while in Greece."

And what is reception like in your area now?

"Presently, reception of Radio Prague into Cyprus is very good. I'm listening in the early hours of the morning where it's coming through very well."

Is there anything that you particularly like about our programmes or do you just listen to our broadcasts in general?

"I just listen in general because I'm working many hours in the evening shift and I have only one day off a week to DX so I just listen whenever I can."

Do you collect our QSL cards?

"Yes, the Radio Prague QSL cards are very good. Now I don't really collect all of them but I have a very good collection from way back in 1972 and I am very happy to meet the people at the studios and show them my QSL collection."

Is this your first time in the Czech Republic?

"Yes, this is my first time in the Czech Republic. It's a wonderful country, with wonderful people and I suggest each DXer to come and visit this great land, the Czech Republic."

You also told me a short while ago about Czechs in Cyprus, or Cypriots who studied in the Czech Republic and now still get together in Cyprus...

"Yes, once a year, they get together. I work in a particular hotel and they have a Czech get-together once a year."

Is the tone of the broadcasts now very different from the programmes back in the Cold War years?

"Yes, it is very cool now compared to the old days. But I think in the old days it was also nice to listen to the programmes because people were very disciplined compared to what they are today. And walking the streets of Prague you can see how well behaved the people are and it is a good indication on the culture of the people."

You also mentioned earlier that you had some problems with the authorities because of your contacts with the former communist countries through you DXing hobby...

"Yes, once I wrote a report to a country in Eastern Europe and was visited by the security service of South Africa but, of course, today the world is free and you can listen to whatever you like. It's a wonderful hobby. I suggest to you to tune in to shortwave radio, it's a great hobby."

That was Costas Constantinides from Limassol, Cyprus, who came in to the Radio Prague studios last week.

Now we only have time to repeat once again our listeners' competition question.

The September mystery Czech was a child actor who was awarded an Academy Juvenile Award in 1948. Who was he?

Please tell us the name of this mystery person and a few facts about him if you like at the usual address, [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague. The deadline is September 30th. Until next week, thanks for listening.