Agnes Simoni with her husband

This week: The winner of Radio Prague's annual competition arrives in Prague; new frequency in North America. Listeners quoted: John Fisher, US; Glenn Hauser, US.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. In today's programme we'll be talking to the winner of this year's Radio Prague competition in which we asked our listeners to write to us about what Czech beer means to them. But first of all we have some short wave radio matters to deal with.

John Fisher from Massachusetts sent us this e-mail.

"This evening I heard (with a very weak signal) your broadcast at 04:00 UTC on 6100 kHz. Is this a new frequency? If a relay, which transmitter site? As always, Thank you."

Yes, the 6100 kHz is a new, experimental, channel for the 0400 UTC programme in English. This is a relay service transmission via the Sackville transmitter site in Canada that has been on the air since the start-date of the present B05 Winter Schedule. As Czech Radio's shortwave expert Olda Cip told me, a directional antenna array is employed covering the central and western parts of the North American continent and that is probably why your reception was relatively weak on the Eastern seaboard.

And Glenn Hauser from Oklahoma sent us this question.

"I am wondering why the 0400 UTC English transmission on 6100 via Canada is not on your website schedule? This provides very good reception here, since the beginning of the new season. Can it be that you are not even aware of it?"

As it's clear from what we said before, we are aware of the relay, but it was confirmed too late to get into our frequency schedule. We are now trying to promote it in our broadcasts and it's now been added to the frequency list on the internet.

So once again, for the winter period 2005-2006 Radio Prague has extended its shortwave broadcasts in English for central and western parts of North America, with a new time and frequency relayed via Sackville in Canada: The broadcast starts at 0400 UTC on the 6100 kHz on the 49m.

Agnes Simoni with her husband
Regular listeners will remember that the winner of this year's big competition on Radio Prague - with the topic of "What Czech Beer Means to Me" - was Mrs Agnes Simoni from the French city of Marseille. The first prize was a week's stay in Prague. When Agnes and her husband Jean-Paul arrived in Prague, they spoke to Radio Prague's editor-in-chief David Vaughan - who first asked Agnes to describe her first experience of Czech beer.

"It was in summer and the colour of the beer was wonderful. The people around me were smiling and it was pure joy. But I want to say that it was important for me to write about the liberty of the women in Prague to drink. It's very important because in France women don't drink like in Prague. It's a way of life. It's very important for me. Women in Prague are liberated."

David: Do you agree?

Jean-Paul: "Yes. Very few women in France drink beer, it's a beverage for men, I'd say. Whereas in the Czech Republic, I think, both women and men drink beer."

David: Tell me about Radio Prague. Do you listen to Radio Prague regularly or do you use our website? How did you come to find out about the competition in the first place?

Agnes: "Three times a week, in the morning I like to listen to Radio Prague."

David: Do you listen on shortwave or through the internet?

Agnes: "Through the internet. First of all, I read and then I listen."

David: And do you listen, too?

Jean-Paul: "No, I don't have much time to listen to the Czech programmes but sometimes in the evening or during the weekends it's real pleasure to listen to the news and how the Czechs see or appreciate what has happened in France or in other countries. Sometimes when you read newspapers of hear the radio of foreign countries, you get another perspective of what happens in your country, more accurate sometimes than when you read French newspapers."

David: Agnes, I think you wanted to add something?

Agnes: "Yes, it's very important for me to listen to Radio Prague because it's the only link I have with Prague. The only link."

The winner of Radio Prague's 2005 competition, Agnes Simoni and her husband Jean-Paul who came to Prague to pick up the first prize - a weeklong stay in the Czech capital.

And now for our November Mailbox question. The prize is not a trip to Prague but a CD of Czech music. So if you'd like to win one of those, you can give it a try.

We are looking for the name of one of the founding fathers of the world-famous fast-food chain McDonald's. Born in Chicago in 1902, the son of Czech immigrants from the town of Plzen, he tried many jobs before he met the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. He went into business with them and acquired franchising rights to open a Mc Donald's restaurant of his own in 1955. With the opening of his first franchise he founded McDonald's Corporation (originally "McDonald's Systems, Inc."). He died a multimillionaire in 1984.

Please send us the name of the man by the end of November to the usual address, Radio Prague, 120 99 Prague, Czech Republic or [email protected].

In last week's Mailbox I made mistake in the date of birth of our mystery man. He was born in 1902 not in 1905 as I wrongly said. I apologise and my thanks to Mr David Eldridge from England and Mr Colin Law from New Zealand for pointing that out.

And that's for today, till next Sunday, thanks for listening.