Skip to main content

Eric Egan – was he or wasn’t he suspended
from Springbok Radio for telling a particular joke?


Eric Egan

Image courtesy of SA Radio Ads 1950-1990


Springbok Radio! The first commercial radio station in South Africa
that took to the airwaves on 1 May 1950.

Remember Eric Egan?
The first voice on Springbok Radio with his breakfast show which was an absolute resounding success!
His daily “corny crack” and catch phrase “I Looooveee Yoouuu”
will always be remembered.



Please click here to watch Eric Egan’s Wake Up Song
“The Get Up Song” (1950’s/1960’s)



Eric Egan was supposedly suspended from Springbok Radio
for a short period for telling this joke on air:

How do you catch a polar bear?
You sprinkle peas around an ice hole.
When the polar bear comes to have a pea
you kick him in the
ice hole!

The story goes that the joke did not go down well with Management,
but then again, it was the days of Scope magazine and no advertising on Sundays.

Well, we now have it on good authority, that this is in fact an urban myth.
And you can’t get better authority than Peter Egan, Eric Egan’s son. 

Peter Egan told YEI “It was an urban myth – he never told that ‘polar bear’ joke on air. When he was suspended from Springbok Radio for a few months, I suspect the reasons were politically motivated. It was never made clear. It was the time of Apartheid and my dad and our family were known to be liberal in outlook and against Apartheid.


Relevant articles:


Memory Lane Friday – Springbok Radio!


  • Keith Dick says:

    I was born in 1950. My grandparents had a radio on Springbok radio all the time. Before I went to school I heard Eric Egan on the radio and said ” I am going be on the radio”. Later when I passed matrix I joined the SABC in Johannesburg until retirement.

  • Philip Ellis says:

    Part of the beginning of the Eric Egan Polar bear joke has been left out.
    After “How do you catch a Polar Bear” should be “You cut a hole in the ice”

  • ivan beal says:

    it is no myth whatsoever
    i lived in durban at the time and listened every morning to eric egan and his corny cracks
    i very well remember that joke, i was only twelve at the time but i cannot recall anyone least of all my parents and schoolteachers bieng upset or disgusted

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.