In 1971 zond RNI voor ’t eerst een Top 100 uit. Je kon deze toen beluisteren op tweede kerstdag tussen 12:00 en 18:00. De Top 100 werd gepresenteerd door Tony Berk, Ferry Maat en Nico Steenbergen. De Top 100 werd samengesteld op basis van de noteringen in de RNI Top 50 tussen 21 Februari en eind December 1971.
Deze Top 100 kun je hier beluisteren:
Onder de TOP 100 kun je de herinneringen van Michael Downing lezen aan RNI in 1971.
The RNI memories of Michael Downing for 1971
By the beginning of 1971, the rumours of RNI's return were getting stronger, so it was encouraging to hear some non-stop music transmissions on 220 metres at the end of January. These continued, for several hours each day, until the middle of February, when two DJs - Alan West and Stevi Merike - came on board the Mebo 2 and started making announcements in the non-stop music programmes, although without saying who they were. Four more DJs joined them on board and, from Friday 19 February 1971, there was a full test transmission schedule. At 14.00 on Sunday 21 February 1971, RNI officially recommenced transmissions. The DJ names were revealed for the first time in the opening programme and, apart from Alan and Stevi, the first DJ team comprised Tony Allan, Dave Rogers, Crispian St John and Martin Kayne.
The Dutch service started at 9.00 on Saturday 6 March 1971, initially from 9.00 to 16.00 Monday to Saturday and from 9.00 to 15.00 on Sundays. The first DJs were Jan Van Veen, Joost de Draaier and Ferry Maat. The Super Hit 50 show was broadcast from 12.00 to 15.00 on Saturday, presented by Joost de Draaier, and repeated in English from 15.00 to 18.00 on Sunday, hosted by one of the DJs on board that week.
In April, the Dutch service started news bulletins, initially with Hans ten Hooge as newsreader, but soon joined by Leo van der Goot and Joost Verhoeven. Martin Kayne left in April and was replaced initially by Roger Kirk, who only presented one programme (18.00 to 21.00 on Thursday 29 April), but was too seasick to continue. On 1 May, Peter Holland joined to present the breakfast programme, until then part of the International service and hosted by Tony Allan when he was on board. Also in early May, Mike Ross rejoined RNI.
Saturday 15 May 1971 was one of the most infamous days in RNI's history - the day of the bomb attack. This happened late in the evening whilst Alan West was on the air, but, despite the DJs and most of the crew having to abandon ship, miraculously RNI was back on the air for the start of the Dutch service the following morning. Despite significant damage to the stern of the ship, the studios, DJ cabins and record library escaped unscathed. Repairs were carried out to the Mebo 2 at sea during the summer.
In June, Tony Allan left and was replaced by Mark Stuart. The station continued broadcasting without any major incidents in June and July, but the beginning of August saw some substantial changes. Alan West and Stevi Merike left, having requested to record their programmes on land like the Dutch service programmes, but been turned down by the management. Their replacements were two former RNI DJs, Andy Archer and Tony Allan, but they lasted less than a week. The story was that Tony Allan had got drunk one evening, so Andy Archer locked him in his cabin, but Tony broke out and was somewhat out of control, so Andy closed down the transmitters for the evening. This resulted in both Andy and Tony being sacked. By the end of August the International service had another new DJ, Paul May.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of August, the Dutch service had been extended from 16.00 to 18.00 each day, the additional two hours being presented by one of the three Dutch newsreaders, Hans, Leo or Joost, in a programme called Driemaster, which became one of RNI's most popular programmes, with a strict format which meant that the first record was usually a Motown oldie (or failing that, something in the same style such as the Flirtations), followed by one of the Smash Plays, then a Top 50 record etc. By the end of August, however, Joost Verhoeven had left the Driemaster team to replace Jan Van Veen, who had left RNI, on the morning 9.00 to 12.00 show. During the summer the Jan Van Veen show was presented for a couple of weeks by Willem Jan van der Laarn. By the end of August Nico Steenbergen had joined the Dutch newsreader team and become one of the three presenters of Driemaster. Also, the Dutch service had a new DJ who initially filled in for DJs who were on holiday, but would go on to be one of RNI's longest serving DJs, Tony Berk.
The International service stopped presenting a repeat of the Super Hit 50 show in August and instead broadcast a British Top 20 show on Sunday evening from 19.00 to 21.00. The DJ team got back to full strength in September when Rob Eden joined the team (or technically rejoined, as he had broadcast a few programmes in the summer of 1970). In the autumn, Karel Prior started a series of programmes on Sunday morning under the name Prioriteiten, which would last well into 1972.
In October, a discussion in the Crispian St John show about an article by Rodney Collins in Record Mirror which was critical of RNI led to Crispian being sacked. Mark Stuart left at about the same time, citing seasickness as the reason. Their replacements were Brian McKenzie, formerly with Radio Scotland, and Terry Davis. Another new DJ appeared in November on the World service, which broadcast on Sunday on shortwave - Jane Valentine, but she only presented three programmes and was never heard of again.
Monday 22 November 1971 was another notorious day in the life of RNI, when the anchor chain broke and the ship drifted. The station was off the air for much of the day, but returned during Driemaster, hosted by Nico Steenbergen, whilst on tow in the North Sea by the tug Smitbank. Within a couple of days RNI was safely back at anchor in its old position.
RNI ended the year with the DJs of the International service who were on board that week - Dave Rogers, Brian McKenzie, Paul May and Rob Eden - presenting a one hour programme each on 31 December with their Top 15 singles of 1971 and LP of the year. The other two International service DJs at the time - Mike Ross and Terry Davis - were on shore leave.
The Dutch service ended the year with Joost de Draaier, Ferry Maat, Peter Holland, Joost Verhoeven and Tony Berk as the on land DJ team and Hans ten Hooge, Leo van der Goot and Nico Steenbergen as the on board Driemaster and newsreading team.