Official Press Release by Bent Myggen, elder son of Arne Myggen.
Danish copy, click here
High resolution photos available here


Arne Myggen died peacefully April 25, 2005 at his home in Chatsworth, California surrounded by his family. He was 84 years old and had been suffering from Dementia/Parkinson disease for 3 years.

He lived an extraordinary life and became the most listened-to radio personality ever in Denmark’s history. During the 1970’s it was estimated that over 2 million people listened to his hit show “Hvornaar var det nu det var” (“When was that, again?”). Not bad for a country of only 5 million.

He was born on March 2, 1921 in Lemvig and grew up in Horsens with father Emil, housekeeper “Fru Jensen” (his mother died when he was 2 years old) and brother Andre. At an early age he showed a remarkable command of the Danish language as well as an ability to recall detail, and fresh out of school he began to write and shoot photographs for the local papers. On one assignment he interviewed a promising young (and beautiful) pianist, Lillian Madsen, and the two fell in love and were married in 1945.

As radio emerged in Denmark, the young Arne Hansen worked tirelessly both as a journalist in many leading papers and as a radio-host. His sense of humor and gentle manner served him well as he wrote books, monologues and sketches for Danish actors and comedians. He interviewed visiting celebrities as part of a steady stream of news and weekly magazine articles. His small stature earned him the nickname “Mosquito” (Myggen) which he and the family later took on legally. During the 1960’s and ‘70’s he and Klaus Walter ran a radio-show that broke all records in terms of popularity, but this also created some difficulties. For unknown reasons, the Danish Radio leadership decided to make a new rule prohibiting free-lance workers from making a certain (actually unspecified) amount of money each year. From 1969 to 1977, Mr. Myggen would start the year by gaining enormous popularity with a show, and then he would be removed from the job by reason of the “honorar-loft” (earnings-cap). The logic of this rule could not be explained, and Arne Myggen was the only person ever to be affected in this way. Today the rule does not exist. After celebrating five years of his and Klaus’ quiz-show’s success, and also being pronounced the most popular radio-host by a leading weekly magazine, he was (again) fired from his position, this time causing a blizzard of protest letters from listeners. Perhaps in response to this public outcry, Arne Myggen was given to host a then obscure fund-raising show, “Giro 413”, which he, in a short amount of time, made into the most popular show and (again) broke all records and expectations. The show raised money for children’s homes – around 30,000 kroner per year which Arne raised to 1,6 million in two years.

Although reluctant to be politically active, Arne Myggen did not follow the reigning social doctrine of the time and gave many speeches to Danish Rotary Clubs expressing his views. He also introduced to the Conservative party the attorney, Mogens Glistrup, who later formed a new party “Fremskridspartiet” - which added considerable entertainment value to the Danish Parliament for years to come.

The list of people Arne met, interviewed and sometimes became friends with reads like a who’s-who of the world, from Eartha Kitt to Danny Kaye, Ella Fitzgeald, Charlton Heston, Piet Hein, Victor Borge, General Eisenhower, Louis Armstrong, Juri Gagarin, Ed Sullivan, Queen Margrethe, Niels Bohr, Billy Graham, Sammy Davies, Marlene Dietrich (whom he did not become friends with, but that’s another story), Telly Savalas, Arthur Rubinstein, the Mills Brothers, Sven Rye, and the list goes on.

In 1977, he and Lillian immigrated to the USA to live in California and be close to their two sons, Finn and Bent. From there he was a correspondent to Jyllands Posten and wrote over 600 articles for BIEN until a few years ago. Lillian and Arne were happily married for 60 years.

More information, pictures and CDs can be found at which over time will include stories, letters, and articles from Myggen, as well as others about him. Arne Myggen is survived by wife, Lillian, sons Finn and Bent, grandsons Nick, Dan and Mikael. His greatest joy was to make someone smile, and he made a big difference in an often grey country. He lived a full life with grace, kindness and most of all, humor.

A private memorial was held at the Myggen home in Chatsworth. More details and sound-clips will be available later.

Bent Myggen