|The Rose d’Or, the festival for entertainment television programming, was created in 1961 by Marcel Bezançon in order for national broadcasters to fill the gaps in their summer schedules with inexpensive, good quality programmes.
Marcel Bezançon’s idea was simple: Why don’t we put together a really good international variety programme in Switzerland, then swap it for productions from other countries within the framework of a competition?
It was thus, on 27 May 1961 in Montreux, witzerland, that the BBC was awarded the first ever Rose d’Or Award for the Black and White Minstrel Show.
Since the swinging sixties, the majority of most well-known starrs have been awarded prizes at the Rose d’Or. The Rose d’Or Festival gave the whole range of light entertainment international prominence, ranging from circuses to comedy specials, from game shows to cartoons.
The winners speak for themselves Barbara Streisand, the Muppet Show, Mikael Baryshnikov, Lisa Minelli, Banny Hill, Monty Python, Cirque du Soleil, Julie Andrews, The Simpsons, Mr. Bean, Nigel Kennedy, Kurt Browning, Shirley Maclaine … the list is vast. View our Award Winners since 1961 (PDF).
As the festival grew, programme swaps ceased to be viable and the innovative concept of the Film Kiosk was born. This idea widely copied since then rapidly turned the Rose d’Or into one of the world’s most important entertainment programme markets. With more than 40 countries participating each year, the festival is now a unique meeting place for worldwide fomat business, game show creator and sitcom writers. It is also one of the most important locations today for promoting music and variety specials.
After 43 years in Montreux, catering exclusively for an industry clientele, the festival organisers decided to plan additional events with a wider audience appeal. Following a detailed appraisal, it was realised that this strategic shift also required changes in infrastructure and venue. The decision was then made to move the Rose d’Or Festival to Lucerne.
In 2006, the Rose d’Or rights were bought by Freddy Burger, owner of Freddy Burger Management. He appointed the former television producer Urban Frye as Festival Director. In 2007 it was determined that the festival would remain in Lucerne and return to it’s original format of catering for the television industry exclusively.