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The British labour Government thought it was all over when introducing the Marine Offences Act in August 1967. Radio London, Radio Scotland, Radio 270 all closed down but Ronan O’Rahilly, the Irish owner of Radio Caroline continued to broadcast.
After the new law was introduced off-shore broadcasters from Switzerland launched Radio North Sea International which, for a while, after Radio Caroline had gone aground, took on the name Radio Caroline pumping out anti-Labour propaganda which saw the Conservatives take power.
North Sea was attacked by real pirates with real bombs as you will see in film taken during the incident when DJ’s scrambled into lifeboats.
Dutch gangsters also tried to take over the ship as DJs bolted down the hatches to stop them entering the studio.
Here is actual film of the events from the mouths of the DJs who were there and are still alive today to tell the story with DMCTV.
Tony Prince produces a final episode in the amazing story of British pirate radio.
This was the golden age of pirate radio with high seas spinners such as Mark Wesley, Tony Blackburn, Ron O’Quinn, Johnnie Walker, Robbie Dale, Andy Archer, Ed Stewart, Bob Stewart, Spangles Muldoon (alias Chris Carey), Daffy Don Allen, Kenny Everett, Colin Nicol, Dave Lee Travis, Jerry King, Alan West, Brian McKenzie, Keith Skues, the Emperor Rosko and the story-teller himself the Royal Ruler.
Exclusive interviews include Radio Scotland’s Richard Park now boss at Global Radio, Sir Roger Gale was one of the most toured pirates starting with Caroline, Radio 270, Scotland until eventually he joined BBC Radio One on the Newsbeat team.
Mark Wesley too was well travelled on the seas around the UK,. He eventually became a record plugger for The Beatles and Elton John but not before playing their music from forts and ships before and after the act of Parliament which made it illegal to work or advertise on the pirates.
The end of this episode is an emotional time-line from 1964 to that fateful day in August 1967 when DJs risked prison sentences or came ashore to seek work with the BBC or Radio Luxembourg.
“We changed the face of radio in Europe”, said Tony Blackburn.
“Not arf”, said Alan Freeman!
Welcome on board this 35 minute cruise back in time.