Pirate Radio Day: The History of Offshore Radio

August 14th — today referred to as “Pirate Radio Day” — is remem­bered as the day, in 1967, when the major­i­ty of Britain’s off­shore pop pirate radio sta­tions went off the air in the face of the gov­ern­men­t’s Marine &c Offences Act becom­ing law at mid­night on the 15th. Only Radio Car­o­line* con­tin­ued broadcasting.

In mem­o­ry of the immense changes and ben­e­fits the off­shore sta­tions brought to music radio and to lis­ten­ers in search of pop­u­lar music on the air around the coasts of Britain and Europe, we are com­mem­o­rat­ing the event today with a spe­cial broad­cast of a 1970 radio doc­u­men­tary by Paul Har­ris, “The His­to­ry of Off­shore Radio” . The pro­gramme cov­ers the peri­od 1958 to 1970 and includes the ear­li­est Scan­di­na­vian sta­tions such as Radio Mer­cur and Radio Nord, as well as more famil­iar sta­tions like Radio Lon­don, Radio Car­o­line and Radio Veron­i­ca. The peri­od is illus­trat­ed by many airchecks from the major­i­ty of the sta­tions oper­at­ing in this peri­od in addi­tion to a com­men­tary which tells the sto­ry, from ear­ly begin­nings, to years of suc­cess and some­times dark deeds. The pro­gramme is par­tic­u­lar­ly notable in that it was made in 1970 — soon after the events it depicts occurred,

Tune in for this spe­cial pro­gramme at 1pm or 5pm Pacific/SLT, 9pm or 1am in the UK.

We’ll also be broad­cast­ing the lat­est episode of “Tarot @ Teatime” — “The Haughty Swords” — at the usu­al time of 12 noon and 4pm Pacific/SLT, 8pm and mid­night in the UK. You can find details here.

*Radio Car­o­line is now a licensed com­mu­ni­ty radio sta­tion based in SE Eng­land. You can vis­it them here.