RADIO CAROLINE - A PIRATES TALE

Ronan O'Rahilly, founder and owner of Radio Caroline explains how and why Radio Caroline was born. All we had before Radio Caroline was the BBC Home Service, playing endless band music, The Third Programme etc,  and Radio Luxembourg which crackled and faded. Ronan explains where the name Radio Caroline came from.

 

On this DVD you see both Caroline and Atlanta ships being fitted out in Greenore, Ireland. The main investors along with Ronan O'Rahilly were, Ian Ross, Jocelyn Stevens, Chris Moore and Alan Crawford. All is explained how the 2 ships began their new lives as radio ships. Curious people in the town where told that the ships with the 2 huge masts where sponge seeking vessels, they had to keep the real reason a secret. Both ships  ended up off the Essex coast  outside territorial waters where the Government of the day couldnt  touch them.

Roy Mason MP, has his say about these radio ships and argues the fact that they should be outlawed which is backed up by Tony Benn MP.

Within a few weeks Atlanta sailed to the Isle of Man and Caroline stayed anchored off Clacton, both broadcast on the same frequency which then covered most of the UK, almost making it a national radio station. Advertising revenue was building up via major companies and the money started pouring in!

We take a quick tour of Radio Caroline's head office, 6 Chesterfield Gardens, London. Tony Blackburn tells how he obtained his job on Radio Caroline along with early colour film of original DJs, the late Simon Dee, Emperor Rosko, and Robbie Dale.

You see various clips of film of Radio Caroline, and some of the other offshore stations like  Radio London, Radio 390, and Radio Scotland. The race was on, other stations emerged, however some were not on ships but were on other sea structures like the old army defence forts in the Thames estuary originally owned by The Ministry Of Defence who were not interested in these structures anymore . Most, if not all these pirate stations were sucessfull, with thousands of listeners tuning in every day, audiences were being built up. There was nothing the BBC or the Government could do to stop the explosion and impact these pirates had.

But  by early 1967 the British Government decided to outlaw these pirates.  The Marine Broadcasting Offences Bill had been passed by Parliament, and on August 15th 1967 all the other stations closed, Caroline continued, hear her as she goes through illegality  still broadcasting after that date.  By March 1968 the MV Mi Amigo was towed to Holland in lieu of unpaid bills. The Government of the day decided  enough was enough, this couldnt carry on , we could eventually have an armada of radio ships around our coast.  September 1967 BBC Radio 1 began broadcasting with former Caroline DJ Tony Blackburn in the hot seat spinning the latest discs ( in glorious black and white film.)  

In early 1973 Radio Caroline returns to the airwaves under the guise of being an offshore radio museum and continued until March 1980 when the vessel sank in a storm. All this on this remarkable DVD.

August 19th 1983 Radio Caroline emerges once again on a new ship, a former Grimsby fishing  trawler, Ross Revenge. On the 19th August 1989, Radio Caroline was eventually silenced by the Dutch authorities.

The DVD combines glorious footage in black & white and colour, profiling the history of offshore radio in this country and is an absolute MUST for pirate radio enthusiasts.  The late Tommy Vance DJ  once said " Radio Caroline has freedom, its ahead of its time, totally contempary, no Government restrictions, it has freedom and thats something very magical that you cannot package or sell."  Summer 2006 Sky Television finally puts Radio Caroline on its own frequency listing, Sky Channel 0199. But no one can ever forget the stations pionerring days of the 60s,70s,80s, and 90s. A true legend in offshore broadcasting history. This DVD is definatly one for the avid collector.

Approximate running time: 60mins

Price: £12.95 + Free UK Delivery

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