UK News

Radio Caroline back on airwaves with new AM band licence

PIRATE: It’s the first time the famous pirate station has had a full-time terrestrial transmission licence

THE famous ship-based pirate station Radio Caroline has been awarded an AM waveband licence from Ofcom.

It comes 50 years after the 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act that was intended to scupper the pirate broadcasters, and is the first time the station has had a full-time terrestrial transmission licence.

Peter Moore, who runs Radio Caroline, said he was delighted that the bid which was begun in 2010 had been successful.

He said his ambition was to broadcast from Radio Caroline's ship the MV Ross Revenge on the River Blackwater in Essex.

Its AM licence is for Suffolk and northern parts of Essex.

"It's our intention to broadcast to the same people we used to when we had the ships off the Essex coast," said Mr Moore.

"It will be the same sort of service they would have heard in the past delivered in the same way and presented in many cases by the same people as before.

"It's like a living time capsule."

The station, immortalised in Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked, was founded in 1964 to play pop music all day in a time where broadcasting was dominated by the BBC and pop was played for an hour a week.

After the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act was passed in 1967, Radio Caroline continued to broadcast until the Ross Revenge was shipwrecked off the Kent coast in 1991.

The vessel has since been repaired.

Radio Caroline had been operating as an internet and digital radio station in recent years.

Ofcom announced the award of five new community radio licences for medium wave AM services on Friday.

The other four are Ark AM in Glasgow, Carillion Wellbeing Radio in West Leicestershire, Radio Ninesprings in Yeovil and the south Somerset district and Radio Seerah in Leicester.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Community radio services are provided on a not-for-profit basis and focus on delivering specific social benefits to a particular local area or community of interest."

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