Former pirate Radio Caroline awarded broadcast licence

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Former pirate Radio Caroline awarded broadcast licence

Radio Caroline's ship the Ross Revenge.Image copyright
PA

Image caption

The ship-based pirate station Radio Caroline applied for an AM waveband licence from Ofcom in November

The former ship-based pirate station, Radio Caroline, has been handed its first full-time AM broadcast licence.

It allows the service, which is currently an internet and digital station, to broadcast on medium wave to Suffolk and parts of north Essex.

Manager, Peter Moore, wants to broadcast from its ship MV Ross Revenge on the River Blackwater in Essex.

It comes 50 years after the 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act that was intended to stop pirate broadcasters.

Time capsule

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

"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 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.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act rendered Radio Caroline, which broadcast from international waters, an illegal (pirate) station

This is one of five new medium wave community licences to be announced by regulator, Ofcom.

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."

A launch date for the new service is not yet known.

The Radio Caroline website said many details about the licence were still to be decided and preparations "may take some time".

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