Radio Caroline celebrates 50th birthday

It was 50 years ago today that Radio Caroline started test transmissions from a point at sea.

UK broadcaster itv has created a number of videos marking the anniversary, including this one by David Johns. it starts with a clip of the BBC’s Director of Sound Broadcasting, Frank Gillard in 1966, then interviews with DJs Keith Skues, Johnny Lewis, Paul Graham and Roger Day, plus an archive clip of the then Postmaster General Tony Benn MP. Finally Caroline manager, Peter Moore.

Radio Caroline changed the UK radio industry by providing the first pop music station in 1964, and along with a number of other pirate stations which shortly followed, paved the way for the BBC to launch Radio 1.

They enjoyed a huge amount of popularity until the 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act in the UK made the ships illegal. They all closed down – except Caroline to the fury of the authorities.

Radio Caroline now broadcasts on channel 927 on the UPC Ireland cable service in the main cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford.

Read the full story with quotes from Peter Moore, Keith Skues, Johnny Lewis and more at

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1 Comment
  1. Paul says

    From Free Radio Caroline, :

    Official Statement

    The following announcement is made by Free Radio Caroline:

    Free Radio Caroline wants to make clear that the licensed stations proclaiming to be the “real Radio Caroline” are using the famous name without the agreement of the Radio Caroline legendary founder Ronan O’Rahilly.

    Radio Caroline was a free offshore radio at sea from 1964 until 1990, without any official control but with high respect from all over the planet, an iconic face of freedom of expression.

    Stations on land controlled by governments will never be the real Radio Caroline and are violating Ronan O’Rahilly requests and the message of the station “Loving awareness is free”…

    It’s time for a new and free Radio Caroline.

    The legend lives on…

    Free Radio Caroline,

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