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Absolute Radio to launch pirate station

By | Published on Wednesday 27 July 2022

Absolute Radio Pirates

Bauer Media is launching a pirate radio station, Absolute Radio Pirates. Well, it will be an entirely legitimate station – no broadcasting laws are being broken here, thank you very much – but it will feature a line-up of presenters who made their start in radio working for pirate stations in the 1960s.

The one-day-only pop-up station will take over Bauer’s Absolute Radio 60s for one day next month, with shows fronted by the likes of Tony Blackburn and Johnnie Walker. There will also be archive shows from late pirates like Kenny Everett and Tommy Vance.

“Modern radio wouldn’t exist without these titans of broadcasting who introduced British audiences to the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin”, says Absolute Radio Content Director Paul Sylvester. “We’re proud to pay tribute in a typically unique Absolute Radio way, disrupting the airwaves with an incredible soundtrack, legendary voices, compelling archive and the recreation of vintage news bulletins and ad breaks”.

Executive Producer Jon Holmes adds that the pop station will be “an amazing day celebrating the incredible pirate radio stations that, ironically, changed the audio landscape of the UK from the (air)waves of the North Sea. If you like radio, music, music radio, or people doing what they love sticking two salty fingers up to The Man, then prepare to board Absolute Radio Pirates”.

Set to air on 12 Aug, the appearance of Absolute Radio Pirates will coincide with the 55th anniversary of the 1967 Marine Broadcasting Offences Act.

The UK legislation made it illegal for any British subject to assist an offshore pirate radio station – whether that be by presenting shows, advertising on them or supplying them with music. Several stations attempted to find ways to circumvent the new laws in order to carry on, but ultimately it led to the end of ship-based pirate radio within a few years.