Pirates to return to Essex coast for celebratory radio weekend

The LV18 in Harwich, where pirate radio will return from this weekend

The LV18 in Harwich, where pirate radio will return from this weekend - Credit: Contributed by Stephen Foster

Pirate radio is set to return to the north Essex coast this weekend as a host of famous faces join Radio Mi Amigo.

The radio station will return to the airwaves in conjunction with Carillon Wellbeing Radio on Saturday and Sunday (August 14 and 15).

It will be airing from the restored Lightvessel LV18 as a nod to the rich history of 60s offshore stations, such as Radio Caroline and Radio London from the revolutionary era in music.

Former BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Stephen "Foz" Foster will be presenting, alongside ex-Pirate BBC Essex DJ Tim Gillett.

Radio Caroline in the 1980s

Radio Caroline in the 1980s - Credit: Archant

They will be joined by two DJs from America off the Ha'penny pier in Harwich.

On Twitter, Foz – now a stadium announcer at Ipswich Town Football Club – said he is "really looking forward" to his show on Sunday lunchtime.

The weekend celebration comes to mark the 54 years since the government closed down pirate stations through the Marine Offences Act, depicted in the 2009 film "The Boat that Rocked".

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The Richard Curtis film, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh, featured the LV18 as part of its filming in Portland, Dorset.

Visitors will be able to board the ship on Sunday as part of an exhibition into the history of pirate radio, funded by the Harwich Haven Authority and the Essex Community Foundation.

Suffolk DJ Stephen 'Foz' Foster

Suffolk DJ Stephen 'Foz' Foster - Credit: Contributed

The station will broadcast from 6am Saturday, starting with the Tim Gillett Breakfast Show, running until transmissions cease midnight Monday.

Tony O'Neil, station manager, said: "Tendring was very much the centre of these activities at this time with thousands of tourists sitting on the beaches of Clacton, Walton, Frinton, Harwich and Brightlingsea, listening to their favourite DJ’s on transistor radios.

"This tribute to the offshore pirate radio stations will celebrate the likes of Radio Caroline, Radio London and several others that appeared off the coast of Harwich in the 1960s bringing about a revolution in radio broadcasting.

"Following the previous pirate radio broadcasts from LV18, which attracted thousands of visitors to the area, Radio Mi Amigo will celebrate the watery wireless days from the studio, located on the bridge of the Lightvessel."

Listeners can tune in via the Carillon Radio website.