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Pirate radio: Sunderland station Spark FM to broadcast live from the North Sea

To celebrate 50 years of pirate radio and the birth of radio Caroline four Sunderland University students (left to right) Harrison Stock, Anthony Kane, Scott Hastie and Thomas Hannett from Spark FM will make a special broadcast live from the north sea next week.

To celebrate 50 years of pirate radio and the birth of radio Caroline four Sunderland University students (left to right) Harrison Stock, Anthony Kane, Scott Hastie and Thomas Hannett from Spark FM will make a special broadcast live from the north sea next week.

STUDENTS took to the high seas for a taste of the pirate life.

To celebrate 50 years of pirate radio and the birth of Radio Caroline, four University of Sunderland students broadcast live from the North Sea.

Anthony Kane, Thomas Hannett, Harrison Stock and Scott Hastie – who are all presenters on the university’s Spark FM – celebrated the anniversary with two special radio shows.

Thomas and Anthony, both 21, paid homage to the pirate radio movement of the 1960s.

They broadcasted live from on board a P&O ferry on the Hull to Rotterdam route on Monday, speaking to many DJs from the original Caroline line up and beyond.

They also took a look back at the most iconic pop songs from that era, recreating the sound of the 1960s.

Harrison, 20, and Scott, 21, then broadcasted a show live from the city of Rotterdam yesterday, representing pirate radio from the late 1980s and 1990s and the shift from the seas to the inner cities.

They will be looking back at the music pirate radio championed from acid house to garage and from grime to dubstep.

Thomas said: “This was something the station had never attempted before, which made it such an exciting project for us to work on. We couldn’t wait get aboard.”

Pirate radio, including Radio Caroline, was a fundamental milestone in broadcasting and shaped radio in the UK today.

At a time when radio was dominated by educational programming from the BBC, pirate radio delivered the 1960s pop tunes, building a huge following of young fans up and making the ships the most popular stations on the radio dial.  

DJs that made the leap from pirate stations to mainstream radio include John Peel and Kenny Everett

In 2009, the Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked told the tale of the movement. The film starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, and Kenneth Branagh.

Fred Marden, principal lecturer in radio at the University of Sunderland, said: “It’s fantastic to see students demonstrating an understanding of radio’s exciting future through an appreciation of its past.

“I know they’ll deliver a ground breaking broadcast. I hope they won’t be sea sick along the way.”

All four students are in the final year of the same course, Radio and Television Broadcast and Production, and work on the university’s award-winning station.

 

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