Stephen Ladd Stephen Ladd An Australian, Stephen had worked in commercial radio from the age of 16. He travelled to the UK where he landed a job with the BBC - but not on air as he had hoped. He was working in the record library. While there, he made contacts in the music industry and, through them, offered his services to Radio Northsea International. Stephen joined the station on 13th August 1970, originally introduced as ‘Stephen Oliver’, his real name. He stayed with the station until it closed down the following month. Stephen sat in for DJs on leave, hosted a jazz show on Sunday evenings and presented a programme on the very short-lived daily ‘World Service’ which was broadcast for a few days on the station's 31 metres short wave and FM outlets. He finished all his shows with the wish “may the good Lord take a liking to you.” After RNI's closure, he worked for BBC Radio London for a while, before returning to Australia. We lost touch with him for some years but in May 2005 the Radio London website received an email from a correspondent saying that Stephen was now known as Steve O and presented ‘The Long Lunch’ show on a community station called City Park Radio FM 103.7 in Launceston, Tasmania. However his name does not currently feature on the station website so it looks as if he may have stopped doing the programme since then. Offshore historian Hans Knot informs us that Stephen is still in Launceston and is running a bakery with his son. There is a more recent photo on Offshore News & Memories blog (scroll down the page). (This photo from the RNI Souvenir Book, published by Hit-Publications, Zurich.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Stephen Ladd on Radio Northsea International's Sunday morning Oldies Show from 23rd August 1970. Recording kindly provided by Hans Knot (duration 3 minutes 45 seconds)

Mark Lawrence Mark Lawrence One of Radio Caroline's most popular broadcasters during the seventies, Mark joined the station in February 1976 at the age of 18 (his birthday is 7th October). He had previously been heard on London's landbased pirate, Radio Kaleidoscope. He was with Caroline until 27th July 1978, later working on the Israeli station, the Voice of Peace. He was planning to return to Caroline in March 1980 but sadly the Mi Amigo sank the day before he was due to join her. He was on the Italian Radio Nova for a while, then Greenwich Sound, a community cable station. He moved to Ireland and South Coast Radio, then back to London in 1984 and Radio Jackie. He was also heard on Chiltern Radio as Mark Smith. He has been keeping something of a low profile in recent years so The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame asked a few of his former colleagues if they knew what he had been doing. Tom Hardy wrote: “As far as I know Mark spent some time working in catering after Caroline, but now runs a small studio producing audio-visual material. All I know is that Jools Holland helped him out with, or provides, his premises. Mark was always a brilliant audio producer/editor. Mark's association with Jools Holland goes back a long way as Mark roadied for Squeeze in their very early days. He is also credited as editor on some of the solo Jools Holland albums”. Bob Lawrence (no relation, formerly Caroline DJ Richard Thompson) tells us: “After Tony Allan, I would say that Mark was the most talented broadcaster/producer I have ever worked with. Unfortunately I never worked with him on the ship, although it was him leaving Caroline which gave me the opportunity to get out there! When we set up Greenwich Sound we got Mark involved and he certainly left his mark. The Jools Holland link goes back even further (than Tom thinks) because he went to school with Jools, Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, all members of Squeeze. Mark didn't respond to many requests to come to our Caroline reunion in London two years ago, but from what I can gather, Tom is correct that Mark is working/running a studio somewhere. I have very fond memories of working with him and still can honestly say that I miss him on the radio. His Caroline breakfast shows were superb.” (Our thanks to Tom and Bob/Richard. This photo of Mark, about to get stuck into his Christmas dinner, has kindly been provided by Hans Knot.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Mark Lawrence early in the evening of 16th February 1978 on Radio Caroline. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Jim Nantz and Ray Robinson for permission to use it (duration 4 minutes 30 seconds)

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Arnold Layne Arnold Layne As the familiar Radio Northsea jingle used to ask, “who is Arnold Layne?” Back in the sixties he worked on Radios Essex, 270, 390 and Caroline North under the name of Roger Scott and his biography can be found in the main part of The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame. Following his time with the sixties pirates, he was a television continuity announcer, freelance voice-for-hire and was even heard fleetingly on the long-lost BBC Radio Durham and Radio Medway. He joined Radio Northsea International under his new name in April 1972. When asked why he chose to use the name of Pink Floyd's underwear collector, he says “I thought that a return to offshore radio after four years of ‘legit’ activity was, at the age of 23, slightly ludicrous and a slightly ludicrous name would be suitably ironic. More importantly I had been advised by a BBC ‘insider’ (possibly wrongly) that, if in future I was to be interested in working for the Corporation, I might be ‘kept on file’ instead as a result of working on RNI, so another alias was required.” He says that he enjoyed his time on the Mebo II so much that he quickly realised that his return to offshore radio was the right decision, “no matter how conventionally nuts it may have been”. Along with all his English colleagues, he was sacked from RNI in October 1972 as they became caught up in a dispute between the Swiss owners of the ship and the Dutch company which produced the daytime output. Fortunately he was reinstated on 15th December. He was heard on all of the English Service airshifts but is perhaps best remembered for the midnight-to-three slot that generated a large, Europe-wide audience. He left RNI in August 1973. John Wellington, the founding programme controller of Radio Orwell in Ipswich, recognised his talents and Arnold/Roger (now using his real name of Greg Bance) worked there for four and a half years from the autumn of 1975. The eighties and nineties were a time of being much in demand for voiceovers and he was also a presenter on local radio. There are more photos of him on RNI in Steve King's, Paul May's and Don Allen's photo albums. (This photo taken by the Free Radio Campaign, is reprinted from ‘Dee Jay & Radio Monthly’. With grateful thanks to Arnold/Roger/Greg for his assistance.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Arnold Layne on the Kent Request Hour on Radio Northsea International, 6th October 1972, recorded from the station's FM outlet. This is an edited version of a recording shared by The Offshore Radio Archive. The audio was previously described as being from 1974. Thanks to Wim Willems for pointing out the mistake (duration 4 minutes 13 seconds)

RNI postcard
RNI postcard.

Sara Leone In late 1979 former Radio Caroline DJ Mike Hagler began supplying pre-recorded programmes to his old station from his home on the west coast of America. Now known as ‘Michael Light’, his show went by the name of Space Play. Occasionally they were presented by a couple of Mike's Californian friends, Cyril Scott and Sara Leone (real name Sue Sternes).


Michael Lindsey Michael Lindsey A fan of sixties offshore radio, Michael met Roger ‘Twiggy’ Day, Stevi Merike and Andy Archer in 1968 shortly after the Radio Caroline shipping agent Wijsmullers had towed both the Caroline ships into Amsterdam harbour after a dispute over tendering fees. As a result of the meeting he became involved in an attempt by (station founder) Ronan O'Rahilly to re-launch Radio Caroline from the Knock John naval fort, previously the home of Radio Essex. Unfortunately the project never really got off the ground and Michael ended up sharing a flat with former Radio Caroline DJs Spangles Muldoon and Andy Archer, along with Robin Adcroft. They all became involved in the early days of the landbased pirate, Radio Free London late in 1968. Two years later they joined Radio Northsea International. Michael's first show was on 25th June 1970. As well as being a DJ, he also helped with the engineering, working with Peter Chicago (who had built some of the original Radio Free London transmitters). Michael stayed at RNI until the station closedown in September, although he was on shore-leave at the time. He then joined BBC Radio Birmingham but during the summer of 1971 was afloat again, this time as a resident DJ on a Tor Lines Swedish ferry working for Russell Tollerfield who had been chief engineer on the mv Galaxy, home of Radio London. When the rock group Deep Purple formed their own Purple Records label in late 1971, he became label manager but also found time to record a couple of programmes for Radio Caroline, transmitted on 10th June 1973 and 31st March 1974. In July 1974 he was appointed production manager for Sheffield's Radio Hallam where he also presented a weekly programme. In 1975, he became assistant chief engineer. In 1982 he left to form a company specialising in digital electronics and in 1989 founded Buzz-FM in Birmingham, which was later sold to Chris Cary (the erstwhile Spangles Muldoon). Currently Michael develops digital audio/visual systems for the leisure industry. (Photo from the RNI Souvenir Book, published by Hit-Publications, Zurich. For more recent photos, see our coverage of Radio Day 2014 in Amsterdam. Our grateful thanks to Michael for his assistance with the above.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Michael Lindsey on Radio Northsea International, just after 11pm on 11th September 1970. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Jim Nantz and Ray Robinson for permission to use it (duration 3 minutes 39 seconds)

Michael Lloyd Michael Lloyd Birthday 9th June. From Ithaca, New York, USA, Michael had previously worked on WVBR, a commercial radio station run by Cornell University students. While touring Europe in 1975, he contacted Radio Forth in Edinburgh, hoping to see round the place. By chance, he spoke to former pirate Ian Anderson. The conversation got round to discussing the possibility of work. Ian remembers: “I could not give him a job because we were fully staffed (actually over-staffed) and anyway it would have taken weeks to get him a work permit. I phoned Robb Eden and (Radio Caroline founder) Ronan (O'Rahilly) and got him a gig on the Mi Amigo.” Michael was first heard on Radio Caroline in July 1975. When the police raided the ship in November 1975, following an incident in which she had drifted inside territorial waters, Michael was arrested and later fined £50 with £25 costs under the Marine Offences Act. After a holiday in Greece, he returned to America to look for work. Ian tells us: “Soon after Caroline he was at a station in Houston. He then ran Number One Productions, also in Houston, which produced a one-off syndicated radio programme called The Sound of the Seventies hosted by Dick Cavett, then much later he ran informational TV stations, then he was in law. Now he is selling radio airtime again, in Ohio.” (Our thanks to Ian for his assistance. This photo, taken just after Michael's court case as he sets off on holiday, is from the ‘Radio Caroline Picture Souvenir Book’ published by MRP Books.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Michael Lloyd on Radio Caroline, early one Tuesday evening in summer 1975. Recording kindly provided by HB (duration 2 minutes 35 seconds)


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