Dave Ellis Dave Ellis Dave started in hospital radio in 1979 while still at school. In 1986 he joined the Israeli offshore station, The Voice of Peace, and, like many of his colleagues there, also spent some time on Radio Caroline. He was heard on Caroline between 20th January and 23rd February 1987. His next stop was Ireland where he worked for a couple of stations, Hits 954 and Coast 103. He has since enjoyed a long career in radio both as a DJ and in management, taking in Red Rose Radio, Wave 105, Century Radio, Real Radio, Hallam FM, Radio City, Key 103 and, following a move to Australia, was General Manager at Adelaide’s Fresh 92.7. He has now moved to a similar post at Power FM and 5MU, also in South Australia. (Photo shared by Dave on Facebook. Thanks also to Dave for confirming the above information.)

click to hear audio Dave Ellis on a Saturday night in January or February 1987. This clip is taken from a recording shared on www.azanorak.com by Jim Lloyd. Our thanks to him and Ray Robinson (duration 3 minutes 2 seconds)


Christopher England Christopher England was one of the many former landbased pirates who spent some time on Radio Caroline during the eighties. He also operated a premium rate infoline which helped fund Caroline during its final period afloat. In 1978 Christopher had created Radio Amy (“Alternative Media for You”), a community-access station, and was involved with a number of other London landbased pirates. The Radio Eric website contains archive recordings of Chris on two of them: Radio Shoestring and Radio Veronica. He joined Caroline in April 1989. He writes: “Something that's always annoyed me (very slightly) is how little recognition the pirates of north-east London get in history. Everything is biased to south-west London and the usual suspects. East and north London had very strong and very adventurous pirates. In the early eighties I played on London Music Radio, doing a kinda phone-in (pre-recorded answerphone messages). After that I was part of Rock FM doing a phone-in as well. Not playing music was my speciality. I was drifting in and out behind the scenes of Caroline, but refusing to do something for nothing, so spent a time not doing a lot on any radio front apart from the RFM stuff. I helped with a few tender runs and Caroline used my phone-lines to generate cash and then, realising that the end was nigh, finally went out in 1989 literally a few months before the raid. I did a few weeks on board, covering most slots on both services, but mainly the evenings, I think.” As well as his shows under the Christopher England name on Caroline-558, he was also heard on the ‘Overnight Alternative’ rock service as Brad Glastonbury Jr. Following his time at sea, Chris ran Euronet, a satellite radio station, during 1992/1993, did studio production for Talk Radio and worked for Merlin Network One. He was also heard on community station Susy Radio but now works in TV and video production. He also blogs at www.christopherengland.com. (Thanks to Christopher for his assistance. This photo was taken the year after his time on Caroline at the 1990 Euroradio event in Calais. It has been kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine.)

click to hear audio Christopher England on the 9pm-midnight show on Caroline-558 from 24th April 1989. This clip is edited from a longer recording shared by The Offshore Radio Archive (duration 3 minutes 13 seconds)

Stevie Essex Stevie Essex worked as a carpenter but also started a side-line as a mobile DJ in 1978. After attending the Zeezenders 20 convention, he decided to apply for a job with the Mediterranean offshore station, the Voice of Peace. He was there from October 1980 to May 1981 using the on-air name ‘Benny James’. He tell us “after the VOP I went back to mobile work, did a bit of hospital radio (where the name Stevie Essex was dreamed up) and did an audition for Radio Luxembourg - but Mike Hollis got the gig! I joined (landbased pirate) South East Sound in October 1983 and had great fun in the woods of south London until the end of '85 when we got busted.” He joined Radio Caroline in August 1986. He couldn't be called Benny James here because the station already had a DJ with the same surname, Dave James, so he used the Stevie Essex identity from his hospital radio shows. Unfortunately he was only able to stay on board for a couple of weeks because of his mobile DJ commitments on land. He says “the bus service out to the North Sea was sporadic so I had to jump ship on the first boat that would take me off. Drivetime on 558 and 1-4 on Overdrive were a blast. I only regret I couldn't stay longer. A move to the south coast led to me being involved with baseball in Brighton for ten years and, apart from an abortive trip out to the Ross Revenge in December 1990, I drifted away from radio to concentrate on mobile disco work and my carpentry business. I finally hung up my mobile slip mats in 2008 however I have helped a few times on the Ross in Tilbury and in 2012 started recording programmes for various on-line and short wave operations; Steve Essex rides again!” (Thanks to Steve for his help. Photo kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine.)

click to hear audio Stevie Essex on Radio Caroline from the evening of 14th August 1986. The voice on the advert for the Elvis Presley Fanclub belongs to Jay Jackson. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 3 minutes 35 seconds)

Dave The Fish
Dave Fisher
also known as ‘Dave The Fish’, his real name was Dave Turner and he was one of Radio Caroline's tender captains. Between October 1987 and October 1990 Dave made 140 illicit trips out to the mv Ross Revenge in his boat Fairwind from the Kent coast. An avid fan of the station, he was heard on air with the occasional taped programme and, very rarely, a live show. A diabetic, Dave died in October 2007. (Photo by Mike Kerslake, used with kind permission. There is another picture of Dave here.)

click to hear audio Dave Fisher on a late night show on Radio Caroline from January 1989. As he doesn't introduce any specific songs, it sounds as if these are generic links he has recorded for the DJs on the Ross Revenge to slot in as required. The clip is edited from a longer recording made available by The Offshore Radio Archive (duration 1 minute 41 seconds)

Gavin Ford Gavin Ford Gavin was interested in radio from a young age and studied at the National Broadcasting School in London. After graduating, he worked on an Italian station aimed at tourists on the Riviera and on the Voice of Peace off Israel. When he returned to the UK, he hosted overnights on DevonAir before joining Radio Caroline in November 1989. He stayed for a couple of months before moving on to Contact 94 which beamed programmes to the Channel Islands from Normandy. After Galaxy Radio in Bristol and Napa FM in Cyprus, he moved to Lebanon in 1996 where he was heard on a station called Radio One. The host of the very popular morning show for many years, Gavin was found dead in his flat on Tuesday 27th November 2018. Early reports suggested he had been murdered and two men were arrested for the crime very soon afterwards. See the Daily Telegraph for more details. Gavin was 53. On 7th December eleven stations in Lebanon broadcast this tribute to him. (Photo taken by Caroline Martin who shared it on Facebook. More of her photos of Gavin here. Gavin also features in Chris Cooper's photo album.)

click to hear audio Gavin Ford on the Caroline-558 Breakfast Show on 3rd January 1990. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 3 minutes 2 seconds)

John Ford John Ford An American, John had spent seven years on US radio before joining Radio Caroline. He had been heard on WSLT, WAYV, WKGR, WKCS, WIBG and others. He was living in Florida in 1984 when he read an article about Laser-558. The idea of offshore radio appealed to him so he applied for a job with Laser. Turned down for being “too tall” for ship-board life, he turned to Caroline instead. Former DJ Alec Newman, then living in Florida, was able to put him in touch with the UK office. They liked his tape and John joined the station in August 1985. It was the ‘Eurosiege’ period when the Government was attempting to starve the offshore stations off the air so life on board was fairly tough. John stayed with Caroline until January 1986. Caroline was then advertising the Arabian Sands Holiday Village resort in Morocco. DJs were offered work there, entertaining the tourists, and John went a number of times. He returned to the USA and his old slot on WKGR, West Palm Beach, Florida, but had become fascinated by maritime life. He signed up with the American merchant navy as an REO (radio electronics officer). He says “to get that job I took - and failed - the Morse Code test at least four times before I squeaked it for my ticket”. John currently lives in Ocean City, New Jersey and works as an electrical engineer on bulk ships. (Some of this information is from The Wet And Wild History Of Radio Caroline 1964-2004, edited by Hans Knot. Thanks to John for his assistance. Photo taken by Dietmar Flacke, see Offshore Radio Nostalgia's Flickr page for more.)

click to hear audio John Ford on Radio Caroline from a Saturday evening in December 1985. The Gardline Tracker, mentioned by Captain Tony, was the DTI surveillance vessel which had replaced the Dioptric Surveyor at the end of October and was attempting to prevent supply tenders reaching the Caroline and Laser ships. This is an edited version of a recording donated to www.azanorak.com by Alan Sheead. Our thanks to Alan and Ray Robinson (duration 2 minutes 33 seconds)

Dave Foster Dave Foster Born 29th February 1960, Dave had previously been a club DJ. He got his first broadcasting experience with Dart Radio at West Hill Hospital in his hometown of Dartford, Kent. He joined Radio Caroline in April 1987 and stayed until the end of May. He was later heard on the satellite station European Klassic Rock. He says: “I joined the first incarnation of EKR. This is when I met Nigel Harris and was asked if I would like to do some programmes for Radio Caroline who had taken some (satellite) airtime on EKR on Sundays. I slotted in 4-6pm. I worked with that station until it closed on New Years Day 1999. When EKR closed, we talked to (Caroline Manager) Peter Moore about the possibility of asking the Maidstone Studios to let us rent the studio space and put Radio Caroline on. After a few meetings we got the studio and airtime and started the service on the 19th February 1999. The station has grown from a few hours on a Saturday and Sunday to a full time 24/7 radio station again. From late 1999 I had a big hand in running Radio Caroline's satellite service as a programme coordinator. Now I have my Sunday afternoon show from 2pm every week and I get involved with as many of the special broadcasts for Easter and other bank holidays as possible. When I figured I was getting a little old for the night club work I started looking for work in the broadcast industry and found a job with VT Communications at the BBC's Bush House. I now work full time for the BBC at Broadcasting House as a Control Room Engineer.” Since writing this, Dave has left the BBC for a job with Babcock. (With thanks to Dave for his assistance. Photo courtesy of ‘Offshore Echo's Photo Gallery’)

click to hear audio Dave Foster, from his very first programme on Caroline-558, April 1987. Recording kindly provided by the man himself (duration 3 minutes 25 seconds)

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame needs your

The site is updated regularly and we are always on the look-out for new material to add. If you have any information, photographs, recordings or contact details for any of the disc-jockeys we haven't been able to trace, please get in touch.

Keith Francis Keith Francis From south London, Keith started his working life at Hamleys, the toy shop in Regent Street, London as a Saturday boy. He went on to work in the Decca Records studio. His radio career began with Radio Avalon at the Glastonbury festival. He was first heard on Radio Caroline on 1st August 1987. He left the station to join Crawley's Radio Mercury. From there he went to GWR, then Plymouth Sound, Severn FM, CD-603 in Cheltenham, where he was Programme Director, Galaxy Radio, 11-70 High Wycombe (as Managing Director), County-1035, a station in Hungary and BBC Hereford & Worcester. While working in Hungary, he found time to sign this website's guestbook. (This photo is taken from a group shot kindly provided by Paul Graham.)

click to hear audio Keith Francis on Radio Caroline from a Sunday in November 1987. This is an edited version of a recording available from www.azanorak.com. Our thanks to Ray Robinson (duration 3 minutes 16 seconds)

Neil Francis Neil Francis Birthday 6th April. From Hampstead, London, Neil starting his working life as a barrow boy in the Portobello Road but had been heard on hospital radio, in Mecca ballrooms and on the London land-based pirate Skyline Radio before joining Radio Caroline in May 1985. He was with the station for two stints but found life at sea, while under siege from the DTI surveillance vessel, was not to his taste. He expressed this displeasure by presenting one programme of the most obscure depressing music he could find using the DJ name Duncan Thomas Ingle. His last show was on 15th November 1985. Asked about his time with Caroline, he says: “Did I like it? Hated being so far from the pubs on shore. Loved popping over to Laser-558. Loved throwing eggs at the DTI. Loved being a DJ. Hated the blandness of the food. Hated the living quarters. Loved watching the news about us. Threw up in the tender going out from Dover. Had to be smuggled through Belgium to get back to blighty as the tenders could not go straight to UK as the DTI was patrolling, so it was off to Belgium and had to get my parents to verify it was me at Dover as I had no passport with me. Hated / loved being in a tender with Charlie Wolf for 10 hours. Loved getting drunk on rum.” In 1986 Neil joined WBEN in Cork, Ireland, and has since been heard on Chiltern Radio, Invicta, Capital, Virgin, the Gold network, BBC Radio Kent and Thames Radio, as well as doing TV and voice-over work. He is currently on Solar Radio. Neil has a website at www.neilfrancis.com. (Our thanks to Neil for his assistance. This photo, taken in the Radio Monique studio, kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine.)

click to hear audio Neil Francis on Radio Caroline from the morning of 14th November 1985. This is an edited version of a recording posted by Jan-Fré Vos on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 3 minutes 10 seconds)

Kim Frazier
Kim Frazier
Kim was introduced to Radio Caroline by DJ Tony Kirk. She presented a few late night shows on the station, 2-4am, in October 1990. She also took part in the Caroline Restricted Service License broadcasts from the Ross Revenge when the ship was in Dover harbour. Kim is now an artist and photographer based in the south of England. (Photo by B.Dom from Offshore Echo's magazine.)

click to hear audio Kim Frazier on Radio Caroline from the early hours of 11th October 1990. This is an edited version of a tape posted by ‘Drumbeat’ on the Internet Radiocafé, now known as the Radiotrefpunt (radio meeting point) forum. Our thanks to him (duration 1 minute 48 seconds)

Chris Frisco Chris Frisco was first heard on Radio Caroline in March 1990. We don't know much about him but Tony Palmer tells us that he was “a nice guy. I think he was from Essex but he also spoke fluent French and had also worked in San Francisco. He was a friend of (fellow Caroline DJ) Rico’s.” For a while Chris also broadcast under the name Dr. Jeckyl. He was later heard on Contact-94, the French-based station broadcasting to the Channel Islands, but we don't have any up-to-date information. Can anyone help? (This photo of Chris taken at Radio 6, Calais, in 1991 kindly provided by Chris Edwards and François Lhote of Offshore Echo's magazine. There are more pictures of him in Tony Palmer's photo album.)

click to hear audio Chris Frisco on Caroline-558 during the morning of 27th May 1990. These clips are taken from a recording posted by Hans Hendriks on The Offshore Radio Club Forum. Our thanks to Hans (duration 3 minutes 44 seconds)

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