Fake Radio Carolines

Now then. This whole thing about Radio Caroline. I think I’m suffering from deja vu. Haven’t we had this confusion before?

It wasn’t that long ago, or maybe it was quite a long while ago, that Radio Caroline’s ship was hauled into harbour and left to rot/sank/ran aground and had to be salvaged and hauled into a different harbour. Yes, three different occasions there. Since the last of those, Radio Caroline has ceased broadcasting from the North/Irish Sea. It hasn’t broadcast from the high seas for nearly 30 years.

What has happened since those heady days of ‘offshore pirate radio’ is that Radio Carolines have appeared here there and everywhere.

Yes, Radio Caroline is or was in New Zealand (actually there were two, I think, one back in 1949), there’s a version or two in the UK (actually there’s been quite a few in the UK!), there’s been a few in the Netherlands (a couple are still streaming today), one in Spain that closed down and then another one in Spain (or is it a spaceship?) that hasn’t opened yet, and my favourite is in France. The French Radio Caroline is good because it’s not a damn oldies station, even though it’s required to include a large amount of awful French music alongside its more international songs playlist. The presenters are slick as well.

So, to my point. I was recently told that one station was not the ‘real Radio Caroline’, whilst another one was. Confusing.

Now then. How can we tell which one is the ‘realRadio Caroline?

carolinefrTo me it would be the French one. The original Radio Caroline offshore pirate used to break new music and wasn’t obsessed with songs and artists popular 40 years ago. Heck, that would have meant the original Radio Caroline playing nothing but songs and artists popular in 1924! It sure didn’t. So, with the French Radio Caroline, although it does have a splatting of annoying oldies, it is the nearest to the original. It’s not a dreary oldies station.

To some anoraks, the ‘realRadio Caroline is the one that has hold of the Ross Revenge, the final radioship used by the actual real Radio Caroline. This uses the principle of the conch shell as described in horrifying detail by the ‘Lord of the Flies’ book/film/play. Whoever held the conch shell could speak, with dissenters being forced to silence.

Well, maybe the conch shell principle is the right one. There’s a UK Radio Caroline group that swarm all over the Ross Revenge with the same fever as somebody reaching for the conch shell. That’s fine, but do they actually own the ship? Apparently not.

So, who owns the Ross Revenge? Well, I’m guessing the real Radio Caroline once owned the Ross Revenge. Thusly, they still do. Well, unless they’ve sold it on, or lost it in a pool/snooker game or something.

So, if the owner(s) of the Ross Revenge are the real Radio Caroline, who are they and which Radio Caroline are they?

Actually, thinking about it, across the decades the lovely Ronan O’Rahilly has been the ‘owner’ of Radio Caroline. He was the founding father, and to most ‘anoraks’ is, and has always been, Radio Caroline.

Ok, maybe it is Ronan O’Rahilly that needs to be asked which Radio Caroline is the real Radio Caroline, his Radio Caroline. Personally, I hope he’s into/behind the French Radio Caroline. After all, it’s no coincidence that his wife was French, is it?

We don’t hear much from Ronan O’Rahilly these days, other than he’s seriously not too well. But, I’m guessing whichever Radio Caroline he is behind is the real Radio Caroline. So far none of the Radio Carolines has spoken of Ronan O’Rahilly, hence why it’s so confusing not knowing which is real and which is fake.


  1. I’m sure that Bauer media bought it off Ronan with a view to using it instead of the Absolute branding?


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