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Here are some of the books written about different aspects of offshore radio history. Just browse these selected titles and click on the Amazon link to make your purchase.

There  are dozens more books about offshore radio featured on the shelves of  the Museum Library - many of these are also available from Amazon.

Purchasing  from Amazon by clicking on any of these links will help support the work of the Museum to record and preserve the history of offshore radio  - thank you.

The Man Who Was Screaming Lord Sutch

Graham Sharpe

Everyone has heard of Screaming Lord Sutch. In the sixties he was one of the fathers of British rock and roll, with a wild pyrotechnic stage act years ahead of people like Alice Cooper. By the eighties he was regularly upstaging Prime Ministers at General Elections with his Monster Raving Looney party.

But in 1999 Sutch died by his own hand. Approaching sixty, lonely and depressed, still grinding the motorways to crummy gigs, his private life in confusion. Graham Sharpe knew him for nearly thirty years, and this first biography is an affecting, sometimes shocking portrait of an enigmatic Zelig-figure who cropped up in everyone's life and eventually found his own stalled in an endless Groundhog Day of superficiality.

Whatever Happened to Simon Dee?

Richard Wiseman

In the mid60s, Simon Dee had it all. He was Britain's first celebrity chat-show host, with his own prime-time show on the BBC -  Dee Time, regularly watched by 15 million people.

 He'd already been the first disc jockey on Radio Caroline and had a part in The Italian Job. Then a move to ITV soon saw his programme dropped, Simon Dee's fortunes sank swiftly even to a brief spell in jail...and suddenly one of the coolest figureheads of the Swinging Sixties was a name no more.

This is the story of British television's Icarus;  of how the media builds people up and then knocks them down; of a man who was once one of the most famous people in Britain, and made a seminal contribution to broadcasting history.

Johnnie Walker - The Autobiography

From pirate radio to Buckingham Palace and an MBE, Johnnie Walker tells the amazing story of how he came to be one of the best known and most loved broadcasters in Britain, with a voice recognised by millions.

Obsessed with music, the young Johnnie longed to move the crowd with the kind of beats he found irresistible. Deejaying in local dance halls and pubs around his childhood home in Solihull gave him a taste for playing his beloved music, and his success showed he had real talent. A great future beckoned.

With luck and not a little front, he swung himself a slot on the newly launched pirate radio station Radio England, and Johnnie Walker's incredible career began. Now he tells the full and extraordinary story.

The Beat Fleet

Mike Leonard

The British offshore ‘pirate’ radio stations of the 1960’s were not the first, or last, but they were amongst the most popular and are still fondly remembered today, more than 50 years later.

They were the catalyst for major change in British radio and they paved the way for the introduction of landbased commercial radio. The offshore stations made everyone aware of what was missing from radio entertainment in Britain, and what it was possible to achieve.

They started a revolution. This is the story behind that revolution.

Radio Adventures of the MV Communicator: 11 Radio Stations in 21 years

Paul Alexander Rusling

A factual story about the life of a radio broadcasting ship, the MV Communicator which was home to eleven radio stations during her 21 year career. This riveting tale covers the drama and success of the stations, whose staff included many well-known radio names in the UK and in the Netherlands.

During that time she attracted up to ten million listeners with her powerful AM (Medium Wave) transmissions. Her owners made over $15 million during the period, but had to endure a government blockade, threats, takeovers by fraudsters and swindlers, boarding parties and arrests of the ship by the Admiralty Marshall acting for unpaid creditors.

After being towed away she caught the attention of convicted mercenaries and the Dutch secret service which resulted in her being raided by the Portuguese Government. This a thrilling story that will please the thousands of radio aficionados who still relish those buccaneering days.  Written by an experienced engineer and broadcaster who advised on equipping the ship, the book brings together the experiences and tales of many of the Communicator's former crew members and disc jockey teams.

Manx Giant

Andy Wint

The story of Radio Caroline North and its impact on the Isle of Man between 1964 and 1968.

Margrave of the Marshes

John Peel

Through nigh-on forty years of laconic brilliance on Radio 1, a musical taste which defined a culture and his wildly popular Radio 4 show, Home Truths, John Peel reached out to an audience that was as diverse as his record collection. He was a genuinely great Briton, beloved by millions. John's unique voice and sensibility were evident in everything he did, and nowhere is that more true than in these pages.

Margrave of the Marshes is the astonishing book John Peel began to write before his untimely death in October 2004, completed by the woman who knew him best, his wife Sheila. It is a unique and intimate portrait of a life, a marriage and a family which is every bit as extraordinary as the man himself - a fitting tribute to a bona fide legend.

Cupid Stunts: The Life and Radio Times of Kenny Everett

David Stafford and Caroline Stafford

On paper, Kenny Everett's qualifications did not look promising - not much in the way of education, physique or social skills, just a gift for funny voices, an oblique imagination and a way with a tape recorder. Yet, by an odd twist of fate, when in the 1960's and 70's the British radio revolution transformed the aural landscape, funny voices, oblique imagination and a way with a tape recorder were the precise and perfect qualities the world was crying out for.

Never a corporate player, Kenny was frequently fired, yet still went on to reinvent television. Meanwhile, outside the studios, the challenge to 'get a life' brought moments of ecstasy, frequent bother and at least one suicide attempt. And at the exact moment when tabloid frenzy about the AIDS epidemic reached its peak, he came out.

This biography, based on intricate documentary research as well as interviews with colleagues, friends and enemies not only gets under the skin of the man, but also gives a taste of the times. It captures the novelty and excitement of hearing all-pop radio for the first time, the terror and bluster of the high-ups, the brilliant blossoming of gay culture throughout the 70s and 80s, and the tragedy and vile hypocrisy that surrounded the AIDS epidemic.

Hello, Darlings!: The Authorized Biography of Kenny Everett

James Hogg and Robert Sellers

Spontaneous, hilarious, irrepressible and, of course, trailblazing - Kenny Everett was revolutionary in television and radio comedy. Chris Evans, Chris Moyles, Rob Brydon and Steve Wright have all cited Kenny as a huge influence on their work - even the great Spike Milligan called him a genius. It was Kenny who developed the radio show format with which we are so familiar today: a mix of music, jingles, funny voices and sound effects. When he seamlessly made the move to television in the seventies, he created unforgettable characters such as Sid Snot, Cupid Stunt and Marcel Wave.

Rarely seen without a smile on his face in public, in reality, Kenny was a deeply insecure man who suffered severe bouts of depression. He also struggled with his sexuality, only coming out to the public in 1985. Diagnosed with HIV in 1987, Kenny died in 1995.

This in-depth and affectionate biography has been fully authorised by Kenny's family and contains original interviews with Kenny's sister, Kate and with his former wife, Lee, as well as entertainment figures such as Barry Cryer, Cliff Richard, Chris Tarrant and Paul Gambaccini. Packed with fabulous stories about the highs and lows of Kenny's life, his great friendships with The Beatles and Freddie Mercury, this is a book that any fan of comedy and entertainment must read.

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