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Offshore Radio on Film and TV

Heartbeat - Sitting Off the Dock of the Bay

(Series 5, Episode 14)

Police Sergeant Oscar Blaketon receives complaints about rock music being broadcast from a pirate radio station, “Radio North”. Constables Nick Rowan and Phil Bellamy, who have been enjoying the music, reluctantly seek out the station which is broadcasting from a ship at sea. But they are pleased to discover it is outside the 3 mile limit.

Nick, Gina, Phil and Maggie go to a club one night where Maggie's brother is working as a DJ, he is also the DJ on the pirate radio ship. Things take a different turn when Maggie's brother discovers that some of the people he's working with are distributing drugs.

Joe Norton is back in Aidensfield after doing time for arson, but he is doing his best to go straight. His friends however tempt him into trying the drugs which makes him fall off a building to his death. Nick goes undercover as a DJ to investigate. The ship moves back into the 3 mile limit and the dealers are caught, but Nick lets the pirate radio continue!


Nick Berry - PC Nick Rowan

Derek Fowlds - Sgt Oscar Blaketon

Bill Maynard - Claude Jeremiah Greengrass

William Simons - PC Alf Ventress

Mark Jordon - PC Phil Bellamy

Kazia Pelka - Maggie Bolton

Anne Stallybrass - Eileen Reynolds

Stuart Golland - George Ward

Tricia Penrose - Gina Ward

Valentine Pelka - Danny

Paul Gabriel - Jamie

Harry Beety - Joseph

William Ash - Joe Norton

Drew Dawson - Ted Norton

Rod Arthur - Skipper

Luke Hanson - Hans

Brian Southwood - Hawkins

Frank Lauder - Frank

Craig Wilson - Dave

Nicola Strong - Marina

Sarah Wills - Karen

Director - John Darnell    

Writing - Rob Gittins (Writer), Nicholas Rhea ("Constable" novels)

Devised by - Johnny Byrne

Production - Pat Brown (Associate Producer, Keith Richardson (Executive Producer), Carol Wilks (Producer)  

Film Editing - Nigel Duckett  

Casting - Sue Jackson, Juliette Wright (Extras Casting)n,  

Production Design - Andrew Sanderson

Costume Design - Martin Baugh    

Makeup - Alyson Leeming, Jill Rogerson, Jo Taylor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director  - Liz Keane (Third Assistant Director), Donna Molloy (Second Assistant Director),  James Muirhead (Third Assistant Director), David Nightingale (First Assistant Director)

Full crew credits

First Transmitted (UK) - 3rd December 1995

Running time - 50 minutes

Click to enlarge

Offshore Radio Connection

The storyline centres around a fictitious offshore radio station being used as a cover for drug smuggling.

The producers originally approached Radio Caroline to use the Ross Revenge as a location.

Unfortunately they were not able to use the vessel because at the time of filming it was still subject to Department of Transport restrictions and anyway was involved in Radio Caroline’s own RSL broadcasts off Clacton and in London Docklands.

Instead the prducers re-created a radio ship using a coaster, Brendonian, suitably adapted with an aerial mast and rigging.

East Anglian Productions produced a 60’s jingle package and provided some vintage studio equipment  for use in the programme

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