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Offshore radio author and Capital Radio co-founder, Paul Harris, has died

DATELINE    Scotland,  25th  May  2018

Paul Harris who was an author and publisher, based in Scotland and was closely involved with the launch of the short-lived offshore station, Capital Radio in 1970 has died.

His first book was about the history of offshore radio - When Pirates Ruled the Waves - which ran to four editions between 1968 and 1970 and was published  by his own company, Impulse Books in Aberdeen.

His second book, To be a Pirate King, extended the offshore radio story into 1971 covering his involevement with Capital Radio and the conspiracy theories surrounding its demise. The  book caused a sensation in the Netherlands, where it was published by De Telegraaf and it led directly to him working for the British intelligence service, MI6, and a long time involvement in analysis of Libya and, later, the Lockerbie disaster.

Paul published another 42 books covering topics including  the oil industry, murder, and Scottish Art.

A third offshore radio book -  Broadcasting from the High Seas - appeared in 1977 consolidating and updating his previous books on the subject.

Paul was a founder member of the Scottish General Publishers' Association,  which became  Publishing Scotland and had an Honours degree in Politics and International Relations  from Aberdeen University.

During the 1990s, he entered journalism when he found himself in former Yugoslavia as the war there broke out. His ‘plane was destroyed on the tarmac at Ljubljana’s Brnik Airport. He stayed on and started to work there for Jane’s Defence Information Group, becoming Contributing Editor of Jane’s Balkan Sentinel and specialist contributor, insurgency and terrorism, for Jane’s Intelligence Review.

Paul then became a war  journalist, covering eighteen wars between 1991 and 2001. He won a British Press Award for his reporting from the war in Bosnia. He went on to work in Asia and Africa, filing stories from more than fifty countries. He was injured in Kosovo in 1999 and the following year became Daily Telegraph correspondent in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

He worked for the Daily Telegraph as its Colombo correspondent  and was also a columnist for the Daily Mirror, during which he released 'Fractured Paradise' a photographic analysis of the Sri Lankan conflict critical of the terrorist group Tamil Tigers. He was expelled as a danger to Sri Lanka's national security in November 2001, at the behest of the Tamil Tigers.

Publishers Kennedy and Boyd  brought out an updated version of When Pirates Ruled the Waves in 2007 (the fortieth anniversary of the Marine etc Broadcasting (Offences) Act, followed in 2009 by his autobiography More Thrills than Skills: Adventures in Journalism, War and Terrorism.

Together with Julian Halsby, he was the author of The Dictionary of Scottish Painters (1990). In 2005 he sold his extensive collection of Scottish art and started to collect modern Vietnamese and Chinese art.  He established a gallery and auction house for Chinese art at Coldingham, Berwickshire, in the Scottish borders.

From July 2011, he was a NADFAS  (National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies) accredited lecturer.

Paul died on 24th May 2018, leaving behind his wife Sulee and daughter Lucy.


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