Books written by former pirates, books about offshore radio, biographies and autobiographies .... hopefully you will find something here to interest you.
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GRAHAM ADAMS, known as Bob Graham when he was a DJ on Radio Invicta, has written an e-book, partially set on a pirate radio station.


TED ALLBEURY, the boss of Radio 390, wrote numerous thrillers, many still in print.


Big L DJ DAVE CASH wrote a number of novels, including one set in the world of offshore radio. All Night Long is now out of print but second hand copies can sometimes be found on Amazon. His memoirs are available as an audio book.

Caroline ‘Good Guy’ GARRY KEMP has written a well-received novel which he describes as “kind of action / mystery / espionage stuff”.


BOB LAWRENCE, who broadcast on Radio Caroline during the seventies as Richard Thompson, has writen a novel set on a fictionalised version of the station.

Radio City's IAN MacRAE has written a novel. He tells us: “the story is based on two competing radio stations in an idyllic beachside resort town”.


JACK McLAUGHLIN's book is about his life and experiences on Radio Scotland. He says: “it's a light fictionalisation based on actual events ... so you can believe the bits you want to believe!”

JOHN MUSGRAVE'S novel tells the tale of a fictitious pirate radio station, Radio A-Go-Go, anchored off the north-east coast of England during the summer of 1966. It is available as a paperback or in a Kindle edition.

GARETH O'CALLAGHAN, who broadcast on Radio Caroline during the eighties as Tony Gareth, has written five novels and a memoir.


IAN ROSS was involved in the early days of Radio Caroline and published a novel in 1990 based on his experiences. Second-hand copies can sometimes be found.

MARK WESLEY, also known as Mark West, has written a bank caper which he likens to The Italian Job.

MARK WESLEY's second novel Frack! was published in 2017, the third Dead City Exit in 2019.


NICK BAILEY started his long radio career as a newsreader on Radio Caroline and ended it with 25 years at Classic-FM. His autobiography covers both, and many other stations around the world in between.

TONY BLACKBURN has written two autobiographies: Tony Blackburn, a Living Legend in 1985 and Poptastic!: My Life in Radio in 2007.

RAY CLARK broadcast on Radio Caroline during the eighties as Mick Williams. His autobiography Stay Tuned: I could say something brilliant at any moment tells his tale of growing up in an Essex village with dreams of being on the radio to becoming an award-winning broadcaster.

Radio Caroline's GORDON CRUSE worked in Canada's juvenile penal system after his broadcasting career and has written a couple of books about it. Juvie was the first, Handcuffed by History the second.

ROGER “TWIGGY” DAY has enjoyed a long career in broadcasting, starting with Swinging Radio England in 1966, taking in Caroline, Northsea, ILR, the BBC and, currently, Boom Radio in the UK and Bay Radio in Spain. His autobiography is available from Amazon but cheaper from other retailers, such as Waterstones.

TOM EDWARDS has written an autobiography covering his time in offshore radio (City and Caroline South), and later career in broadcasting, as well as his battle with alcoholism:

KENNY EVERETT's life has been well documented. An autobiography The Custard Stops at Hatfield was published in 1982. Two biographies came out in 2013, both reviewed here.

GRAHAM GILL's autobiography, Way Back Home: The Graham Gill Story was published in 2010 by The Foundation of Mediacommunication.

Way Back Home: The Graham Gill Story

SUSAN K. MOORE has written a biographical trilogy about the life and times of her father Reg Calvert, owner of Radio City. They are ebooks. The first volume covers 1946-60, the second concentrates on the early sixties. Volume 3 includes Reg's involvement in offshore radio and his sad demise. A hardback edition, containing parts 2 and 3, is also available.

Sadly JOHN PEEL died while in the process of writing his autobiography. It was completed by his wife, Sheila Ravenscroft, and their children.


Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of JOHN PEEL Helped to Shape Modern Life by David Cavanagh is a massive tome chronicling the great man's radio career in Britain.


TONY PRINCE and Jan Šesták's book tells the story of Radio Luxembourg from both sides of the Iron Curtain, as well as Tony's time on Radio Caroline. A paperback version was available for a time and second-hand copies can sometimes be found on Amazon.


EMPEROR ROSKO's DJ Book, a combination of autobiography and guide to being a broadcaster, was published in 1976. An updated digital edition was later made available from his website, featuring the original contents plus a second part bringing the Rosko story up to date.

Emperor Rosko's DJ Book

DAVID SINCLAIR worked on three offshore stations during the sixties - Radio Essex, Radio 270 and Radio 390. His book gives a unique insight into life as a North Sea broadcaster. The ebook is no longer available but the audiobook, read by the author, still is.

ED STEWART published his autobiography in 2005. It is currently out of print but second-hand copies can often be found on Amazon.

SCREAMING LORD SUTCH died in 1999 and his autobiography has long been out of print but second-hand copies can often be found on Amazon.

Pop Pickers And Music Vendors by JOHN VAN DER KISTE contains biographies of five of the top UK radio DJs of the 20th century, including two former pirates - John Peel and Tommy Vance.

Caroline favourite JOHNNIE WALKER published his autobiography in 2007.


CLIVE WARNER was a radio engineer who spent time on Radio Caroline in 1974 where he also presented shows under the name Clive Correll. He has now written a book about his extensive career and it includes a chapter about his time on the North Sea.



ROB CHAPMAN has written a critical analysis of the programmes put out by the sixties offshore broadcasters.


RAY CLARK broadcast on Radio Caroline during the eighties as Mick Williams. He has written an authoritative history of the station, reviewed here. It is now available in a revised second edition.


STEVE CONWAY was on Radio Caroline during its last dramatic years at sea. His is a fascinating tale.


LYN GILBERT was part of the land-based team that kept Radio Caroline going during the seventies. Her book about that experience is reviewed here. It is available from Caroline's online store as well as other outlets such as Amazon.  

NIGEL HARRIS, also known as Stuart Russell, enjoyed a long career on Radio Caroline spanning the seventies and eighties. Nigel's book also includes his time on a couple of other radio ships.

PAUL HARRIS risked prosecution under the then brand new Marine Offences Act when he wrote and self-published the first book to tell the story of UK offshore radio.

STEPHEN HEBDITCH tells the story of London's land-based pirates from the early hobbyist operations of the sixties to the big commercial enterprises of the eighties.

ADRIAN JOHNS has written an academic study of the story of Reg Calvert, Radio City and the fatal disagreement with Oliver Smedley.


If you have an iPad, LION KEEZER's iBook Pirate Radio Ships in the 70s is hard to beat. For more information, see his website.

Pirate Radio Ships in the 70s

GORDON KELLY tells the Radio Seagull story, covering the output from both the mv Mi Amigo and the Jenni Baynton.


DAVID KINDRED was a photographer based in Ipswich. Fascinated by offshore radio, he took every opportunity to visit and photograph the stations off his local coast. This book is a collection of his photos with the pirate story related by Keith Skues. Also available in paperback and as a Kindle e-book.

Dutch radio historian HANS KNOT has written about offshore radio for many years. Originally published ten years ago, this diary-style book on Laser-558 has been updated for the 2022 edition.


BRIAN LISTER has written a detailed account of offshore radio history. It can be quite heavy going at times (no photos) but does reveal a good deal of information that wasn't previously in the public domain.


The late TOM LODGE broadcast on Radio Caroline North and South during the sixties. His book is part history, part memoir. You can read extracts here.


MICHAEL OF SEALAND, born Michael Bates, is the son of Radio Essex's founder Roy Bates. After Radio Essex closed down, the Bates family moved onto Roughs Tower and declared it an independent state, Sealand. This is the Sealand story told by someone who was there from the start.


PAUL ALEXANDER RUSLING was involved with the launch of Laser-558. Radio Adventures of the MV Communicator is a history of Laser and the other stations which broadcast from the ship. A second book, Laser Radio Programming: 10 million listeners can't be wrong discusses Laser's format.


PAUL RUSLING worked on Radio Caroline during the seventies and, after interviewing a number of people who were involved, has produced a 500 page history of the station. The Radio Caroline Bible can be ordered from


KEITH SKUES was a DJ on Radio Caroline South and Radio London, and the author of probably the definitive book on UK offshore radio in the sixties.


STUART VINCENT was an engineer on the Voice of Peace, Caroline and Laser. His book Live From the North Sea and Other Places tells his story and includes memories of another offshore venture which didn't make it onto the air. Now out out of print, second-hand copies sometimes turn up on Amazon.


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