London pirate radio history
The unlicensed radio stations that changed the capital's airwaves forever.
These are the twenty-five most important pirate radio stations broadcasting in London in the 1980s. These are the ones that were the first to do what they did, were the most popular or were lucky enough to win an early broadcasting licence. This is of course a subjective list, but twenty five is a sufficient number for reasonable coverage of the different kinds of unlicensed radio that you could hear at this time.
You can read the full stories of all the stations on air from 1965 to 1990 in the new book London's Pirate Pioneers.
- Alice's Restaurant London's premier rock station, 1981 - 1986.
- Radio AMY Community access radio for North London, 1978 - 1979.
- Centreforce Radio The first seven-day rave station, 1989 - 1990.
- DBC: The Dread Broadcasting Corporation Britain's first black-owned radio station, 1980 - 1985.
- Fantasy-FM The biggest of all the rave stations, 1989 - 1991.
- Horizon Radio Soul music radio, 1981 - 1985.
- Radio Invicta London's very first soul station, 1969 - 1984.
- Radio Jackie The sound of South-West London, 1969 - 1985.
- JBC Harlesden's black community radio pioneers, 1985 - 1989.
- JFM First with 24-hour soul music radio, 1981 - 1985.
- Kiss-FM The link between seventies' soul and eighties dance, 1985 - 1988.
- K-Jazz London's original jazz music station, 1985 - 1988.
- London Greek Radio Greek community radio, 1983 - 1988.
- LWR A pop station reinvented as a black music champion. 1983 - 1990.
- Phoenix Radio Alice's Restaurant's alternative music twin, 1981 - 1985.
- Q102 Xfm's indie forerunner, 1989 - 1990.
- Radio Free London The capital's original rockers, 1968 - present.
- Sina Radio Sunrise Radio's pirate mother, 1985 - 1988.
- Skyline Radio South-East London's local station, 1983 - 1985.
- Solar Radio The black music super station, 1984 - 1988.
- Radio Sovereign Britain's first seven-day solid gold radio, 1983 - 1984.
- Starpoint-FM The revolution in (anti-)radio, 1985 - 1990.
- Thameside Radio Pioneers in radio technology and audience interaction, 1977 - 1983.
- WNK The pirate behind London's first legal black community station, 1988.
- Radio Zodiac Alternative radio that was more than just alternative music, 1981 - 1983.
Read more about all these stations in the new book London's Pirate Pioneers.
- Alice's Restaurant
- Radio AMY
- Centreforce Radio
- DBC: The Dread Broadcasting Corporation
- Horizon Radio
- Radio Invicta
- Radio Jackie
- London Greek Radio
- Phoenix Radio
- Radio Free London
- Sina Radio
- Skyline Radio
- Solar Radio
- Radio Sovereign
- Thameside Radio
- Radio Zodiac