About the Radio London website...

A welcome message from Webmasters Chris and Mary Payne

We launched the Radio London website back in 1999, yet over twenty years later, new material and information from the offshore radio era continues to arrive. The site's fifteenth birthday on March 29th 2014 was enhanced by joint webmasters Mary and Chris being presented with a prestigious Award at the Amsterdam Radio Day, organised by Hans Knot and Martin van der Ven.

The website was initially intended as a tribute site to the shipborne station Radio London (Big L), which broadcast from 1964 to 1967. However, the site has since expanded to over 2300 pages, to embrace music and radio from the Sixties to today. The incredible contacts we've made in radio have been staggering and the kind comments we have received from visitors have been amazing. Hardly a day goes by without our receiving an e-mail or phonecall from someone connected with either Sixties or current radio – or both. Running the site is very demanding and time-consuming, but the positive reactions we receive make it all worthwhile.

In November 2002, we launched our company, Radio London Ltd. The website expanded to include everything that potential customers need to know about our business, Radio London Ltd. The music and radio side of the Radio London site continues as before.

If you are seeking the one-and-only Big L – Radio London, the Big L Fab Forties and reminiscences of the happy days when the original station broadcast, you'll certainly find them here. This is not, however, exclusively a 'Big L' site, although Radio London will naturally always be our all-time favourite, the other offshore stations are well represented.

Over the years, we have forged contacts and friendships with personnel from all the offshore stations, from the 35th Anniversary Offshore Reunion, which we organised in August 2002, to Offshore 5 in 2017, which we co-organised with Jon Myer and Alan Hardy. See our reunions index for links to pages about many gatherings that have taken place over the years. We are also very proud to count amongst our friends, the families of the WWll shipmates, who were fascinated to learn about how their beloved USS Density became the mv Galaxy and to have the ship's bell returned to them.

The site continues to expand and embraces the entire offshore family. Our main focus is on the Big L Fab Forty, but in 2007, we were asked to take over the Caroline charts compiled by Jempi Laevaert.

We are very grateful for contributions received, even though it may take us a while to publish them on the site, as there is always a backlog of material awaiting our attention!

The Webmasters will continue to report on whatever is going on in the world of radio and music that they feel to be of interest, and will endeavour to update the Radio London site as often as possible.

You can find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Radio London and the site here. If you are seeking a particular feature or subject, do try our site A to Z, or Fab Forty A to Z of bands and musicians.

We'd be pleased to hear from you and will answer any queries as soon as possible

Frequently Asked Questions
Q Is this site affiliated to the BBC or to any other company?


No. The Radio London website is privately run by Webmasters Chris and Mary Payne, Directors of Radio London Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales.

Neither Radio London Ltd or its directors have any affiliation to any other companies.
Q You mean, you AREN'T BBC Radio London? A

No. We are Radio London. Our name comes from Radio London (aka Big L), a station which broadcast from a ship anchored three miles off the coast of Essex from 1964 to 1967 – long before any land-based local radio stations existed in the UK. The BBC local station in London used the name from 1970 to 1988, and in 2015 reverted to being called BBC Radio London. Read our statement regarding BBC Radio London.

We repeat: Radio London Ltd has no connection or affiliation with any other companies.

Q Is Oldies Project your radio station? A No. Oldies Project is run as a non-profit internet station by a group of enthusiasts who like to use Radio London jingles to indicate tracks that were part of the Big L Fab Forty. (Station website here.) Radio London has collaborated with Oldies Project over the Fab Forty broadcasts and has produced occasional programmes for the station.
Q Does this mean the station no longer broadcasts at all? A Currently, there is no permanent Radio London broadcast. In the past, there have from time-to-time been 28-day RSLs – Restricted Service Licences reproducing the original sound of Big L. Our exclusive Big L Fab Forties can be heard twice weekly on the Oldies Project and the final Fab Forty has been broadcast on national station Boom Radio and on local radio stations, with our permission.

'Radio London' is a trademark of Radio London Ltd and may not be used without written permission.
Q What is the history of offshore radio in the UK? A A condensed history of offshore radio and Radio London can be found here.
Q Have you a complete list of original Radio London DJs? A

Original Big L DJs were: Chuck Blair, Tony Blackburn, Pete Brady, Tony Brandon, Dave Cash, Ian Damon, Chris Denning, Dave Dennis, Pete Drummond, John Edward, Kenny Everett, Graeme (Graham) Gill, Bill Hearne, Duncan Johnson, Paul Kaye, Lorne King, Mike Lennox, John Peel, Earl Richmond, Mark Roman, John Sedd, Keith Skues, Ed "Stewpot" Stewart, Norman St. John, Tommy Vance, Richard Warner, Willy Walker, Alan West, Tony Windsor and John (or Jon) York (or Yorke).

Those known to be deceased are: Chuck Blair, Dave Cash, Dave Dennis, Chris Denning, John Edward, Kenny Everett, Graeme (Graham) Gill, Bill Hearne, Duncan Johnson, Paul Kaye, Lorne King, Mike Lennox, John Peel, Earl Richmond, Ed Stewart, Tommy Vance, Alan West fand Tony Windsor.


The Radio London ship mv Galaxy:

What was the ship's exact position when Big L was broadcasting?

What is the ship's history and where can I see photographs?


The ship's exact offshore position when Radio London was broadcasting is here.

The ship's history is here.

The story of the link between the USS Density and the m v Galaxy with photos of the ship both as a wartime mine-sweeper and as a radio station, is here.
Q You have frequent references to the Knees Club. What is that about? A The history of the Knees Club is here.

Why are no Radio London jingles included on the site?

Where can I hear the close-down music, the Sonowaltz aka 'Big Lil'?

A There is no point in our duplicating the work of specialist sites which are dedicated exclusively to the subject of jingles, such as Norman Barrington's.
Q Are there any audio clips of Radio London on the site? A Again, other sites specialise in audio clips. We specialise in Fab Forty charts, (the complete Big L Fab Forties are exclusive to this site), features, photographs and memorabilia. Audio clips are not frequently included on the Radio London site. However, we do occasionally add one. Part of the Tony Blackburn/Kenny Everett Climber Review is here; Kenny and Ed Stewpot sing the weather here.
Q I've found a reel-to-reel copy of 'Their Final Hour' from August 14th. Is it worth my getting it dubbed to another medium? A

Only if your recording is of exceptionally good quality. As the closedown of Radio London was such a momentous occasion, there are numerous copies of it in existence, amany of them in very good quality. Other Big L recordings, however, are likely to be of great interest to collectors.

It is not advisable to buy CDs of offshore recordings, as most of them are available to download for free. If interested in collecting recordings, visit Azanorak

Q Why is the site not always updated weekly? A The Radio London site requires a great deal of maintenance. With over 2200 pages and only two people (more often, only one) to do the work in their spare time, the Webmasters do the best they can!
Q Are there any remaining copies of Brian Long's book, The London Sound A

Brian Long has completely sold out of The London Sound, a 4-volume private publication.

The updated second edition of Keith Skues's book Pop Went the Pirates published 2009, is available here.

The Webmasters rarely refuse requests to reproduce items and photographs from the Radio London website for which we hold the copyright.
However, NOT all items are our own copyright, but have been used with permission.
If you wish to use something from our website, it is essential that you contact us first.

Of necessity, we have reproduced pictures from long-out-of-print radio books and magazines and have attempted to contact several publishers without success.
If we have inadvertantly used a photograph for which you hold the copyright without crediting you, please get in touch.

Any opinions expressed on this site are those of the originators.

Radio London Ltd is not responsible for the content of external sites which are linked from the Radio London website.