More Radio Nova as heard in Cumbria

More Radio Nova as heard in Cumbria
Tom Hardy on the day of the Radio Nova raid, 18th May 1983 (courtesy Joe King).

This is another recording of Radio Nova as heard in Cumbria on 828 kHz AM from 0915-0945 on 30th June 1983. Tom Hardy is on air and features include the Nova Jobspot advertising current employment vacancies around town. The late Bob Gallico reads news headlines at half past the hour. There are plenty of agency ads and promos for the Radio Nova Puma 10K race and for a Nova news hotline which has just been launched. Reception is fair but Nova was operating on reduced power at this time following the raid the previous month.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.

Tom Hardy on Sunshine Radio

Tom Hardy on Sunshine Radio
A rusty sign for Tamango’s at the current White Sands Hotel in Portmarnock (photo by John Walsh).

Tom Hardy worked in the offshore pirate Radio Caroline before coming to Sunshine Radio in Dublin in 1981. He was also a DJ on Radio Nova and its offshoot KISS FM as well as the other KISS FM in Monaghan in 1988, before going on to licensed radio in the 1990s.

This recording from 1829-1856 on Tuesday 20th July 1982 features Tom on Sunshine Radio. As well as presenting an eclectic mix of music, he reads news headlines and a gig guide. The commercial break includes an ad for Tamango’s nightclub, located next door to Sunshine at the Sands Hotel in Portmarnock. A very young Cathy Cregan, one of Sunshine’s newsreaders, is also heard voicing an ad.

We thank Paul Buckle for this donation. An interview with Tom Hardy is available here.

Aircheck: closedown of KISS FM (102.7)

Aircheck: closedown of KISS FM (102.7)
KISS FM sticker courtesy of DX Archive.

KISS FM was one of the many sister stations to Radio Nova, broadcasting from September 1982 to January 1984. Chris Cary set up the station to absorb additional advertising revenue from Nova and experiment with local radio for Dublin. The station was closed down along with Nova on the 18th of May 1983 and did not return until the 30th of September. In January 1984 RTÉ jammed the signals of both Nova and KISS when it was granted permission by Minister Ted Nealon to test broadcast on 88.2 and 102.7 FM and 819 kHz AM. Cary closed KISS at midnight on the 15th of January 1984 as the jamming worsened and laid off staff, some of whom were members of the National Union of Journalists. This sparked a bitter and extended industrial relations dispute which eventually contributed to the demise of Nova in 1986.

KISS FM was known for its lavish competitions, offering listeners prizes ranging from £102.70 to £5,000 in cash for correctly identifying three songs played in a row. One such competition occurred on the 29th of March 1983 when the station gave away £5,000. The giveaway would be repeated by Nova on the 31st of August 1983, when a prize of £6,000 was offered, putting enormous pressure on the Dublin telephone system. There were even bigger problems with the network when Nova gave away another £5,000 over a year later, on the 29th of September 1984.

This recording was made mostly on the final day, 15th of January 1984, is airchecked and not in linear order. It begins with Denis Murray presenting his final rock show and chatting with fellow presenters Chris Barry and Stephanie McAllister. News at midnight is read by David Malone and the Radio Nova news jingle is heard as KISS passes into the history books and Nova is broadcast on 102.7. Mike Moran is then heard on the Nova overnight and then the tape stops and picks up with Chris Barry signing off and handing over to Denis Murray earlier in the evening. The recording continues with airchecks of Denis Murray apparently from the 14th of January on his second last show. We also hear idents for KISS FM Weekend, part of Al Dunne’s final show, Bernie Jameson on news and Geraldine Nugent reading community news. Community news is not something associated with the Nova network, but KISS FM was an experimental station.

Our archive also includes interviews with Tom Hardy and Denis Murray about their involvement in KISS FM and other stations. This recording is from the Skywave Tapes Collection. Skywave Radio International broadcast a shortwave station in the 1980s from Baldoyle in northeast Dublin.

Interview: Declan Meehan (part 1: 1970-1982)

Interview: Declan Meehan (part 1: 1970-1982)
Declan Meehan and John Walsh at the studios of East Coast FM in Bray, where Declan has worked since 1994.

We met one of Ireland’s most experienced broadcasters Declan Meehan recently to discuss his significant contribution to Irish pirate radio history and Irish radio in general over the past 50 years.

In the first part of a long interview, Declan discusses the early years of his involvement in the Dublin pirate scene spanning small stations such as Radio Vanessa and Radio Milinda and larger, more professional operations like ARD. He describes his unhappy move to the new RTÉ Radio 2 in 1979 and how he went on to work for the first of the superpirates, Sunshine Radio, where he met Chris Cary.

The interview includes references to many of the best-known names in Irish radio over the past half-century.

Interview: Tom Hardy (Radio Nova, KISS FM 102.7, KISS FM Monaghan)

Interview: Tom Hardy (Radio Nova, KISS FM 102.7, KISS FM Monaghan)
Tom Hardy at Radio Nova headquarters in Herbert Street on the 19th of May 1983, the day of the official Nova closedown. Photo courtesy of Joe King.

On October 20th 2018 over 100 radio anoraks gathered in the Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin. The purpose was to meet and record oral history of the pirate radio era.

In this interview Tom Hardy speaks to John Walsh about his memories of Radio Nova including the raid of 1983, Nova’s sister station KISS FM 102.7, KISS FM (Monaghan) and his views about radio today.