The London Pirates

Horizon Radio (94.5 FM, 102.5 FM, 104 FM) 1981 – 1985

Horizon 104 FM

PO Box 944

London SE5 SBN

Coverage: South London/Londonwide

Jingles: “We can work it out with Horizon Radio” (The Cool Notes)

DJs: Lyndon T, CJ Carlos, DJ Abbey, Christian Stewart (founder), Andy Bailey, Jez Nelson, Tony Monson, Paul Buick, Gary Kent, Gilles Peterson, Andy Jackson, Richard Felstead, Jude James, Barry Tee, Bob Jones, Gary Lee, Nick Lawrence, Gary Spence, Diane Hinds, Damon Rushfall, Graham Gold, Sammy Jacob (aka Sammy J), Chris Best, Andy Bailey, Mark McCarthy, Andy Taylor, Patrick ‘Wing Commander’ Meads, MJ (aka Wayne Nevers).

Set up and run by Chris Stewart, Horizon first began broadcasting on 11th October 1981, initially on Wednesday evenings and Sundays, but by 1984 it managed to become one of the first stations to increase its output to an impressive 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The fact that a pirate station was able to do this for six consecutive months without being busted was exceptional. A DTI raid ended its run of luck in October 1984.

Horizon’s musical output consisted mainly of Soul, Jazz-Funk and Hip Hop. Like the other pirate stations it financed itself through advertising revenue and organising parties and live gigs around London which were hugely popular and cemented the station’s reputation as a serious challenger for Capital Radio’s audience.

In 1985 Stewart chose to close the station voluntarily in order to apply for a community radio license. He hosted a live closedown party from Harrow Leisure Centre on Sunday 15th September. Unfortunately the application was unsuccessful and the station never returned to the airwaves. Stewart then went on to join TKO Radio.

It is known that from at least June 1985 Lyndon T (Westwood’s co-host from Gossips) hosted a Hip Hop and Electro show on a Saturday afternoon from midday until about 3pm where he played a mix of old and new tracks. He also ran competitions for prospective rappers to send in tapes of their raps. Once Horizon closed he moved to Fresh FM.

© Copyright Lindsay (2013)