Pirate Radio on TV show

BBC One in the West Midlands is airing a television programme tonight about pirate radio in Birmingham. The Inside Out show, looking at how the illegal broadcasts could be putting lives at risk, will start at 7:30pm. For people outside the West Midlands, the channel can be found on Sky Digital 979.

Reporter Satnam Rana follows Ofcom officer Mike Bothma as he tours Birmingham's streets, tracking down the illegal broadcasts that he says can interfere with emergency calls and put lives at risk unnecessarily.

However the pirate radio DJs say they actively avoid using the same frequencies as the emergency services. Satnam catches up with two pirate broadcasters to find out how they get their illegal broadcasts onto the airwaves and what drives them to do so.

Over the last year, media watchdog Ofcom has been raiding studios in an attempt to shut down pirate radio stations. But the illegal broadcasts continue to populate the airwaves.

Mike Bothma sees things differently, though. He says: "They're not doing a community service at all. What these radio stations do is charge the DJs up to £20 an hour to go on air. They charge £100 a week for adverts. They're there for profit, basically."

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