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Tribute to Mike Ahearne

Mike Ahearne with Davey Jones

Mike Ahearne with Davy Jones of the Monkees (Robin Alan - Beatwave) 1967

Mike Ahearne in the Mi-Amigo record library in 1967 (Radio Caroline Press & Advertising)

It's with great sadness we report the death of Mike Ahearne aged 67 on Monday 5th October 2009

Born in Crosby near Liverpool in in 1942 Mike had worked at first worked in a tailors shop, as a horse riding instructor, in a bar, as a clerk and even picked grapes on farms in Europe. In his own words he'd had loads of odd jobs. He opened the 'Teen Beat Club' in native Liverpool with a friend before writing to Caroline

Recieving the standard 'don't call' us reply he rang Radio Caroline's Peter Atkins in an intoxicated state having celebrated a friends birthday to boast he was the best DJ around

On the strength of the call he was invited to London with his demo and eventually gained a job initially on the North ship in 1965 later in a bid to improve audience figures the South ship

I met Mike a number of times over the years and spent time with him during the early 1990's, a charming guy - BLR

29/10/09 - When I was a young boy and first discovered exciting music radio, Caroline was always my favourite station and Mike Ahern was my favourite DJ! Mike had that magic for me on air and I felt he was really talking to me, which is an art of great communication. He was a natural one to one broadcaster, a style he kept right up until his last broadcast on Pirate BBC Essex, earlier this year, when I thought he was as contemporary as ever

I later went on to work in professional radio and met many heroes and villans. In the late 80's early 90's I worked with Mike at Essex Radio, where he was Programme Controller. I enjoyed working with him and he was extremely complimentary about my work, offering me various gigs after Essex Radio. Mike was a creative PC but totally wasted not being on air, for me he was a DJ's DJ and not a PC. I lost contact with Mike in the 90's but when he moved to Norfolk we exchanged greetings. I went to see him at The Pirate BBC Essex broadcast this year, we hadn't met face to face for nearly 20 years. Sadly when I arrived at the ship, he had already left the vessel and we missed each other.

I heard then that his health wasn't good, I never got the chance to say hi again after all those years. I feel sad about that, but will always remember Mike as my first radio inspiration, a man who loved radio, an intelligent man and one of the most underated broadcasters of our generation.

To use Mike's favourite word...he was FANTASTIC! I will miss not hearing him pop up somewhere on the radio, he still had much to offer

John Leech

If you knew Mike or listened to his programmes please mail us your tribute


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