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My part in ‘The Boat That Rocked’

Why did a convoy of trucks arrive in the Holmbush car park on April 28th 2008, taking up a quarter of the available parking spaces? The reason was the filming of ‘The Boat that Rocked’, a story inspired by Radio Caroline and pirate radio era of the ‘60s.

Boat That RockedI was a big fan of pirate radio so I made sure I nabbed myself a job on the film set out towards the end of The Cobb from where my fishing trips leave. The filming started around 10 p.m. that night and finished in the early hours. Night was turned into day thanks to the huge lights the crew had erected.

The director was Richard Curtis of 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Bridget Jones' Diary’ and I counted 35 assistants all playing their part in the filming. Rhys Ifans played a DJ and Ian Mercer was the boatman who was due to leave shortly to go out to the radio ship. The clip they were filming involved them discussing the sea conditions ‘out there’. They filmed the scene over and over and over again from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. when everyone packed up and departed.

There was a great deal of hanging around but everyone seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

CarolineMy boat Marie F. – more usually out on Lyme Regis mackerel fishing and Lyme Regis deep sea fishing trips – was used for filming within the harbour. I also organised the moving of fibreglass boats out of camera shot and their replacement by wooden ones as this was considered more fitting for the 1960s’ pirate radio era.

A year later the film was released. After all that, they only used one 20 second clip showing an old car driving round the Cobb and everything else filmed that night was cut!

The photo shows the Ross Revenge, one of the ships from which Radio Caroline used to broadcast showing the full height of the aerial.

Published on 11/02/2013.

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