Every night throughout the mid-1980s, rooftops across London’s highest points came alive with nefarious activity. With as many as 100 black music pirate stations on air, losing a transmitter to night-time sabotage by rivals or government raids was considered an irritating but unavoidable cost of business.
But the then pirate station Kiss FM had a secret weapon to deploy: Paul “Trouble” Anderson, who has died from cancer aged 59, one of the station’s most talented DJs and the possessor of a baseball bat. “Most of the time there wasn’t any violence – it was like a deterrent,” Paul told me when I spoke to him last year for a BBC documentary. “[But] when it was the DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] you had to be very humble and just … not show the bat.”