Fip radio to make a comeback

A French radio station which gained a massive cult following in Brighton after a mysterious fan set up his own transmitter could be back on the air "within weeks".

Sources close to the man who began broadcasting Paris station FIP made the claim following a raid by radio watchdog Ofcom.

Earlier this year The Argus revealed how the unnamed man set up the transmitter in a Hanover home after growing so smitten with the quirky station that he wanted to broadcast it to the city.

He set up the transmitter a number of years ago and the station, which plays an eclectic collection of music and has little adverts or talking, grew hugely popular among a diverse range of the city's population.

However the man behind the broadcast fell foul of the regulators following a complaint that he was breaking broadcast laws and Ofcom raided the property and confiscated the equipment, sparking outrage and dismay among fans.

But a source told The Argus: "We can't reveal too much but were hoping it will be back up very soon. It could take weeks or a bit longer but we're hoping it will be soon. But the point is it will be back up."

It comes after the successful Vive La Fip tribute night held at The Hope pub, Queen's Road, Brighton, which raised money for a fighting fund to get the station back up and running in Sussex.

Hundreds of people showed their support for the station by attending the night, organised by comedian Dave Mounfield.

Many offered to print T-shirts, stickers or leaflets publicising the cause. A substantial amount of cash was also poured into the fighting fund and others even offered to set up another transmitter so people in the city could receive the radio station again.

Mr Mounfield said: "It was heartwarming to see such support. We knew there was a lot of people out there who love FIP and to have them all show up and pledge this support was great.

"We're going to hold more of the nights now and capitalise on this groundswell of support."

Ofcom has refused to elaborate on whether the man from Hanover is to face legal action over the broadcasting but it is thought unlikely.

A spokesman said: "A decision will be made in due course but at the moment there is nothing else we can say."

The next Vive La Fip tribute night is being held on the third on May 24 at The Hope pub. A special version of the night is also being held on Bastille Day, the French national holiday on July 14.

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