Paul May †

Very sad news has come in that Paul May passed away on July 8th 2024 after a long battle with cancer. Many of us remember Paul from his time on RNI, as well as his work as Paul Dean on Laser.


Paul was born in April 1950, just outside Detroit, Michigan, to an American father and English mother, she being a war bride originally from Norwich. Paul says: “I really fell in love with radio as early as 1963, as there was a great radio station in Windsor, Ontario, called CKLW. They played much of the early ‘British invasion’ material.

By 1965 we were living in Pittsburgh. My favourite DJ on KQV Audio 14 was Chuck Brinkman, the evening jock. I called him and told him I was interested in radio and he invited me to visit him at the station. Once in a studio. I knew that this was for me! During my childhood I traveled back and forth to the UK and, of course, along came 1964 with Radio Caroline and, being in Norfolk, the signal boomed in. I remember being in Bacton, at my aunt’s bungalow, listening for hours. 1967 rolled around and I was back in England, this time I found Radio London. That was it. I was hooked.

I knew then that this was the life for me and, at the age of 17, set about trying to get onto any of the stations. I was told by Radio Caroline that they may have an opening for me in August on one of their two stations. I told my father but he insisted I return to the US to finish my education. As it turned out, it was for the best, as we know Caroline didn’t last. My father was a brick throughout my early years and helped me to get into radio. We were living in Baltimore in 1968 and he started to call on friends in the radio business.

One of them, a news reader on station WBAL invited the two of us into the station. He had me read a script and said that I had a suitable voice for radio. He told me about a broadcasting school called the Broadcasting Institute of Baltimore, so I applied and was accepted. I attended school for 9 months. The school tried to place everyone in jobs at the end of the course. I joined a station in southern Maryland, WKIK, Leonardtown. I did 1 to 6 in the afternoon and within two months was Programme Director. I worked there from November 1968 to 1971.

After my 21st birthday I made up my mind to return to England. I was getting the NME in the mail every week and saw that a new station was running off Holland. You guessed it – Radio Northsea International. So I wrote to (station owner) Edwin Bollier. He wrote back saying to come over and see (Production Director) Vic Pelli in Holland. So I handed in my notice at WKIK and booked my flight. I made my way to Hilversum.

No one knew I was coming but I was immediately asked to go out to the Mebo II as they had just sacked Tony Allan and Andy Archer and were short-staffed.” Paul joined Radio Northsea International in August 1971. In January 1972 he was appointed Senior DJ but left in July that year to get married. He returned to Norwich, working for the council by day, DJ-ing at night. In 1984 he joined Laser 558 where he was known as “Paul Dean”.

Memories of his days on Laser 558 are here:

Paul May on the Mebo II (photo Bruce Knopper)