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  1. ITV Report

Golden years: Micro-nation marks 50th anniversary

Sealand is celebrating its golden anniversary. Credit: ITV News Anglia

1967 - It was the year in which the Prisoner and the Forsyte Sage began to be screened on TV, Wimbledon was shown in colour for the first time and the world's smallest nation was founded.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of pirate radio broadcaster Roy Bates clambering aboard an abandoned fort seven miles off the Suffolk coast and declaring it a sovereign state.

The tiny fiefdom of Sealand has since fought incursions by other illicit broadcasters, fired warning shots at the Royal Navy, and suppressed an attempted coup by a group of German businessmen.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the symbol of "enduring freedom", supporters from around the world will meet for dinner in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, on Saturday.

The state has attracted interest from would-be buyers including Wikileaks. Watch Kate Prout's report below.

The guest list of admirers includes Hollywood film producers, international lawyers and internet tycoons from places like Argentina, the US and China - according to "Prince" Michael Bates, 65, the current ruler of Sealand.

Mr Bates, who lives in Leigh-on-Sea, said: "We have two people out there permanently - the most we've had is around 50 at one point. It's a very, very interesting and different kind of life. Believe me, I've had a lot of adventure out of it."

A Hollywood film about the history of Sealand may not be too far away, Mr Bates hinted.

A commemorative silver crown coin is also being produced for the 50th anniversary.