Organ ace Nigel delighted to be back on the air

Nigel Ogden at the organ
Nigel Ogden at the organ

A Fylde musician whose national radio programme was controversially axed by the BBC in back on the air.

Nigel Ogden, from Lytham, featured on The Organist Entertains for 38 years until it was dropped from the Radio 2 schedule last year.

He has maintained a busy performance schedule since at venues all around the country, but is delighted he can now be heard again by his loyal listeners thanks to a monthly podcast called The Organist Encores.

The shows appear online at 8pm every Thursday and Nigel's next monthly appearance is on July 11.

Nigel has decided to do a 'from his archive' format, offering listeners the opportunity to hear a wealth of material that many will have never heard before.

"It is good to be back 'on the air' again," he said.

"It's a different to The Organist Entertains in that the archive format is aimed more at the organ music enthusiasts, where the BBC show always had to also have appeal to the more general listener.

"I have a wealth of material in the archive and it is marvellous to be able to share it again with the listeners."

Producer Damon Cox started The Organist Encores podcast in 2013 and has gradually built up an audience and following.

He said: "We have covered many many events and spoken to some of the world's top organists, including Phil Kelsall of Blackpool Tower fame, who has on a number of occasions featured in programmes of specially-recorded music.

"It is great to have Nigel involved and the feedback so far has been excellent."

Nigel, a long-time familiar face at the organ of The Drive Methodist Church in St Annes,grew up in Manchester and has lived in Fylde for more than 20 years.

He was sad but philosophical when it was announced that his Radio 2 show would be ending in May last year - but delighted at the profile he had been able to give organ music via the national airwaves for so long.

He said at the time: "It was a huge privilege to present the programme for so long and help reflect the enthusiasm there is for organ music.”

The Organist Entertains focussed on the organ in its many guises, featuring recordings and live broadcasts of theatre organs, pipe organs and electronic organs around Britain and the rest of the world.

It was originally broadcast in 1969 and Nigel took over the show from original presenter Robin Richmond in 1980.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, said at the time of the decision to 'rest' the programme: “As the audience evolves we have to reflect what best serves their needs and where there is scope to broaden our offering.”

The Organist Encores podcasts last 30 minutes except for special shows and can be accessed throughthe website https://organistencores.wordpress.com/ or via the Apple Podcasts app.

Listeners can also subscribe for e-mail updates or via the Facebook page @TheOrganistEncores