Spencer Leigh (radio presenter)

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For other people of the same name, see Spencer Leigh.
Spencer Leigh
Born (1945-02-01) 1 February 1945 (age 69)
Waterloo, Lancashire, England, UK
Occupation Radio presenter, author, obituarist
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Anne Leigh

Spencer Leigh (born 1 February 1945)[1] is a BBC radio presenter and author.

Spencer has been broadcasting on BBC Radio Merseyside since the early 1970s. His first series, 'No Holds Bard', was based around the Mersey poets, but he didn't know then that a written pun ("No holds, bard") was not right for radio. His music programme 'On the Beat' has been running on BBC Radio Merseyside since 1985 and is currently broadcast between 6.00pm and 8.00pm on Saturday evenings. Over the years, he has interviewed thousands of musicians on the show.[2]

His first books was 'Paul Simon - Now and Then', published in 1973, the first biography of the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. Since then, he has written, or collaborated on, over two dozen books. Many of his books relate to the Beatles or Mersey Beat and he has interviewed more people connected to the Liverpool '60s scene that anybody else - whether he has interviewed them well is another matter. There have been several one-off series on BBC Radio Merseyside, the best known being 'Let's Go Down the Cavern' in 1980.

Spencer has written the sleeve notes or CD booklets for over 200 albums and is proud to have reached No 1 with a 'Heartbeat' compilation, although nobody bought it for the CD booklet. He writes obituaries of musicians for The Independent.[2] and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and he also writes for 'Record Collector', 'Country Music People' and 'Now Dig This'. He is currently writing a book for Frank Sinatra's centenary in 2015, which will be published by McNidder and Grace.


  • Paul Simon - Now and Then (1973)
  • Presley Nation (1976)
  • Stars In My Eyes - Personal Interviews With Top Music Stars (1980)
  • Let’s Go Down the Cavern (1984)
  • Speaking Words of Wisdom (1991)
  • Halfway to Paradise, Britpop 1955–1962 (1996)
  • Drummed Out! - The Sacking of Pete Best (1998)
  • Baby, That Is Rock and Roll, American Pop, 1954–1963 (2000)
  • Brother, Can You Spare a Rhyme? - 100 Years Of Hit Songwriting (2001)
  • Puttin' on the Style - The Lonnie Donegan Story (2002)
  • Sweeping the Blues Away - A Celebration of the Merseysippi Jazz Band (2002)
  • The Best of Fellas - The Story of Bob Wooler, Liverpool's First DJ (2002)
  • Twist and Shout! - Merseybeat, the Cavern, the Star-Club and the Beatles (2004)
  • Sound! - The Liverpool Pop Quiz Book (2004)
  • Wondrous Face - The Billy Fury Story (2005)
  • Things Do Go Wrong (2008)
  • The Cavern - The Most Famous Club in the World (2008)
  • Everyday - Getting Closer to Buddy Holly (2009)
  • Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles on Record (2010)
  • It's Love That Really Counts - The Billy Kinsley Story (2010)
  • The Beatles in Hamburg (2011)
  • The Beatles in Liverpool (2012)
  • The Beatles in America (2013)

Spencer Leigh has also written or collaborated on the following books with other authors:

  • Memories of Buddy Holly with Jim Dawson (1996)
  • The Walrus Was Ringo - 101 Beatles Myths Debunked (2002) by Alan Clayson and Spencer Leigh
  • 1000 UK Number One Hits (2005) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
  • Aspects of Elvis - Tryin' To Get To You (1994) edited by Alan Clayson and Spencer Leigh
  • Behind the Song - The Stories of 100 Great Pop and Rock Classics (1998) by Michael Heatley and Spencer Leigh


  1. ^ British National Bibliography
  2. ^ a b "Saturday Presenters: Spencer Leigh". BBC. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2012.