Robin Richmond

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Robin Richmond (1912–1998) was an English cinema organist and BBC Radio presenter and performer.

Richmond was born on 21 April 1912 in London.[1] His father was a doctor.[1] He was educated at Westminster School and London University, though he failed to graduate from the latter.[1]

After a brief engagement at Lambeth Mission Hall, from which he was sacked for adding percussion sounds to hymns, he made his West End debut in the revue It's in the Bag.[1] He then toured with the comedy singing duo The Two Leslies (Leslie Sarony and Leslie Holmes).[1] His BBC debut was in Palace of Varieties in 1938.[1]

His trademark instrument became the Hammond organ, after he imported the first example to Great Britain from the United States in 1935.[1][2] It carried the serial number "001".[1]

Rejected by the military during World War II for health reasons, he spent the duration as organist at the Paramount Cinema in Tottenham Court Road, London, and on BBC radio.[1]

Post-war he regularly performed on the BBC Light Programme on shows such as Music While You Work, Variety Bandbox and Organ Grinder Swing.[3] He also presented a number of programmes including Housewives' Choice and Jazz Club. On television he was the resident organist on the quiz show Double Your Money.[4]

He created the BBC Radio 2 series The Organist Entertains in 1969, and was its main presenter until 1980. A special edition in 2012 marked the centenary of his birth.[2]

He appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 10 September 1977.[5]

He died on 27 July 1998.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gifford, Denis (8 August 1998). "Obituary: Robin Richmond". The Independent. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Nigel Ogden: The Organist Entertains, Robin Richmond's Centenary". BBC Online. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ "BBC Genome Project". Organ Grinder Swing. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ Evans, Jeff (2001). The Penguin TV Companion. Penguin Books. pp. 185–6. ISBN 0-140-51467-8.
  5. ^ "Desert Island Discs - Castaway : Robin Richmond". BBC Online. BBC. Retrieved 18 August 2014.

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