As soon as these tunes start, we know straight away what’s coming on the box, they are such an intrinsic part of the programmes they’re introducing. These are our 13 favourites and we’ve chosen them based on the lyrics which brilliantly sum up the essence of these fabulous shows. Why not have a listen..?
1. Dad’s Army
Song: Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler?.
Written and performed by: Co-written by Jimmy Perry and Derek Taverner. Jimmy Perry, who provided the lyrics, also wrote the script, in collaboration with David Croft. Second World War comic Bud Flanagan was recruited to sing the song. It was the former Crazy Gang member’s last recording, he died later the same year. A new film starring Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring is due for release in February next year and is rumoured to have a cheeky hint of the famous theme tune at the end.
2. Only Fools And Horses
Song: The show has separate theme songs for the opening and closing credits, Only Fools And Horses and Hooky Street, respectively.
Written and performed by: John Sullivan wrote and performed both. He’d intended for Chas and Dave to sing Only Fools and Horses, but they were unavailable having just had a hit with Ain’t No Pleasing You. The boys did, however, contribute to the show later, performing Down to Margate, the closing credits song for the 1989 episode The Jolly Boys’ Outing.
3. One Foot in the Grave
Song: One Foot in the Grave.
Written and performed by: The tune was written, composed and sung by Eric Idle. A longer version was produced for the special One Foot in the Algarve. Idle included a live version of the song on his album Eric Idle Sings Monty Python.
Song: I Could Be So Good For You.
Written and performed by: Dennis Waterman (who’s well-known for singing a theme tune, see below!) performed the song, which was a top-three UK hit in 1980 and a top-10 hit in Australia. It was written by his then-wife Patricia Waterman with Gerard Kenny. Dennis also recorded a song with the late George Cole called What Are We Gonna Get For ‘Er Indoors?.
5. New Tricks
Song. It’s Alright.
Written and performed by: The song was written by Mike Moran, whose credits include co-writing Rock Bottom, the 1977 Eurovision runner-up with Lynsey de Paul. It’s Alright was performed by Dennis Waterman. Even though Dennis has now left New Tricks, they still use his version. He also sang theme tunes to his comedy series On The Up and Stay Lucky, which is what led to the Little Britain sketch with Dennis insisting that he must sing the theme tunes to all his shows.
6. The Big Bang Theory
Song: Big Bang Theory Theme.
Written and performed by: It was created and recorded by Barenaked Ladies specifically for the show. It appeared on BNL’s best-of album, Hits from Yesterday & the Day Before.
7. The Flintstones
Song: Meet The Flintstones.
Written and performed by: Recorded with a 22-piece jazz band, and a five-voice singing group called the Skip Jacks. The melody is believed to have been inspired from part of the ‘B’ section of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Number 17, Movement 2, composed in 1801/02 (there’s posh) and reharmonised. In 2010, a PRS for Music survey of 2,000 adults in the UK found that the Meet the Flintstones theme tune was the most-recognised children’s’ TV theme, ahead of those for Top Cat and Postman Pat.
8. The Monkees
Song: Theme from The Monkees.
Written and performed by: Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart wrote the song which was performed by The Monkees. Not surprisingly as it was their show and the lyrics: ‘Hey, hey, we’re The Monkees’ really meant it had to be them! The song was originally intended as an album track, but it was later released as a single in several countries.
Song: I’ll Be There For You.
Written and performed by: Quite a colloboration on this song! It was co-written by Friends’ producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, along with Kauffman’s husband, composer Michael Skloff and songwriter Ailee Willis, plus Phil Solem and Danny Wilde, both of The Rembrandts, the band which also performed the song.
10. Golden Girls
Song: Thank You For Being A Friend.
Written and performed by: The song was initially written by Andrew Gold for his third album, All This and Heaven Too. The song was famously later re-recorded by Cynthia Fee to serve as the theme for The Golden Girls and recorded again for the spin-off The Golden Palace.
11. The Office
Song: Handbags And Gladrags.
Written and performed by: Arranged for the show by Big George and originally written in the 1960s by Mike D’Abo, former vocalist for Manfred Mann. The song has also been recorded by Rod Stewart and The Stereophonics. Many people mistakenly thought it was the Stereophonics’ version which was used as the theme.
12. The Royle Family
Song: Half The World Away.
Written and performed by: The song was written by Oasis’ lead guitarist Noel Gallagher, who also provides lead vocals. Half The World Away was released as a B-side to Whatever on 18 December 1994, reaching Number 3 in the UK charts. The song was also included on albums The Masterplan, a collection of Oasis’ best B-sides, and Oasis’ compilation album Stop the Clocks, which both reached Number 2.
Song: Where Everybody Knows Your Name.
Written and performed by: The song was penned by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo and performed by Gary Portnoy. Shortly after the premiere of Cheers, Gary went back into the studio to record a version of the song which made both the US and British pop charts.
Which of these TV theme songs is your favourite? Tell us below…