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We are NOT starting THIS debate again.

Eddie Mair | 09:59 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2007

Dear PM

Having discovered the History Page of your web site, I was intrigued to hear the signature tunes many of which I remember from childhood. Particularly the 1996 version, which I would listen to in the car on the way home from work. It would always signal the end of work and the beginning of evening!

Why oh Why did you drop it 10 years ago during the mourning for Princess Diana and not bring it back? There are very few signature tunes left with radio news and it would be good to have them to break up some dismal news headlines.

Great show none the less!!

Mark Bee
Beccles, Suffolk.

Comments

  1. At 10:11 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Oh YES you ARE...

    Is this a special wind-up for Peter Rippon's benefit? Being as we've been told he's so keen on bringing back the PM Theme.

    And btw when does C Quinn ever sleep? I've just heard her on Today, & she was on the Westminster Hour last night. She must be existing on less sleep than Mrs Thatcher used to have - & look where that got her!

  2. At 10:32 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Delores Behan-Ingland (Mrs) wrote:

    YES, we need a decent theme tune.

  3. At 10:37 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Stewart M wrote:

    I must have finished work earlier 10 years ago as I can remember hearing it on my way home. Now I never/rarely listen at 5. So I don't miss it. No tune means more news and comment!

  4. At 10:46 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    I think you secretly want it back Eddie, why would you keep mentioning it otherwise ? :-)

    I quite liked it!

  5. At 10:47 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Chrissie the Trekkie wrote:

    If you didn't want to start the debate, you shouldn't have mentioned it.....

  6. At 10:47 AM on 16 Apr 2007, The Reverend Green wrote:

    Mind the Gap!

  7. At 10:54 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Since it is known that the Editor vehemently opposes the re-introduction of the theme tune I can only think that raising its profile like this (again) amounts to intra-office sedition.

    It'll all end in tears.

    BTW: Since I wasn't listening to the prog 10 years ago... what does the theme tune sound like?

    Cue the usual suspects, who will tell me that it went dee-dee-da la-da-da-dum. Or smething.

    Si.

  8. At 11:02 AM on 16 Apr 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    When did you last see a BEE?

  9. At 11:08 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Rachel wrote:

    While cycling round Alton Water with children yesterday, SO was moved to comment that the slightly different tinging notes made by our five tiny bike bells was reminiscent of the radiophonic workshop version of the PM theme tune. We are available to rerecord it if you require . . .

  10. At 11:16 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Dum dum dum dum dumdeedeedum, dumdeedeedum,
    Dumdeedeediddlediddle

    Dum dum dum dum dumdeedeedum
    dumdeedeedum
    Dum deedeediddlediddle ......

    Hm, no, when you put it like that, it wasn't very catchy really, was it?

    But a good tune for a bee, perhaps.

  11. At 11:22 AM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Hello Mark,

    I believe we are alowed to start petitions on the Downing Street website, so I will investigate the possibilities.

    I will also see if my local MP can raise a question in the house to ensure we re-instate the PM theme.

    Thank you so much for bringing up this topic.

  12. At 11:29 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Good. I am glad we are not having this debate again. I am tired of saying how DEPRESSING I found that tune so I'm really pleased to not have to reiterate that.

  13. At 11:34 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    P.S. And anyway, you really ought to know better than to take any notice of someone who begins a paragraph "Why oh Why..."

  14. At 11:38 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    How about have the theme tune Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and not on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. That way one can choose whether to listen on a theme-tune or non-theme-tune day.

  15. At 11:46 AM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Depressing Appy ???!!!

    We have discussed this before. How on earth can this theme sound depressing ??

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/ram/pm_sig1996.ram

    I wonder how you rate the music from Schindlers list then ?

  16. At 11:50 AM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    you really ought to know better than to take any notice of someone who begins a paragraph "Why oh Why..." said Aperitif!

    Who began her comment by saying :- P.S. And anyway,

  17. At 11:54 AM on 16 Apr 2007, John H. wrote:

    Theme tunes are so yesterday, aren't they?

    Of course, the downside of not having theme tunes, esp. on Radio 4 progs which may constitute "forced listening" for lots of little kids around the country, whose parents are peeyemophiles, is that you don't build up that sense of stability and belonging that can be shattered in the future at the whim of a young, trendy, "new broom" programme maker.

    Oh. Perhaps that's just me then.

  18. At 11:54 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I suppose we could also start a petition to bring back Jeremy Vine and Chris Lowe, too?

    At least they played the theme tune.

    Let the Healing Begin!

  19. At 11:58 AM on 16 Apr 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:

    Thanks Jonnie - I'd forgotton all about it.

    Why oh why is Appy so depressed by it?!!

    *runs away and hides behind the sofa before something is thrown*

  20. At 12:02 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Aperitif (@13), "Why oh Why" is a good warning sign, and so is "... then so be it". The person who writes that knows perfectly well that whatever it was they were advocating ("if this means that we have to cut off children's hands at the wrists to stop them shoplifting, then SBI", for instance) is an unacceptably daft thing to suggest. Letters to local papers that end with this phrase can almost be guaranteed to be piffling twerpery. :-)

    I know, I ought to get out more. I'll get me parasol.

  21. At 12:17 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Humph wrote:

    Why oh why is that then, Appy (13). By the way, I tend to ignore posts that begin P.S. :-)

    H.

  22. At 12:21 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    I do lament the loss of signature tunes in general, in as much as I have only to hear a piece of music used, say, for a Childrens' Hour serial to be wafted back to childhood.

    Ah, the nostalgia of it.

    Some tunes were good enough to survive updating, but not many. The exception is the Doctor Who theme which I think has been re-arranged numerous times and has only gained from it - a tribute to the strength of the original and Ron Grainer and the Radiophonic Workshop.

  23. At 12:22 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Humph wrote:

    I am glad to hear it (that we are not starting the debate on this retched subject) and not to hear it (the theme tune).

    H.

  24. At 12:22 PM on 16 Apr 2007, RJD wrote:

    I'm not sure that we should even be discussing this, prompted as it is by someone who needs a tune to "signal the end of work and the beginning of evening"!

  25. At 12:29 PM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    So what do *YOU* the PM Frogger think.

    Should PM have a theme tune Yes or No.

    http://www.pmblog.co.uk/instant%20poll.html

    Cat your vote

    One vote is allowed per day - I have a static IP so the same goes for me.

  26. At 12:43 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Annasee wrote:

    How about a quick burst of the theme tune each quarter hour? That might remind you to let the newsreader do his/ her stuff with the headlines. Not that you would ever forget that, would you!

  27. At 01:07 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Paul Gledhill wrote:

    (25) Jonnie How does one "Cat your vote"? The service revolver is in the top right hand drawer of the desk...

  28. At 01:08 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Personally, I think that Eddie should "co-opt" the Tellytubbies' theme tune:-)

  29. At 01:19 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Stewart M wrote:

    Tinky Winky, Eddie, La La, Po

    It fits :-)

  30. At 02:24 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Or, as Jose Mourinho would say, (with a hug), "BBC, Another one, Lalala"

  31. At 02:38 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    All together, now
    ♩♫♭♫♬♩
    ed

  32. At 03:28 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Well, first of all, I like the 1984 edition. It may be heard via the PM web site under the History section.

    Second, if there were a new tune, it would have to be the one recently recorded (I've not heard it since Fifi and Ed_I were the only performers).

    Third, Humph (23) was your spelling of "Retched" deliberate?

    Fourth, Jonnie (25) Does your static 'ip hurt? Is there along waiting list for 'ip replacements in Bournemouth?

    Fifth, Annasee (26) I think there used to be a quick burst virtually after every item. There was a send-up of it on the Private Eye Christmas record c 1970. I must see if I still have a recording (PE don't seem to).

    Sixth, just don't ask me to participate in a new theme tune. The only instrument I ever mastered was the wobble-board.

  33. At 03:47 PM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    And now for the result of todays Poll.

    Would PM benefit from a theme tune ?

    Poll Results

    "No"
    5 of 16 total votes (31.3%)
    Click here to zero the votes for this option.

    "Yes "
    11 of 16 total votes (68.8%)
    Click here to zero the votes for this option.


    Reset AllDone

  34. At 03:50 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Humph wrote:

    Vyle (32) My spelling is always deliberate but not always correct; I meant "wretched". Thank you for pointing out the mistake and giving me a chance to correct it. :-)

    H.

  35. At 04:11 PM on 16 Apr 2007, RJD wrote:

    Humph & Yvle - I thought the original spelling of "retched" was perfectly OK. The theme tune debate is certainly a subject that makes me sick.

  36. At 04:14 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I'd be very proud if I'd mastered the wobbleboard. Well done, Vyle!

  37. At 05:22 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Bedd Gelert wrote:

    What was the tune out of interest ?

    My view is that it is easy to spoil a good show with a crap theme tune. I've never listened to the Archers because of the abysmal theme tune. And 'File on 4' is little better.

  38. At 05:41 PM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    And now for the results of the Poll:
    Would PM benefit from a theme tune ?

    Poll Results

    "No"
    5 of 16 total votes (31.3%)

    "Yes "
    11 of 16 total votes (68.8%)

  39. At 06:23 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Annasee wrote:

    So can we have a brief interview with Peter Rippon now, (put it on the blog for us please) justifying why he won't let you play the theme tune when it is obviously OVERWHELMINGLY popular? Look at the poll results! 68% in favour, was it? If Tony Blair got a result like that, I know he'd be acting on it...

    I like the perverse suggestion of alternate theme & non-theme days. That really is weird. Maybe Saturdays only? As a sort of "Hooray it's the weekend let's have some music" type celebration. Well, all right then Peter, how about Bank Holidays only then? Please? Just to annoy you? And Carolyn (who doesn't seem too keen on it either)?

  40. At 06:48 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Izzy (19), As we're not having the debate, apparently, I am not at liberty to explain why it depresses me. (I have done before -- at least twice.) But it does.

    Chris (20), Precisely. And thank you for the chuckle caused by your closing comment.

    Jonnie (25) Purr for 'yes'; miaow for 'no', is it?

    Annassee (39) Brilliant idea -- just on Saturdays! I rarely listen on Saturdays!! (And the last two have been depressing anyway, so it evidently couldn't hurt).

  41. At 09:53 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Humph wrote:

    Annasee (39) So there are lies, damn lies and votes on the pmblog site? 11 votes equals OVERWHELMINGLY popular? I, for one, am not convinced!

    H.

    P.S. Guess which way I voted. ;-)

  42. At 10:54 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Humph- (41) - now see here, my friend, I've been a listener to PM for too long not to know that 68% in a vote = OVERWHELMINGLY popular. Don't try & mess with my argument by introducing piddling little irrelevant statistics such as " there were only 11 votes". So what? I'm looking at the bigger picture here. Please, don't interrupt. Just let me answer your question. You invited me on here, you asked the question, now do me the courtesy of letting me reply. And can I just say I'm very glad you asked me about that, because for a long time I've wanted to bring my view of the bigger picture into the public eye. Because I feel the public is ready for it now. Certain people, and I wouldn't want to name them in a public arena such as this, but I think we both know I'm talking about Peter "no-one reads my blog" Rippon here, have conspired to keep this wonderful theme tune which is rightly and properly considered a masterpiece in musical circles, from the discerning ears of the general public. Well, I'm here to say it's got to stop. I'm forming a consultative committee at the House of Commons as a matter of urgency,within the next two years, to examine the question of the re introduction of the PM Theme Tune. Whatever it was.

  43. At 11:25 PM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Humph, You are of course correct. To get a proper, fair result it would need a much larger survey. However it was probably a small indicator.

    Re: Apeitif who said last Month:-

    At 06:14 PM on 16 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote: I may be the right* side of thirty now, but I've been a Radio 4 addict since my teens.
    But I always hated the very depressing PM theme tune. I only really got into the programme after it had gone.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Looks like you hated all three then? ;-O

    Re; Annasee, It would be nice to hear some feedback from Peter Rippon, you never know. As I've said before he is the best Editor, but probably not an expert on station identity. I suspect there are other powers keeping the leashes on Peter and the team.

    In Mark Damazer's press release he says:-

    "Being Controller of Radio 4 is the best job in broadcasting and I am privileged to be given the opportunity of working with so many talented and creative people.

    "Radio 4 is in terrific shape and my challenge is to cherish it, sustain it and make sure it remains the home for intelligence, flair and wit.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    It's the word 'sustain' that concerns me. The listener figures remain largely static and the station needs nourishment, and for the leashes to be relaxed a little, only then will all the creative talent be realised.

    Eddie does his best within the constraints.


  44. At 11:42 PM on 16 Apr 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Annasee (39) yes go-on let's have an interview with Peter Rippon. (Don't mind about what though, just like his voice!)

  45. At 11:44 PM on 16 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    This may appear twice (Room 502's) tonight.

    Re; Humph, You are of course correct. To get a proper, fair result it would need a much larger survey. However it was probably a small indicator.

    Re: Apeitif who said last Month:-

    At 06:14 PM on 16 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote: I may be the right* side of thirty now, but I've been a Radio 4 addict since my teens.
    But I always hated the very depressing PM theme tune. I only really got into the programme after it had gone.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Looks like you hated all three then? ;-O

    Re; Annasee, It would be nice to hear some feedback from Peter Rippon, you never know. As I've said before he is the best Editor, but probably not an expert on station identity. I suspect there are other powers keeping the leashes on Peter and the team.

    In Mark Damazer's press release he says:-

    "Being Controller of Radio 4 is the best job in broadcasting and I am privileged to be given the opportunity of working with so many talented and creative people.

    "Radio 4 is in terrific shape and my challenge is to cherish it, sustain it and make sure it remains the home for intelligence, flair and wit.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    It's the word 'sustain' that concerns me. The listener figures remain largely static and the station needs nourishment, and for the leashes to be relaxed a little, only then will all the creative talent be realised.

    Eddie does his best within the constraints.

  46. At 12:13 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Dee dee, deedily deedily, dee dee deedily deedily...

    ah, the good old days.

    Are you sitting comfortably?

    Come on, you all know the next line...

    btw, Chris (20), just as well no-one can post in green.

    Or maybe our Ed I knows how? Thanks for the tune.

    Meanwhile, dearest Eric, you did start it... bit of a stirrer?

    Last thing, cos it's bedtime, drove past TC today at about 1700* and no sign of demo in support of Alan J. It must have been earlier.

    OK, I should have been listening to the radio, but someone has to go to Insa*nsbury's

  47. At 12:28 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Jonnie (43), I only remember one, but I'm quite prepared to believe there were three. Were they all depressing? But look, everyone, stop! Eric said were were not having this debate again!... ;-)

  48. At 12:56 AM on 17 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re:- Frances O

    So let's begin ?

    And here's the BBC World service now as we are all off to bed and have no material to broadcast of our own:-(

    cherish it, sustain it ?

    Move forward ..... Yes please !

  49. At 09:27 AM on 17 Apr 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re Aperitif: All three versions are here:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/pm/history.shtml

    The 1996 (depressing one) has problems in playing sometimes.

    I suspect Peter Rippon may have attacked the server that houses it with a mallet

  50. At 10:05 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Jonnie - thanks for that link. I've just listened to all the tunes now. I'd never heard the first 2 before. They are fairly dreadful, I have to say! But the last one is lovely in a sort of exciting-breaking-news kind of way. Funny how so many news themes use such a lot of timpani & high trumpet sounds. I guess the timpani lend "weight" & "gravitas" while the trumpet gives the stirring, exciting quality we should feel at the approaching news bulletin. Things seemed so much simpler in the old days. Perhaps they need a new downbeat tune for days of horrible bad news, such as today. There seems to be more bad than good around generally at the moment. I think I'll stop. I'm depressing myself already.

  51. At 10:46 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:

    Appy (40) It was meant as a throwaway joke - sorry, didn't mean to rile you. :-(


    6 of 6
    I'm getting my comeuppance (sp ??) - I'm apparently maliciously posting now!

  52. At 11:16 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh Dear Izzy (51), And I didn't meaato sound riled! I should've added ";-)" Is that better?

  53. At 11:19 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    P.S. Jonnie, I will come back to that when my Dad has fixed my "Realplayer" for me... :-(

    Now then, Humph is a donkey! His head is all wonky!...

    Don't worry folks -- Humph doesn't tead posts that begin with "P.S." tee hee...

  54. At 11:38 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh, I hate it when a P.S. appears without its predecessor! It was something liked "Izzy (51), Oh dear! I didn't mean to sound riled! I should've added a ";-)" Is that better?"

    *sigh*

  55. At 11:45 AM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Are the moderators making me look silly deliberately? No need guys -- I can do that on my own :-)

  56. At 12:43 PM on 17 Apr 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:

    Appy - That's ok then! ;-)

    I think they're out to get us - it's also September out there now - be alarmed, be slightly alarmed!

  57. At 04:53 PM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I feel a bit left out Izzy -- I haven't been Septembered today. But then, April is quite fine so I'll stay put.

    Semi-seriously for a mo -- it's amazing what does and doesn't get moderated, innit?

  58. At 06:30 PM on 17 Apr 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:

    Appy - it's very odd. Ed I has raised this on the Froggers Refuge. I wonder if there's a "10 for the frog, 1 for me" system going on? Hmmmm...

  59. At 08:19 PM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I knew I'd spoken too soon: I've just been Septembered on the way to the beach!

  60. At 10:35 PM on 17 Apr 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Maybe if I pronounce it Eric-styley? --

    POOSH!

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