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Upshares Downshares: Hear all the music and give to Children In Need!

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Eddie Mair | 10:50 UK time, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Hundreds of people have expressed an interest in a CD (for charity) of all the versions, and we're looking at whether that's possible.

In the meantime, if you want to hear all the themes we've broadcast....click HERE....and notice that there's a link where you can make a donation to Children In Need. You're not obliged of course, but we'd be grateful (breaks down and weeps openly, to try to make you give. It's for the kids, you know).

There's also this lovely montage, a shorter version of which features in PM tonight:

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This is Sandy Faris, whose original composition got us going on all this. Sandy's book about his life, including of course details of the Upstairs, Downstairs story, is called Da Capo Al Fine: A Life in Music (by Alexander Faris). He is working on a new edition which features all this Upshares nonsense.

Before Christmas we heard from Sandy on the programme, as he listened to our listeners' themes, and played for us on his own piano.

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Our adventure didn't end there. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra kindly agreed to play a newly orchestrated version of Sandy's theme. Alan Gout (below) did the orchestration.


Nils was there for the recording.

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And there was this spectacular video, shot by Simon Robertshaw:

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(and finally...our compilation of the very best of Nils:)

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  • 1. At 11:00am on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    ... and then two come along at once!

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  • 2. At 11:15am on 26 Jan 2010, Radiowonk wrote:

    I've said it before but have no compunction in saying it again; too many people have put in too much work for the results of their efforts to be "lost" forever.
    The "Philharmonic" version must either be the "first" or the "last" track on the CD you are going to issue (you are, aren't you?) with proceeds going to charity. Failing that at least let us download it all; you can still charge for it!

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  • 3. At 11:23am on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    So what will be the final theme version? Or will you be playing all the remaining versions at once?

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  • 4. At 11:31am on 26 Jan 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Lovely, loony stuff. Except for Mr. Blythe, about whom I will say 'lovely, Clooney stuff'. ;o)

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  • 5. At 12:01pm on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    I'm guessing it's going to be the full Queen/Freddie (Eddie?) Mercury anthem version tonight, complete with full vocal chorus and twiddly guitar solo. I shall look forward to seeing the photos of Eddie and Nils in their glam rock gear.

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  • 6. At 12:08pm on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    If you listen really carefully, you can already hear it...

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  • 7. At 12:19pm on 26 Jan 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Bring back upshares downshares now!

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  • 8. At 12:47pm on 26 Jan 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Bring back 'Recent Comments'.

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  • 9. At 1:02pm on 26 Jan 2010, patmartin wrote:

    I don't understand why it has to be the end of Nils and Upshares. Every advert for financial services on the telly tells us the value of shares goes up and down and will continue to do so. Anyway I just like the sound of Nils's voice. I never have the faintest idea what he's talking about.

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  • 10. At 1:16pm on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Cracking medley, by the way. Well done to whoever put that together, as well as the various performers of course.

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  • 11. At 1:20pm on 26 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    As the saying goes: never, in the field of musical endeavour, has so much time been wasted, by so many, on one tune.

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  • 12. At 1:23pm on 26 Jan 2010, eddiemair wrote:

    10: the medly was the fine work of Jonathan Brown.

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  • 13. At 1:23pm on 26 Jan 2010, eddiemair wrote:

    and indeed so was the medley

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  • 14. At 1:50pm on 26 Jan 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Do you drive a Bently? Or a Bentley? ;o)

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  • 15. At 1:53pm on 26 Jan 2010, Space_Alien wrote:

    greetings earthfood... here's my little version lucky for you it ended today it was so irritating we were going to invade...


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  • 16. At 2:04pm on 26 Jan 2010, elcej wrote:

    I vote for the orchestral version to be the next radio 4 UK Theme. It could be played each morning when radio 4 starts transmission.
    Eddie, could you speak to Mark Damazer about it?

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  • 17. At 3:50pm on 26 Jan 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Get ready to start playing htat tune again!

    Do you rmemeber when the 'recession started much earlier than we had thought'

    It was because, after all the shouting and the ballyhoo, that quarter's (Q2, 2008) growth was eventually revised from positive to negative (from PULS 0.6!!!)

    So play that tune when the final revisions come through. Call it the back catalogue.

    Then there's double dip, when recession comes back again!

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  • 18. At 4:11pm on 26 Jan 2010, James Davison wrote:

    And while you're at it, could you put on the old Radio 4 early morning theme tune - the medley of Rule Britannia, Danny Boy, Drunken Sailor etc....I still miss it.

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  • 19. At 4:16pm on 26 Jan 2010, annasee wrote:

    I love that medley. Well done Jonathan Brown. Reminds me how many interesting versions there were, & some that I'd missed, including the Dr Who version. Brilliant.

    I really hope the BBC can produce the CD, as it will be a reminder of the mass-madness that gripped everyone who sent in versions of the piece, without any encouragement. I mean, really - why? Because somehow we couldn't resist it. No encouragement, no payment,no advice "Here's the address to send your version to" but still the renditions appeared. What wouldn't the government give to be able to motivate the general population that way!

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  • 20. At 4:20pm on 26 Jan 2010, Electric Dragon wrote:

    That compilation of Nils sounded rather like Collaterly Sisters, businews reporter of The Day Today : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0uE1qi2A68

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  • 21. At 5:02pm on 26 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 14, A Hyundai.

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  • 22. At 5:04pm on 26 Jan 2010, ValeryP wrote:

    The medley is great, and if it's a taster of the cd then three cheers for everyone. In fact three cheers anyway!

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  • 23. At 5:04pm on 26 Jan 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Yay! Annasee, Gossipmistress and Miss Pooh Bear's version is there!

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  • 24. At 5:15pm on 26 Jan 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    So banned version still banned?

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  • 25. At 5:32pm on 26 Jan 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Lovely to hear Mr. Faris' version just now. Will be looking forward to the news of the CD - and when I've time, I'll be clicking on the link.

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  • 26. At 5:33pm on 26 Jan 2010, alanparker wrote:

    Stirring stuff - it almost bought a lump to my eye.
    Going to miss it.

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  • 27. At 5:43pm on 26 Jan 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Will it contain the 1970's Radio Times advert.

    Since you're making it availiable as a download, why not make it availiable pre-loaded onto a MP3 player. I saw an advert somewhere for an MP3 player with classical music preloaded, for people who don't understand these things, as I don't (I'm what they call an IT immigrant, not an IT native) with the software to download more. I understand CD's, not MP3 players, I'm thinking you might not be able to sell enough CD's to cover your costs, as CD's have high fixed costs compared to other systems like I imagine MP3 players are. And it might be a way of educating your listeners into understanding these things. We would get an MP3 player on which we could get music without having to work out the software, yet have the opportunity to download the stuff when we work out how to do.

    I'm thinking you might find it easier to get a business to supply MP3 players with the music preloaded at a lower cost per item than CD's that, at least when they first came out, had a high one off cost.

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  • 28. At 5:59pm on 26 Jan 2010, Maartje wrote:

    Aah, it's so sad that Upshares is ending. I have really enjoyed listening to the different versions of the theme tune; I think there was only one I couldn't stand. I'm going to miss them!

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  • 29. At 6:05pm on 26 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I loved the medley (on-air, for me). Thanks, Jonathan Brown and all who contributed.

    I only spotted annasee's lovely harp, but I'll go back for another listen.

    PS: who'd have thought the recession would have produced so much talent, wit and sheer fun?

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  • 30. At 6:06pm on 26 Jan 2010, Fifi wrote:

    A seamless medley, very very clever. Well done Mr Brown, and well done all the contributors. Typical PM of course... and don't we love it!

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  • 31. At 6:32pm on 26 Jan 2010, Moose Factory wrote:

    My business has taken a pummelling, I've sold all my own shares to keep afloat and I haven't had a holiday since David Cameron became leader of the Opposition...But the Upshares music has kept me going. Thank you all.

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  • 32. At 6:33pm on 26 Jan 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    It was great, and it'll be missed (by some of us).

    Didn't Kathy Clugston do a version on her uke, or am I thinking of something else?

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  • 33. At 7:12pm on 26 Jan 2010, Malcolm Henderson wrote:

    The medley of listner UD/DS tunes was excellent. There were some little gems in there. If copyright is not an issue, why not offer them as charity ring-tones for phones, with say a £5 charge, all proceeds to Hati?
    I would buy a tune.

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  • 34. At 7:19pm on 26 Jan 2010, Sindy wrote:

    What a medley - the coolest thing since ... cucumber.

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  • 35. At 7:22pm on 26 Jan 2010, Paul Bourne wrote:

    I really enjoyed the Upshares Downshares bit every evening. We will miss Nils AND the wonderful variety of of theme tunes. I can't wait to buy a copy. These people are so talented. Thanks everyone and keep up the great work (ps Eddie is bril).

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  • 36. At 10:00pm on 26 Jan 2010, Chris Hogan wrote:

    This is just so good: a national treasure already! Can there be better radio anywhere?

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  • 37. At 10:20pm on 26 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I'm just sooo impressed with PM knowing the recession was going to end today before even the Government did!

    [Smiles disengenuously]

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  • 38. At 10:22pm on 26 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:


    [Corrects spelling irritably]

    Why won't the letters appear until much later than I type them and then all roll out in a great rush? Computer says 'slo-o-ow'.

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  • 39. At 10:22am on 27 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    It would be handy to have them all together to download, take forever one at a time. I'll even put them all on CD if the Beeb can't get it together... 'we're looking at whether that's possible' of course it's possible, I'll even add Nils' medley and some pictures and sleeve notes, and, yes, a picture CD, how cool is that?

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  • 40. At 10:30am on 27 Jan 2010, Chris McCray wrote:

    Malcolm Henderson (post 33) makes a very good suggestion (imho) - the Upshares Variations are all quite short and distinctive and would be ideal as mobile ring tones. There are suppliers out there that can handle the audio files, and the payment system, if the BBC doesn't have the capabilities readily available in-house (the results of searching for "BBC Ringtones" on t'interweb suggests not).

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  • 41. At 10:52am on 27 Jan 2010, AmbassadorDelenn wrote:

    Electric Dragon (20), I thought I was the only one to remember Collaterly Sisters from The Day Today. But you're spot on. "And in summary, 3!" was one of my favourite lines.

    So farewell then, Upshares. You left with the send-off you deserved. Thanks to all involved with the theme tunes and Eddie, can we have a CD.... Please?!?!? Oh pleeeeeeease?????

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  • 42. At 1:23pm on 27 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    20. Thanks for the link, I'm a fan of Chris Morris for years, but never seen that, how did I miss it?

    I'm off to burn a CD.

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  • 43. At 1:30pm on 27 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    18. James Davison - that would kill it for me, have spent twenty years diving for the off switch when I heard the first notes of that.

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  • 44. At 5:23pm on 27 Jan 2010, whitehousemac wrote:

    I have a vast range of compilation cds which are rarely listened to. Only a few are charity discs and this section of the library is in need of enhancement. An Upshares Downshares CD would be the perfect addition to the 'rarely listened to'(charity) end of the shelf.

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