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With a song in our heart

Roger Mosey | 16:14 UK time, Saturday, 15 July 2006

One World Cup's over and another one takes place in Spring next year: the Cricket World Cup, for which we have live radio coverage and television highlights - marking the return of cricket to BBC tv for the first time since 1999. The planning's now well underway, and one of the things we were kicking around in the office this week was what the theme music should be. And it plays into a wider discussion we've been having about BBC Sport and music...

Probably the best example of how much the theme music means to people was the large number of emails around the time we announced we were phasing out Grandstand that said "fine, but keep the sig tune". Without revealing the outcome of our discussions, I can also say that some people thought it was completely and utterly non-negotiable that the Cricket World Cup should be introduced by "Soul Limbo" - because that just is the BBC cricket theme.

There's clearly a balance to be struck between tradition and modernity. As controller of Radio Five Live in the late 1990s, I was a traditionalist in wanting to keep the sig tune for Sports Report despite its advancing years; and there are plenty of BBC Sport television theme tunes that are defiantly retro but just part of the event. The Wimbledon closing music is a good example. On the other hand, there's no law that says the music used in the 50s, 60s or even the 90s is automatically right now - and some people loathe some of the sig tunes. Believe it or not, there are even people who write in and ask us to drop the Match Of The Day theme... and if you look at the football music Q&As on our site, you'll see that we do use many more contemporary tracks. Good thing, too.

So what's the right way forward: what should we preserve, and what should we axe? This is bound to be a demonstration of the truth of the saying that one man's meat is another man's poison, but we'd really like to hear your views.

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