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Inspector Morse beats Game of Thrones to be named UK’s favourite TV theme tune of all time – but do you agree?

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Inspector Morse topped the polls (Credits: ITV)

Inspector Morse topped a poll of more than 20,000 people, who voted for their favourite TV theme tune.

The voting – run by both Classic FM and Radio Times – asked readers and listeners to pick their top tunes from some of the UK’s most popular programmes in recent years.

But it was Inspector Morse which seems to have won the hearts of avid TV watchers, beating the likes of Downton Abbey and Doctor Who.

The theme tune was composed by Australian Barrington Pheloung and had been attached to the series since it began back in 1987.

The drama aired for seven seasons up until 2000, with actor John Thaw in the starring role as the detective chief until the actor’s death in the same year.

Pheloung also composed music for the show’s spin-off series, Lewis, which came 20th in the voting.

As well as Lewis, the broadcaster has also aired Morse prequel Endeavour in recent years starring both Shaun Evans and Roger Allam.

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Downton Abbey was third on the list (Picture: ITV)

The composer passed away in 2019 aged 65 but his widow Heather spoke out on how pleased she was to hear the news.

She said: ‘It is such incredible news. For Barry, writing music was a way he could bring joy and love to people.

‘His music came from the heart and composing music and bringing it to life with his colleagues and friends was his passion.’



UK’s Top 10 TV Theme Tunes of All Time

  1. Inspector Morse: Barrington Pheloung
  2. The Onedin Line (Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia): Aram Khachaturian
  3. Downton Abbey: John Lunn
  4. Game of Thrones: Ramin Djawadi
  5. Wolf Hall: Debbie Wiseman
  6. Band of Brothers: Michael Kamen
  7. Van der Valk: Jan Stoekart
  8. Brideshead Revisited: Geoffrey Burgon
  9. Pride and Prejudice: Carl Davis
  10. Poldark: Anne Dudley

Actor Kevin Whately, who portrayed Robert Lewis in Inspector Morse as well as the subsequent follow-up gave his verdict on the accolade.

He said: ‘It was a privilege to be involved in the making of these programmes, and it’s an honour to the memory of Barry to know that it has such a place in people’s hearts.’

Those narrowly missing out on the No.1 spot were Downton Abbey, which came in third place and the Game of Thrones theme tune just behind in fourth place.

Other shows to make it into the top 20 included Poldark in 10th place and Peaky Blinders dramatic track from Nick Cave in 16th.

Radio Times co-editor, Shem Law, said: ‘It comes as no surprise that Barrington Pheloung’s haunting theme for the landmark ITV series Inspector Morse has won Classic FM’s TV Music Countdown with Radio Times.

‘It is a show our readers still love, and watch, the theme music set the bar for Sunday night murder mysteries and is still a classic of the genre.’


Credit: Original article published here.

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