There’s an interesting, if slightly geekish programme on BBC4 at the moment, all about the history of TV theme tunes. It was something of a nostalgia-fest as well as a revelation about how the themes were produced and who produced them; I didn’t know, for example, that women were pioneers in the field of electronic music and that the team behind the radiophonic workshop which produced the Dr Who theme was led by a woman, Delia Derbyshire. There was also a refreshing amateurishness to the BBC’s productions back then which is entirely lacking now; the radiophonic workshop was run on a shoestring and held together by bits of rope and old cocoa tins. The programme looks at many iconic theme tunes, such as The Prisoner, The Saint and Coronation Street and the presenter bangs them all out on his old joanna. Next week they’ll be looking at ad jingles, so that promises to be fun.
There’s also an enjoyable repeat of last year’s Christmas University Challenge running along in the 7 pm slot, again on BBC4. I much prefer this to the usual UC because it’s more relaxed, less intense, much more fun and features a wider variety of people, especially women. Women are in short supply on the usual series but the Christmas one features alumni of various institutions who have become famous for some reason: not necessarily ‘celebrities’ but people eminent in their own field. It’s also a great deal less Oxbridge-heavy. So that’s all good.
Apart from that there’s not much to report from this end of the East Midlands. It’s a period of waiting, I guess…