Welcome to my world. Yesterday afternoon, I went up to Broadcasting House to record a column (ie. authored piece that you read out) for the estimable Front Row on Radio 4. It compared the opening night of Channel 4 with the schedule of this week, in a light-hearted way. (They don’t usually ask me on for a non-light-hearted view – they have plenty of others for that type of thing.) It was fun to do, as it began with me musing on the fact that TV channels no longer have fanfares, as they all did when I was growing up. I was going to ask producer Laura to drop in clips of the fanfares for Thames, LWT, Anglia and early C4, which are all reassuringly available on YouTube, but we decided it would be more amusing if I sang them, as you might in a pub during a conversation about theme tunes. So I did. With the column recorded, I came home. Then, about an hour and a half later, I had a concerned call from Laura, who was mid-edit: it turns out I had erroneously sung the Thames theme for Anglia. Hey, you try remembering channel idents on the spot, in a BBC studio. They get mixed up. So, I travelled all the way back into Central London just to sing the Anglia TV ident. We found a studio, we set up, I put on my headphones, sang, “Bah bah bah ba-baaah ba-ba-da-ba-baaahh!” and then came home again. What professionalism, you’re thinking.
Anyway, it was worth it, I think, to lower the tone of Radio 4 for a few minutes on a Thursday evening. You can, if you wish, listen to the column (it’s the last item on the show, as my items always are!) and to Kirsty Lang back-announcing it with a jaunty laugh in her voice, possibly put on, possibly not. I don’t care! Look for Thursday night’s Front Row here.
(Of course, C4 dropped its fanfare in 1996 and went all esoteric. Nowadays you get an ambient “bed” over which the announcer can rabbit on, and the logo is constructed, mid-air, out of haystacks or bits of council estate.)
And if anybody needs to see or hear the old Anglia fanfare, here it is: