Thursday, 27 March 2014

Theme Time : Andy Pask & Charlie Morgan - The Bill

The Bill a mainstay of the ITV schedule for twenty six years. A police procedural set in the fictional London police station Sun Hill, it began life as a beautifully observed one off 1983 play entitled Woodentop by the great Geoff McQueen, before ITV, sensing the premise had legs, commissioned a full series for the following year. By 1988, the show went to a twice weekly half hour slot before reverting to hour long episodes in the late 90s and, in the last stages of its life becoming little more than a glorified soap with all the sensationalism such programmes wallow in (what is it with solid procedural fictional looks at our emergency services going to pot? London's Burning went soapy, Casualty is a third rate panto now and even Holby City has become pants recently?) leading to the chop in 2010.

The theme tune to The Bill was composed by Andy Pask and Charlie Morgan. Entitled Overkill it's an instantly familiar and distinctive tune that was used faithfully until an initial remix in the late 90s and subsequent tinkering until being dropped altogether a year before the show's eventual demise.

Here is that original version in all its 1980s glory

I bet you're all picturing the legs now aren't you?

Of course, the comedian Bill Bailey discusses the theme tune far better than I can in this clip from Room 101, alongside host Paul Merton...

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