Thursday, 3 July 2014

Theme Time : Milton Hunter Orchestra/Cold Turkey - Budgie

Another great favourite of mine, Budgie was a comedy drama which starred singer turned actor Adam Faith as the small time crook and eternal loser Ronald 'Budgie' Bird, forever running errands for - and running into trouble with - the Soho hood Charlie Endell (Iain Cuthbertson) whilst trying to keep both his girlfriend Hazel (the gorgeous Lynn Dalby) and his estranged wife Jean (Georgina Hale) sweet.

The show, written by Billy Liar's Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, ran for two series from 1971 to 1972. It was a big favourite of my parents at the time and I remember watching the repeats in the 1980s with my dad before properly getting into it thanks to the DVD releases.

Each series had a different theme. The first series theme was a haunting, melancholic number entitled The Loner and was provided by the Milton Hunter Orchestra

Series two's theme was provided by Cold Turkey, a sideline for The Kinks Ray Davies. This theme differed from The Loner in that it had lyrics, sung by Ray. The title of the theme was Nobody's Fool and Kinks fans will notice a similarity musically to their song Animal Farm which featured on their album The Village Green Preservation Society.

Both themes accompanied one of the most distinctive opening titles to appear on TV; Budgie trying and failing to collect hundreds of bank notes invariably spelling out his name/the title of the show and the cast. The following clip shows those titles in full, accompanied by the observations made in the gallery by technicians during broadcast!

No comments:

Post a Comment