Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Theme Time : Pet Shop Boys- The Clothes Show

Some shows are so etched in the memory that the moment you hear the theme tune you are transported back in time. Like the themes to Last of the Summer Wine, Bullseye, Bread and Howards Way, I only have to hear the Pet Shop Boys In The Night Mix, the theme to the BBC's The Clothes Show and I'm instantly back top those Sunday evenings as a kid in the '80s and '90s, when I had to tolerate watching a load of waffle about fashion because my sister wanted to watch it.

The Clothes Show made its debut on BBC1 on October 13th, 1986 (just six days before 7th birthday, of which I remember a nice cake with a Worzel Gummidge figure you could place a candle in) and its mix of catwalk reportage and tips on how to get the catwalk look on a budget was originally hosted by designer and former Mr Sandie Shaw, Jeff Banks and the classy hostess of BBC's Breakfast Time, Selina Scott. Later, i-D Magazine's editor Caryn Franklin joined the show, taking over from the main co-presenting duties with Banks once Scott left. 

The show ran for fourteen years and a series of hosts appeared alongside Banks and Franklin including Margherita Taylor, Brenda Emmanus, Richard Jobson and Tim Vincent. In 1989 the success of this teatime Sunday evening programme saw the launch of Birmingham NEC's annual Clothes Show Live, still held to this day, and even an accompanying magazine. The show's annual modelling competition boasted finds such as Jamie Theakston and Cat Deeley, whilst guest roving reporters included the inimitable Leigh Bowery, a character who completely bemused the childhood me at the time. 

Despite its success and loyal audience, The Clothes Show's time on the BBC came to a close in 2000, though it subsequently returned on the cable and satellite channel UKTV Style in 2006 and can now be seen on Really on weeknights since 2009. Hosts on this new incarnation have included former girl band member and premier WAG Louise Redknapp and the show's stalwart Caryn Franklin.

Whilst it is the Pet Shop Boys track which will be forever associated with the show, the series original theme was in fact a Shep Pettibone remix of Five Star's Find The Time, which had reached number 7 in the UK charts in July of 1986.

Saint Etienne were also asked to produce a theme tune for the show, but it was subsequently turned down. Poor St Etienne - they not only had their theme for the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies knocked back, but also The Clothes Show. The band subsequently released it on their album Built on Sand, a compilation of rarities from 1994-'99. "Imagine our horror," they wrote in the sleevenotes, "when we turned on to discover our 'theme' has been relegated to incidental music for the part of a programme called Wild About Wool. Hey ho. Feel free to use this theme for your own TV extravaganza"

Well I can't use it for that purpose, but as someone has kindly uploaded the entire album on YouTube, I can post it here and you'll be able to hear the band's proposed theme immediately, as it is track one...

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