Monday, 6 November 2017

RIP Dudley Simpson

Sad to hear that the talented TV theme tune composer Dudley Simpson has died at the age of 95.


Born in Australia in 1922, Simpson studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and worked at the Borovansky Ballet Company (now the Australian Ballet) before moving to the UK where he became the principal conductor of the Royal Opera House Orchestra. In 1961 he turned his talents to TV, composing themes and scores for several dramas before catching the eye (or ears) of Doctor Who's Mervyn Pinfield who recruited him to score the music for the William Hartnell serial Planet of the Giants. From there, a 15 year association with the programme commenced which saw Simpson become the most prolific composer attached to the popular series, culminating in arguably my most favourite of his work, the An American In Paris inspired piano suite for Tom Baker's 1979 Parisian shot serial City of Death



Simpson's association with the series came to an end that year when new producer John Nathan Turner announced he wanted a new sound for the 1980s, but Simpson continued to be a familiar name in the credits of many a TV show, providing the scores or theme tunes to a plethora of shows including Blake's 7, The Tomorrow People, The Brothers, Moonbase 3, Paul Temple, Target, The Ascent of Man, Super Gran, and many of the plays in the BBC Shakespeare season.

Simpson returned to Australia in the 1990s and lived out the rest of his retirement there until his death yesterday.

RIP

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