1980s ITV Athletics theme…

Some of you may remember this. Many of you won’t. I could probably copy and paste the following from many other articles I’ve written about my love of obscure themes, but I won’t.

Back in the days when ITV actually had some athletics coverage, they used a guitar/piano type theme, which as a kid, I adored. I instantly knew I was in for an afternoon / evening of… erm, athletics.

ITV revamped their coverage for the 1990 European Championships in Split, and this awesome theme was dropped. Unfortunately, no video exists of the introductions that use the theme on youtube, or anywhere else for that matter, except for a realplayer video I have. It’s 35 seconds long, and 655K in size. You can imagine the quality.

I’d never heard this music anywhere else (except in an advert played once on the radio when going down the A19 when I was about 7 or 8).

In a series of mind ramblings involving Shazam (that mobile phone app that attempts to guess which song you’re listening to), and its inability to name this particular track, I typed into Google, “ITV Athletics theme”. The first few results were for the newer theme (which I’ve already got), but one hit was from Amazon…


I took one look at the ‘CD cover’, and the generic name / artist of this track, and thought “Yeah, Okay. This is going to be an awful re-recording of something”.

I pressed play on the sample. The wallet flew out of my pocket quicker than what a Shearas Punjabi Wrap flies out of my body the morning after a night out. It’s amazingly the very same track!

For anyone with access to Spotify, here’s the link to the full track:-

For the record…
00:00-00:30 seconds was never played
00:30-01:00 was the main theme
01:00-01:10 was the bit Jim Rosenthal used to talk over.

NOTE: The timings above are entirely wrong, as I failed to notice a subtle edited loop in the original theme, despite listening to the track constantly for around an hour.

The rest of the track was rarely played, but occasionally edited for random purposes such as viewer competitions, etc.

I thought for many years it was by Argent/Van Hooke, as they knocked out many themes for ITV around this time, but no, it’s actually by the same guy who did the famous 1970s-2000s Grandstand theme, Keith Mansfield.

Right now, I want to be stood in the middle of an athletics track, in the pouring rain, looking slightly pissed off and uttering those immortal words… “Hello, from Brussels”…

The Unknown Song, still ongoing

Anybody who has been in contact with me in any way, shape or form over the last 15 years of internet usage will know one thing. I have been after the name of a particular piece of music since the mid 90s. With technology moving on as fast paced as it has, I never thought I’d be after the name of this particular melody for literally half of my life. Unfortunately, this is the case.

The tune, in question, as I’m sure you’ve all heard before, is here:-

c64glen retweeted the above link (cheers man!), but at the time of typing, there was no response. Therefore, I’m asking on here, vainly, if anyone knows the above track. Here’s a copy ‘n’ paste segment from a ‘deleted’ I made back in 2007…

Way back in the mid to late 90’s, a guy called Tom Davies used to host a talk-in show on TFM, imaginatively titled “Tom’s Talk-In”. After ad breaks, etc, he used to play bits of music, usually announcing the telephone number to ring in and other bits of information like that.

All (or at least most) of these tracks were edited versions of different songs from the 80s and 90s (including my much-loved “Downtown” by One 2 Many). I knew a few of the tracks, but not all of them. There was one particular one I loved, and didn’t know the name of. At some point in 1998, I got Chris to phone in and ask its name…

“You can’t buy it”, was Tom’s 4-word response.
“What’s it called, then”? Chris asked.
“It doesn’t have one”.

I didn’t quite believe this, and still don’t obviously. A few people had rang up in the past, and asked what a certain piece of music is. Sometimes he’d help, sometimes he’d say it didn’t have a name, despite the fact I knew what it was.

At some point after this, Tom crashed his car into a field after swerving to avoid a fox, and the minidisc containing the show’s music was lost or destroyed. Some of the original music returned, but this particular track didn’t, and I never heard it again.

Luckily I found an old C90 with this particular tune on, and I was able to ask a few people whether they knew it. Unfortunately, nobody did. To this day, I still call it “The Unknown Song”.


If you do find out what it is, for god’s sake, leave a comment or something.

Needless to say, nobody did leave a comment. Technology has moved on, Shazam is now “free”, as in, I hope it as an app on my phone which is sponsored until the end of the year. No matter what aangle I point my phone at, it just will not name it.

I have got to the point where I’ve relied on Youtube’s “annoyingly fucking accurate” music spotter. If you have even a twinge of a song in a video, it’ll send you a snotty email saying that “XY owns the copyright, be careful, you peasant”. One of my videos got blocked in Germany because someone at [CENSORED] was dancing hilariously to the Pussycat Dolls. Another got ‘marked’ because I was on a walk with Gary, and I happened to be filming out of the car window while he had the radio on.

I thought I’d use this technology to my advantage, and upload the video you see above. Maybe it could give me some information on who owns this recording. Sadly not. It’s been a few days and their automatic system hasn’t triggered.

Oooh! Rock me Amadeus!

Nowt like starting a post with an obscure song from a dead Austrian. I was originally going to call this post “Vienna Calling (Awooooah!)”, but I thought that would be a little too obscure, plus I’m actually listening to the extended version of “Rock Me Amadeus” as I type this. It’s the 8-minute version. On repeat. I’m wearing headphones. And they’re at full blast.

And so, it begins. The countdown to the holiday which has been tentatively planned since the spring of 2009. Lots of shit has happened which means these annual trips haven’t been so annual. However, in what seems like no time at all, I shall once again be leaving the shores of this wonderful country, and heading up into the skies to Austria, and finally landing in a heap somewhere near Vienna airport…

As usual, Chris and Jonathan will be tagging along.

This trip appears to be organised better than the last ones already. We’ve booked transport from the airport to the hotel, and the reverse trip a week later. I’m already scouting Google Maps for directions to the landmarks.

I’m not revealing the days I’m going (not yet anyway), but it’s soon. Expect the usual amount of photos (976 tagged with ‘paris‘, 919 tagged with ‘“berlin‘… this time, however, I’ll be taking 48Gb worth of memory cards (count ’em!) with me, and my little Canon is easier to take videos with than my old camcorder, so expect plenty of videos too! I might sort out some type of internet on my phone so I’ll be able to update with my experience while I’m over there….

Flying, Fishermen and Flames…

A few of you know why I’ve not been looking forward to this past week. I’m happy to report that it hasn’t been as bad as I imagined.. the last few days should be pretty interesting too.

Anyway,Sunday saw me with Jamie S, Gary, and at a later point in the afternoon, Andy the Iridium Fan, who as usual, will be abbreviated to ATIF, for typing purposes.

Jamie S arrived at mercuryvapour Towers at 8:27, donning a pair of sunglasses and brown chinos. Gary arrived in the Flavmobile, some 11 minutes later. The festivities didn’t start until 10AM, so this gave us 90 minutes to get to Sunderland. Normally, it’s a 20-minute journey, but we had to account for traffic. It was bound to be *packed*.

It took us 25 minutes. Bugger.

We were one of the first to arrive at the Park ‘n’ Ride thing, located near Haversham park. I didn’t actually know this at the time, I just Google Map’d it.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to have a ride on one of the Red Arrows. I felt so priveleged!


By the time we arrived at the airshow properly, it was about 10AM. We walked along to get money at a nearby Morrisons, after all the cost of anything here would clearly be extortionate, things like this always are. First plan of the day was where to have dinner. Sure, we could rely on the burger vans and stuff, but Gary knew where there was a pub with a carvery which would serve food even though the air show was on. Jamie S spent about a week talking to someone about joining the TA. I can tell that he’s really interested in doing this, as the information she gave him is still in *my* bag!

After buying some books at a charity stall (50p for 2!), we headed up to the carvery… I must admit, the meal was excellent.

Suitably stuffed, we walked back along the seafront and headed onto the beach to watch the first show of the afternoon, the parachutists landing. Now, there was one reason why I mentioned Jamie S’s chinos. they would make us easy to spot in a crowd. And, they did! Andrew D didn’t know we were here at the time, yet he still managed to photograph us…

(It would appear this image is broken. Bugger. If I’m not lazy, I’ll redo it. At some point.)

Jamie S wanted to go to Morrisons again, so me and Gary watched the spitfires from what could possibly the the best vantage point… in the middle of a raised roundabout!


The view was short-lived, however, as a marshall moved us on a few moments later. Awwww.

Jamie S had exited Morrisons at this point, and we began to make our way down the promenade. The displays continued around us. I used my A480 to record some video, and I gave control of the 450D to Jamie S, in the hope that some good shots of stunt planes flying by would turn up…


Yeah, thanks. You want a job doing properly….

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst picture of me taken on the day. There are worse, much worse. At approximately 3:15, I received a tap on my shoulder. Presumably, it was someone asking me to get out of the way, after all, the seafront was pretty packed. Instinctively, I turn around, only to receive a camera lens in my face…

Yup, ATIF had turned up! Now, the odds of us both meeting up were very slim, due to the size of the event, and apparently a million people there. He even let me borrow his telephoto lens! Otherwise, photos such as these would be impossible…


Of course, with Andrew being there, there just had to be another embarrassing photo of me taken. Deep down, I quite like this one…

I don’t know why.