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.
EDIT 2: It’s not Keith Mansfield, it’s Richard Myhill, and is entitled “The Heat” from his record “Out Front”. the confusion probably came about by whoever released this, because it was featured on the KPM record library.
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”…