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Inspector Morse has been voted the number one TV theme tune of all time in a poll by music fans.

More than 20,000 Classic FM listeners and Radio Times readers voted in a poll for their favourite television scores.

The dark, hypnotic theme tune to the ITV crime drama series, composed by Australian-born Barrington Pheloung, debuted on screen 34 years ago.

The composer would even occasionally reveal the name of the episode’s killer in Morse code during the opening tune. 

Pheloung, who also composed theme tunes for Inspector Morse’s follow-up series Lewis and its prequel Endeavour, died in 2019 aged 65.

Inspector Morse was voted the number one TV theme tune of all time in a poll of Classic FM listeners and Radio Times readers

Inspector Morse was voted the number one TV theme tune of all time in a poll of Classic FM listeners and Radio Times readers

Inspector Morse was voted the number one TV theme tune of all time in a poll of Classic FM listeners and Radio Times readers 

His widow Heather said: ‘It is such incredible news. For Barry, writing music was a way he could bring joy and love to people, his music came from the heart, and composing music and bringing it to life with his colleagues and friends was his passion.’

Inspector Morse, which starred John Thaw as the detective, aired from 1987 to 2000. The theme for Lewis, starring Kevin Whately, was 20th in the list.

Actor Kevin Whately, who starred as Robert Lewis in both Inspector Morse and Lewis, said: ‘It was a privilege to be involved in the making of these programmes, and it’s an honour to the memory of Barry to know that it has such a place in people’s hearts.

‘The theme was carefully produced to reflect Inspector Morse’s character, which was threaded throughout the music with an incredible attention to detail.’

Radio Times co-editor, Shem Law, added: ‘It comes as no surprise that Barrington Pheloung’s haunting theme for the landmark ITV series Inspector Morse has won Classic FM’s TV Music Countdown with Radio Times.

The drama, which starred John Thaw as the detective, featured a dark, hypnotic theme tune composed by Australian-born Barrington Pheloung

The drama, which starred John Thaw as the detective, featured a dark, hypnotic theme tune composed by Australian-born Barrington Pheloung

The drama, which starred John Thaw as the detective, featured a dark, hypnotic theme tune composed by Australian-born Barrington Pheloung

‘It is a show our readers still love, and watch, the theme music set the bar for Sunday night murder mysteries and is still a classic of the genre.’

The drama series The Onedin Line came in second with its opening theme song titled Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia by Aram Khachaturian.

The period drama Downton Abbey’s theme by John Lunn claims the third spot, Ramin Djawadi’s theme for Game Of Thrones made fourth place and Wolf Hall by composer Debbie Wiseman came in fifth.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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