The Sound of CITV: Top Ten Children’s ITV Theme Tunes

Posted: September 23, 2015 in TV
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To celebrate their 60th anniversary on the air in the UK, ITV gave us The Sound of ITV: The Nation’s Favourite Theme Tune. As I only spotted one children’s programme on the list (Thunderbirds) I decided to celebrate my own wasted youth with a top ten list.

Though many, MANY classics were shown on this channel when I were a nipper (including X Men, TMNT and those awesome Disney Club cartoons) I’ve decided to stick with the programmes made for or by ITV. Also I’m not really considering the shows themselves – just the opening themes, as those were often the best bits. I mean, does anyone remember anything about Spatz apart from the piano tune and the little man tap dancing on the burger? Nope, didn’t think so.

Anyway, here it is – the Top Ten CITV Theme Tunes.

  1. Button Moon

Ah, here’s one that lulled many of us to sleep as babies as we drifted through space on our adventures with Mr Spoon. This sweet, surreal theme was composed by Doctor Who’s Peter Davison and his then wife Sandra Dickinson.

  1. Woof!

This show had a fun premise – a ginger kid that turns into a dog whenever his nose itched or the plot demanded it. This jolly harmonica tune was always the perfect soundtrack for walkies.

Speaking of dogs, there was another show that I desperately wanted to add to this list but, thanks to my own stupid rules, I’ll have to skip. *Sighs* if only there was some tenuous link I could exploit just for the sake of…



  1. Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds

Catchiest. Theme. EVER. Trust me, it will NEVER leave! Merciless earworm aside, this is also notable as one of the only kid’s TV themes I can think of with a booze reference (“They drink their beer and swear they’re faithful to the king.” Yup, I learned from the best!) And no, that trick where you throw an apple and slice it mid-air will NOT work with a plastic toy sword, as the younger me discovered to her bitter disappointment.

  1. The Raggy Dolls

“It’s not much of a life when you’re just a pretty face/Just to be whoever you are is no disgrace.” What a lovely sentiment! And one we don’t hear nearly enough. This theme was written and sung by Neil Innes of Bonzo Dog Band fame, who many will also remember as the leader of Brave Sir Robin’s Minstrels from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

  1. Count Duckula

You know what? I could have made a top ten themes from the old Cosgrove Hall productions alone. Step forward the Del Boy-voiced Count Duckula, everyone’s favourite vegetarian vampire. And yes, he could absolutely kick Edward Cullen’s sparkly ass!

  1. Bangers and Mash

Knees up! Rockney duo Chas and Dave were the brains behind this opening tune, which set the tone for the antics of the troublemaking chimps. PLEASE someone tell me that’s mud they’re flinging!

  1. Trap Door

“Berk! Feed Me!” Combining traditional animation, Claymation and that unforgettable Vincent Price-esque opening, Trap Door was always destined to be a cult classic. Why? Say it with me now… ‘cause there’s somethin’ down there!

  1. Supergran

“Is there anyhin’ she cannae do?” This showed kids something that, seeing as I had two of them myself, I knew to be true – Scottish grannies are some of the toughest buggers you’ll ever meet. And if this wasn’t Scottish enough already, they got the Big Yin himself, Billy Connolly, to sing the theme. Oan yirsel son! *weeps small tear of national pride*

  1. Danger Mouse

The high notes! The fanfare! The explosions that would make Michael Bay shit himself with glee! Danger Mouse had an exhilarating theme that held strong for a whopping ten series. For an 80s British kid’s show, that’s pretty impressive. Fun fact – this programme also inadvertently gave us an earlier entry on this list – yes, Duckula was originally created as a villain for Danger Mouse. A reboot of this series is due to start airing this year and I’m very curious to see how ol’ DM holds up. That’s “Donnie Murdo” if you ever caught the Gaelic dub!

  1. Knightmare

HELL YEAH! One of the greatest themes, nay, greatest THINGS I remember from childhood. Knightmare was an adventure/game show set in a sprawl of blue screen dungeons where the vast majority of children playing would die horribly (see the infamous Hall of Flying Buzzsaws.) I’ll admit that I loved it so much I practised following directions while wearing a bucket on my head and wrote in asking to be a dungeoneer. I was too young, as it turned out, but I did get a letter back from the Dungeon Master himself, Tregard.

This is the original version of the theme. Doesn’t it just get you fired up for adventure with those pounding hooves, awesome 80s animation and epic hero charging theme? Well, it didn’t last. Eventually the classic opening was swapped for a version that sounded more like Knightmare: The Daytime Soap Opera. Fools.

One more thing!

Time for an honourable mention: The Dreamstone.

I didn’t count this one as the opening credits were mostly narrated exposition BUT the end credits featured the goddamn London Philharmonic Orchestra! I couldn’t get a clip of them on their own, but the sequence used for them kicks off here just before the two minute mark. Enjoy!

Want more? Did I miss something? Check out CITV’s Old Skool channel on YouTube. And yes, they have Knightmare!

  1. We must have loved nearly all the same shows as kids. Loved so many of these. I saw last week a parody live production of Knightmare. It was absolutely brilliant. ☺

  2. Wee Lin says:

    I wish I’d seen that! Do you know if they’re doing any more shows?

  3. James Hare says:

    Great post, loved re-watching all these intro’s, most of these would definitely be in my top 10, especially Trap Door, Dogtanian and Duckula.

    Only one I didn’t know was Bangers and Mash! Also glad someone else remembers The Dreamstone, thought it was just me 🙂

    • Wee Lin says:

      Glad you enjoyed them! The Dreamstone really doesn’t seem to be that well remembered, which is a shame because it feels like a lot of work and talent went into making it.

  4. James Hare says:

    Reblogged this on Reality Glitch and commented:
    Great post, loved re-watching all these intro’s, most of these would definitely be in my top 10, especially Trap Door, Dogtanian and Duckula.

    Only one I didn’t know was Bangers and Mash! Also glad someone else remembers The Dreamstone, thought it was just me!

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