THE latest obsession with lists concluded on Monday evening of this week.

Classic FM has perfected the art of interacting with its audience base by running its annual Hall of Fame which asks listeners to flag up their top three compositions.

Never got round to it myself, since I’m still trying to edit my own list down to the magic number when the closing date arrives.

Monday’s listfest was a bit different. In tandem with Radio Times they played the top 50 TV theme tunes as voted for by the public.

It’s not the strange marriage it seems at first, since so many TV themes are harvested from the works of classical composers. There are sound reasons for this: not least that they’re mostly well dead so there’s no question of breaching copyright or paying any fees.

Thus you have the odd coupling of Mozart heralding the start of the Horse of the Year Show, and Sibelius working his magic on the old current affairs show, This Week. (One of my own faves. He also did the biz for The Sky At Night.) And, for those of us of a certain age, there’s the enduring charm of Khachaturian as a backdrop to The Onedin Line.

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Some couplings are less advantageous to the composing classes. I imagine Prokofiev was birling in his last resting place when he learned he was to be top of the pops for The Apprentice!

Other themes were born of specific commissions. British composer Geoffrey Burgon won awards for both Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy and Brideshead Revisited. for example. Though I’m sure, for many voters, it was the fact the melodies in question were attached to some of their favourite viewing, rather than the music itself, which swung their vote.

For myself, I could never have cast a vote for Rossini’s William Tell Overture which heralded the Lone Ranger saddling up with the faithful Tonto. Not because it’s a dodgy tune – it’s not – but because it was used to teach me typing.

So all it means to me is musicus interruptus whilst a sepulchral voice intoned “carriage return”. And woe betide the student who was still returning that carriage when Rossini came back!