Matt Berry / Television Themes

Here’s one of those albums where all you have to do is take a look at the cover and you know you want it! I refer to Matt Berry‘s forthcoming Television Themes.

The actor and writer is well known in the UK for his work on TV programmes like Toast of London, The IT Crowd etc., but Berry is also a talented and respected musician. As well as well as composing music for some of his own shows (and Steve Coogan’s brilliant Saxondale) he has released six studio albums, many of them on the Acid Jazz label (who will issue Television Themes).

The music on this album include Berry’s interpretations of theme tunes to classic British sit coms like The Good Life, Are You Being Served, The Liver Birds, and Sorry!. In fact, Berry’s take on Ronnie Hazzlehurt’s Sorry! was used on an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe a few years back (compare it to the original)

Television Themes also features the music to Granada TV’s 1970s gritty current affairs programme World In Action. This is a classic, and SDE remembered it early last year.

This collection also appears to include music to various TV ‘idents’ of bygone eras, including LWT (London Weekend Television) and Thames Television. The Doctor Who tmusic is likely to be the only music on here that has any kind of global recognition factor!

Television Themes will be released on 5 October 2018.

1. Are You Being Served?
2. The Good Life
3. LWT
4. Blankety Blank
5. Top of the Pops
6. Picture Box
7. The Liver Birds
8. Thames Television
9. Rainbow
10. Doctor Who
11. Wildtrak
12. World in Action
13. Sorry
14. Open University

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[…] Television Themes was a brilliantly executed nostalgia trip, but had the significant advantage of being full of music […]

[…] Berry’s last studio album was the brilliantly addictive Television Themes – his reinterpretation of classic British TV theme […]


My standard vinyl arrived today also Chis….it’s a classic IMO… side b is just killer…I reckon he’ll go for another release with the old cricket music on the buses etc…but I’m glad it’s all reinterpreted because it totally enhances the classic originals..

World in action reminds me of deep purple letting loose!!!

Chris Squires

Mine arrived today with a several sizes too small t- shirt. I have to admit it is not the t-shirts fault. The record is at once a beautiful strong Orange colour and a delightful listen. Also Matt has a good signature that Ms. Carlisle and Mr. Haines could learn something from.
Bravo Matt.


My standard vinyl arrived today also Chis….it’s a classic IMO… side b is just killer…I reckon he’ll go for another release with the old cricket music on the buses etc…but I’m glad it’s all reinterpreted because it totally enhances the classic originals..

World in action reminds me of deep purple letting loose!!!


RIP Geoffrey Hayes from Rainbow

Dino Marks

I ordered this as soon as it was announced. I have copies of some of these originals but couldn’t resist.

There’s a lot of old TV themes that are hard to come by. I would love to get hold of the tracks used in Look and Read. I even managed to get hold of Mark Ayers who looks after the BBC Audio Archive trying to track down Paddy Kingslands music for The Boy From Space but alas no plans for release….although that was a while ago.

DJ Salinger

This is a must.

Mr Berry’s theme to ‘Snuffbox’ was excellent too, but I don’t know if it was ever commercially released in a physical format. That was another great oddball series, with Rich ‘the Phil Spector of comedy’ Fulcher as his co-star. Highly recommended and only six episodes, so you can binge-watch the lot in an evening. Armed with whiskey, of course.


There needs to be a new compilation of rarer TV themes and music. The ‘This Is Cult Fiction Royale’ one from 20 or so years ago was a great album (any album that features Wally Stott’s ‘ATV Colour Fanfare’ as a hidden track has to be great). The ‘Girl In A Suitcase’ CD also featured many rare TV gems. But one featuring tracks like Picture Box (Maneche), the (full) Open University theme, the original Coronation Street theme in its entirety, and all the various Upstairs Downstairs opening and closing themes would be fantastic…

Cosmo Castanza

Yes Jen , what is it with crazy music, it sounds like it comes from outer space.

I shall be buying Douglas Reynholm’s tv themes.


the theme to Are You Being Served was the very last piece performed by Coil (in Ireland).

Peter Muscutt

Acid Jazz are also re-issuing Matt’s ‘Witchazel’ album on yellow vinyl in October, which is a varied beast containing elements of folk and prog, as much of his work does. Most of his albums are now available on coloured vinyl (there’s a blue live album too). Met Matt a couple of times after live shows and he’s always personable and a great laugh. He found it especially amusing when I asked him to sign an LP for a friend to “Cliff Bloody Chapman” – apeing his Stephen Toast catchphrase “Ray Bloody Purchase!” – Looking forward to this album, Berry’s stuff rarely disappoints and he’s well worth checking out. He usually does a cover version when he plays live, last couple of times I remember them being Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ and The Doors’ ‘Light My Fire’.


not sure if i can do this….but….this is just so good!!!!

Are You Being Served? live

Chris Squires

You absolute Bastard Mark…….

This has been an Earworm for three solid days now.

Second floor:
Carpets, travel goods, and bedding, materials, soft furnishings, restaurants, and ties. Going *down*…

It is irritating the life out of my family as I can’t stop humming the brass section. Da da daduda da da dadudahhh…

To try and remove it I have listened to another Matt Berry classic in the form of The Duckworth Lewis Method’s “Mason on the Boundary”. It’s working.


Hi paul. World in action ! Any idea on CD running times ie not many tracks ?

Auntie Sabrina

2 minutes 22 for the Are You Bring Served theme tune Dave


The pre-order on iTunes shows the running times of each track


I’m free!… sorry, I meant I’m in!


an album of our **TV Life** in the 70’s and 80’s

Colin Harper

I’ve never heard of him, but it sounds fun.


Stephen Toast has never heard of him either! Doubtless would just shrug his shoulders like he does when Benedict Cumberbatch is mentioned…..


Thanks Steve ordered the limited orange vinyl signed.


Same here Gerry and it arrived today from Acid Jazz! Looks absolutely AWESOME!

John Orr

I’ve a few of these types of records myself from the 1980’s, TV themes etc. As said, why don’t they release ‘original’ TV themes from these eras? Not interested in interpretations. It’s like that with film scores as well. I’m sure the guy is very talented, but not interested in this type of release at all.


Tom Baker/Dr Who’s hair looks like a large sliced brain!

Kevin M

Are You Being Served is very well known in America I think Paul, I think The Liver Birds too, the Liverpool / Beatles connection?

Steve from the US

As a typical American, I assure you that “Are You Being Served?” & “Doctor Who” would be the only selections we’d have a clue about (and I’m pushing it with AYBS?). But the release still sounds interesting…


The Acid Jazz website also gives an option of a bundle with a t-shirt of the album cover. Perfect for wearing at 80’s parties and confusing everyone about who is the guy in the middle!


Rainbow! Blankety-Blank! The Hits just keep on coming! The Super-Match sting from Blankety-Blank is a personal favourite. Ah, The Wogan Years…. Matt has made some very enjoyable albums. I know what you are saying about this cover Paul, it is indeed a winner!


Didn’t Girls Aloud cover that Super-Match sting from Blankety-Blank with the chorus of The Promise ?

Michel Kempes

THANKS Steve Holt…. Signed & Orange… Ordered!


These themes like all things about British tv of a certain time
was an art form .There are literally hundreds of forgotten tv themes
that had Brian Wilson composed them would have the word “genius ”
attached to them. One lp is not enough .You could compile a box set !

Chris Squires

“God damn these electric sex pants” was my sig on IMDb for years. Berry is an absolute star and his original music is superb, his comedy Toast of London is stupidity in genius form. Long live Matt Berry. Comedy legend.

Steve Holt

There’s a limited edition signed Orange vinyl from the AcidJazz site, £22

Paul Mac

Snagged this, thanks for the heads up.

Ian Street

I do like albums like this but why doesn’t soemone come up with a similar collection but with original themes…if they got the choice of themes right, it would surely sell very well…


There are loads of compilations available. There was a very good collection of theme tunes and incidental music from ITC released a few years ago:


I also have about eight multi-disc sets that were released around the same time featuring all the music composed for ITC series such as Department S, Jason King, The Prisoner, etc by the likes of Ron Grainger, Edwin Astley and John Cameron.

Auntie Sabrina


Vinyl and CDs of many 60s/70s British TV themes


Yes, they’re the ones.


There’s been many, many collections over the years … I believe the Cult Fiction ones sold pretty well a few years ago. Possibly the most comprehensive ones I’ve found are the Classic Cuts TV Themes sets … nearly 1000 themes across 16 CDs.

Kevin S

For Ian Street:

Johnny Trunk has been doing this for several years.

Check him out.



That Doctor Who (Tom Baker) on the cover looks positively terrifying. As scary as any Zygon or Dalek…

The original ‘World In Action’ theme is a masterpiece. Will the faster opening titles theme or the slower end titles version be on this album? And, on the subject of classic TV themes, I also think it’s time the original (and full) Picture Box theme (Jacques Lasry & Francois Baschet’s ‘Maneche’) got a proper and remastered re-release. Keith Mansfield’s wonderful Granada (Start-up and Closedown) theme should also see the light of day…

Matt was great in Saxondale. Superb scene where he tears into Tommy (Coogan) via the ‘talking toy rabbit’.

Gary C

Loved that Sorry theme tune!

Auntie Sabrina

Doctor Who tmusic? From Yorkshire eh lad? This sounds like a great release…