Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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Simon May blasts decision to cut EastEnders tune short

Simon May has hit out at the decision to cut his ‘EastEnders’ theme tune short.

The composer’s tune has accompanied every episode of the BBC soap since it first aired in 1985, but over time, it has been reduced from over one minute to just 28 seconds.

Speaking on the ‘Distinct Nostalgia’ podcast, Simon explained: "The TV companies, because of the proliferation of channels, are paranoid about somebody flicking the button and going to a different station when their programme is over.

"So it’s all about keeping the momentum of a particular station going. When you’ve seen a show on television that you’ve really enjoyed, you should be able to digest it.

"You want to enjoy the programme and the way to enjoy it is to enjoy the music that follows it."

The ‘EastEnders’ tune has been cut back over the years – but Simon doesn’t think there’s any scope to shorten the tune any further.

The 75-year-old composer said: "When ‘EastEnders’ first came out, the end titles lasted one minute and 20 seconds, now it lasts 28 seconds. It has been truncated.

"Fortunately, I wrote it in such a structural way that you can hack four bars away here and there. But actually, I think we’ve got down to the final rung. I don’t think you can take much more away from it.

"That’s the first reason, the schedulers and presenters are paranoid about people moving. That has been mitigated, the screen does get squeezed.

"The way they’re doing it now is more acceptable, that the credits still stay taking two thirds of the size of my screen. Now with bigger screens you can read the credits."

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