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Derek's Mystery TV Theme
Derek's Mystery TV competition is one of Smooth Radio Night Shift's most popular features. Here Derek writes about the memories it brings back for his nocturnal listeners.
Sometimes you can get an idea of how old someone is by the television programmes they remember. A good test is how far do you go back with Gerry Anderson's creations. For me, it's Torchy The Battery Boy and Four Feather Falls which makes me a bit of veteran when it comes to counting up all of my TV years.
In the same way that songs take you back to key moments in life, those childhood TV memories remind you of all the miss spent hours sat in front of the box when you should have been doing your homework. A favourite programme was something to hurry home or even stay in for - no videos or DVDs when I was a child.
Many listeners who enter my Mystery TV Theme competition especially remember those odd little programmes that were often repeated during school holidays. Robinson Crusoe is still a favourite with that opening sequence on a desert island beach and its instantly recognised theme. Another was The Singing Ringing Tree which was the stuff of nightmares and seemed very sinister for a children's show, but can you remember how the theme tune goes?
I used to wonder what was going on in the lives of some of the characters I came to love. What was grumpy Hector doing living in a house with two girls called Kiki and Zaza? And why did Bill and Ben come to life whenever "the man" went for his dinner so they could make Weed's stress levels go through the roof. Oh the horror of him coming back and catching them out of their pots - how I feared for their daft lives.
When I was a little older I would watch Stingray only to have it spoiled by the love interest. This was Marina the undersea beauty who had the power to make Troy go all mopey when he should have been having fun and fighting evil villains with his co-pilot phones. I vowed this would never happen to me and stayed away from girls. I had so much to learn.
Little wonder then, when I play out the mystery TV theme at two o’clock in the morning on my Smooth Radio programme, that I'm opening up a big toy box of old thoughts and memories where Andy Pandy and Big Ted will always come out to play and there's always something good to watch on the telly.
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