The BBC World Service has a new theme

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: The Guardian)

For 70 years, far-flung listeners knew they had found the BBC on their radio dial when they heard the jaunty notes of the Irish jig Lillibulero. Its brassy, old-fashioned sound spoke of men in dinner jackets and vintage radio microphones, and there was a minor public outcry when it was formally dropped more than a decade ago.

Since then the World Service, which has an audience of 79 million, has used a musical motif which, according to controller Mary Hockaday “changed every now and then in rather an ad hoc way”.

But from tomorrow morning, the English-language station will have a new jingle, letting listeners across the world know unquestionably that London is calling. The signature tune is a nod to the station’s long traditions, with even a beat or two of the BBC’s famous pips to send a message about values in an age of “fake news”.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

Spread the radio love

10 thoughts on “The BBC World Service has a new theme

  1. Bill

    I thought they stopped using Liliburlero many years ago. I hear the World Service via satellite radio, and occasionally on shortwave and haven’t heard it since the 90’s

    1. Mark Fahey

      Yes – Lillburlero has been used for a long time (at least on the English language services). The theme music you hear on the BBC World Service is composed by David Lowe who also is the composer of the BBC Television themes (News Countdown / News Themes etc), including the example in the video Paul posted in these comments.

      David Lowe on his website has his themes available to listen to (they are in high-quality MP3 and a right click will also allow you to download them). He sells some of his music on the site, but all the BBC work is free to access. Register your self on his site (free-of-charge) and then you will gain access to the members’ section that has 100’s of his BBC themes for their various Radio and TV services. There is even a long 4-minute version of the BBC World Service theme that is used when there is a breakdown or technical loss of programming between the studio and transmitter.

      What’s interesting to me about this news story in the Guardian is that this very latest BBC World Service theme doesn’t appear to be created by David Lowe.

      If you are a REAL BBC Theme junky I have a big collection of the BBC News (Television) countdowns in HD which have come to me directly from their creator at the BBC. I’m happy to share them with anyone – ask me at the SWLWinterFest – I always have them with me there.

      1. Mark Fahey

        Oops I have a typo above (a missing not) – please read my first line as:

        Yes – Lillburlero has not been used for a long time (at least on the English language services).

    1. rtc

      It was the NoScript addon…agree with others,it sounds like a wimpy NPR thing
      on too many tranquilizers;lacks the Authority of the Beeb.
      Go back to “Echoes of Empire”!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.