The 20 Greatest TV Theme Tunes Of All Time Have Been Revealed!

We all have our favourite TV show theme tunes, but have you ever stopped to think about which one had the very best and most catchy intro? It may seem like an impossible task, so we’ve got the website Digital Spy to thank for doing the hard work for us!

From tough as nails quiz shows to daily news reports, from sporting highlights shows to dancing competitions, it doesn’t matter what format the programme itself took, as long as the theme tune was amazing! Below are what Digital Spy believe to be the top 20 greatest of all time, but we know that you’ll have your own favourites, so be sure to let us know what they are by posting a comment.

Please note that this countdown is specifically for entertainment TV programmes, so basically anything that doesn’t involve acting. And it doesn’t include anything animated, but if you’d like to read a countdown of classic cartoon theme tunes, then make sure to check out this previous post.


10. Countdown

We’ve all attempted to sing the Countdown theme tune when completing a time limited task, knowing that exactly 30 seconds should pass between the start and end of the catchy song.

Despite being an entertaining show in its own right, especially when Carol Vorderman got her mathematical brain flowing, it was the catchy Countdown theme that encouraged us to watch it over and over again.

9. The Crystal Maze

Giving a real sense of urgency to the beginning of the show, The Crystal Maze’s theme tune had us running around our living rooms looking for hidden crystals.

And not only that, but once the show itself began we could have fun laughing at the ineptitude of the various contestants!

8. BBC News

Sounding like something you’d dance to at a post millennial nightclub, the BBC News intro makes us all want to put our hands into the air and start making shapes.

And if you’ve ever seen comedian Bill Bailey’s routine on this very subject, then you’ll know that we’re definitely not alone in thinking this!

7. Mastermind

The perfect opening for an extremely classy show, the Mastermind intro pretty much told us through the medium of music that what we were about to watch was going to be far too difficult for our tiny little brains.

Personally, the brass based music alongside the image of an empty leather chair had us running for cover faster than you could say “I’ve started so I’ll finish!”

6. Grandstand

Instantly transporting us back to 1990s FA Cup finals, the Grandstand theme tune still sounds majestic and glorious.

It’s amazing how music can bring back some extremely vivid memories, and when we hear this particular tune, we automatically think of Gazza getting injured in 1991’s Wembley Final.

5. Big Brother

Despite it introducing a show that is no longer on the air, the Big Brother theme tune is still one of our favourite intros of all time.

Another tune that you could definitely dance along to at a nightclub, it even reached number four in the UK Singles Chart in the year 2000.

4. Going For Gold

“The heat is on, the time is right, it’s time for you, for you to play your game. People are coming, everyone’s trying, trying to be the best that they can. When they’re going for, going for gold!”

A song that we would happily listen to as part of our normal music playlist, the Going for Gold theme tune was actually written by Hans Zimmer, the composer behind such classic movie soundtracks as Gladiator, The Dark Knight and Inception.

3. Big Break

We never had any interest in Snooker whatsoever, that was until the creation of the brilliant game show Big Break, with its instantly recognisable singalong intro.

Featuring trick shots by ex snooker player John Virgo, it was a game show that we desperately tried never to miss, and a theme tune that we still know all of the words to.

2. Gladiators

We all had our favourite Gladiator, from the ripped muscles and questionable hair of Hunter to the beautiful Jet, but it was the theme tune that set our pulses racing the most.

Asking us whether we had “the speed, the strength and the heart to be a winner”, the song had us all believing we could get up that tricky travelator.

1. Match of the Day

A theme tune that hasn’t aged a day since it first hit the airwaves in 1964, in our opinion Match of the Day is a worthy winner of the title of greatest TV theme tune of all time.

Are you surprised by the theme tune that made it to the number one spot? Be sure to let us know who you would have given the title to!

Numbers 10 to 20 are as follows:

10. Countdown
11. Blue Peter
12. Blockbusters

13. Treasure Hunt
14. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
15. Have I Got News For You
16. University Challenge
17. Bullseye

18. Ski Sunday
19. Strictly Come Dancing
20. Pop Idol