Live and Let Die voted best James Bond theme by BBC Radio listeners

Paul McCartney beats Shirley Bassey and Carly Simon to the top spot in a BBC poll

Well, well, well… in news that’s likely to bring bile to the tip of Shirley Bassey’s throat, Live and Let Die has been voted the best ever Bond theme by BBC Radio 2 and 5 Live listeners.


Voters were polled on a shortlist of ten favourite Bond themes drawn up by film critic Mark Kermode, DJ Simon Mayo and general manager of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Richard Wigley, and the result was announced this afternoon on Kermode and Mayo’s 5 Live programme Film Review: A James Bond Special.

Originally performed by Paul McCartney and Wings, Live and Let Die has (if you’ll pardon the pun) taken on a life of its own since it was first used in the 1973 film starring Roger Moore, having been covered by the likes of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Hank Marvin and even Geri Halliwell.

Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me came second in the BBC poll, while Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger ended up in third place.

(One wonders if the latter would have come higher if Alan Partridge’s rendition of the song had been included on the shortlist instead…)

Kermode and Mayo recently told Radio Times Film Editor Andrew Collins their favourite Bond themes ahead of the vote; Mark’s was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, while Simon plumped for Live and Let Die.

There’s more Bond on Radio 2 later this evening in Friday Night is Music Night: Bond and Beyond, which features a concert of Bond themes recently given by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. If you’d like to tune in, it’s on BBC Radio 2 at 8:00pm.


Listen to Live and Let Die below: