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What is the worst ever TV theme tune? Vote for your most disliked opening here

Simon Cowell has said The X Factor is set to scrap its opening music – but which theme tune would YOU mute forever?

Published: Monday, 15th July 2019 at 4:25 pm

Match of the Day. Coronation Street. Dad’s Army. Even Antiques Roadshow. Although you might not watch them all, chances are you absolutely love their iconic theme songs, alongside the many other classic pieces of music bookending our favourite TV shows.


But not every programme can have a great theme. Take, for example, The X Factor. Even if you don’t hate it, a lot of other people do – including Simon Cowell. The show’s head judge recently announced that the tune introducing the ITV singing competition is being scrapped as “it’s one of the three worst theme songs” and he “can't listen to that again”.

It’s a damning verdict that leaves a big question: what actually is the worst TV theme song of all time? That’s where you come in: you can vote for your most disliked below (scroll down if you can’t remember what they sound like).

The X Factor

IT’S TIME! TO FACE! THE THEME SONG! Hated by Simon Cowell and (presumably) Steve Brookstein, the anxiety-provoking ITV tune has been on the airways since 2004. RIP.

The One Show

Programme Name: The One Show - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Alex Jones, Matt Baker - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

We’re not saying outright this is an outrageously unpopular theme, but we will direct you to these comments posted under its YouTube video:

  • "Fairly certain that if there was a sound to signify the apocalypse was upon us, it'd be The One Show "
  • "The most infuriating sound I have ever heard. It angers me like nothing else I've experienced."
  • "The theme tune is that of the Devil.”

The Voice

Interestingly, there’s actually more to its theme tune than “THIS IS THE VOICE!”. Less interestingly, about 70% is “THIS IS THE VOICE!” repeated again and again.

Two and a Half Men

Men men men men, manly men men men! Men men men men, manly men men men! Men men men men, manly men men men! Men men men men, manly men men men! Men men men men, manly men men men! Men men men men, manly men men men!

Richard and Judy

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan

You probably haven’t heard this tune since the couple’s chat show was taken off the air in 2009, but we’re sure the theme – and the giant graphics shadowing British homes like an airborne Word Art invasion – will come rushing back to you.

Doctor Who 1987

Doctor Who - Sylvester McCoy
Doctor Who - Sylvester McCoy BBC

Nothing against Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, but his theme song isn’t fondly remembered by all. Its arguably overused synthesizer (combined with graphics we think were later used by Windows Media Player) makes an opening probably more liked by Daleks than humans.


(Picture: ITV)

Helicopter crashes, murder and abductions? You wouldn’t know they're a big part of the soap from its strangely laid-back opening.


Sure, it’s one of the greatest comedies of all time. But we’ll just say there’s probably a reason why you don’t hear more slap bass in modern comedies.

Family Fortunes (Vernon Kay edition)

 A warning from history.

Star Trek Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise
Promotional portrait of the cast of the UPN television series, 'Star Trek: Enterprise,' in costume and on set, 2003. L-R: Anthony Montgomery, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating, Scott Bakula, Linda Park, Connor Trinneer and John Billingsley. (Photo by James Sorenson/CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images) CBS Photo Archive / Getty Images

If you think a Star Trek theme with lyrics wouldn’t work then you’d, unfortunately, be pretty much right.

New Girl

New Girl
NEW GIRL: L-R: Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield in the "Rumspringa" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, Feb. 21 (8:00-8:31 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

Lovely kooky or just a bit annoying? No, it’s not Zooey Deschanel’s character, it’s the New Girl theme song. (Sorry, Jess!)

Big Cook Little Cook

We can only assume Big and Small were forced to sell-up during the credit crunch, but the Cbeebies café owners left behind a theme song that will stay with us forever.

Fresh Meat

Again, another case of a fantastic show, but slightly unpalatable theme.

Love Island


We know. We’ve haven’t added this suggestion lightly, but even the hardest fans might admit the noughties bass and blaring electronic melody can get a tad grating after eight weeks.


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