Downton Abbey named nation's favourite classical TV theme after poll of Classic FM listeners

14 February 2016, 00:00 | Updated: 17 January 2017, 14:03

Classic FM TV Top 20 2016

By Tim Edwards

Just weeks after the final episode of Downton Abbey, the theme, composed by John Lunn, has won the Classic FM TV Top 20 with the Sunday Express.

Downton Abbey has topped a poll of Classic FM listeners to be named the nation's favourite classical TV theme tune. 

Thousands of people voted in the Classic FM TV Top 20, with the S Magazine in the Sunday Express, and you can see the full chart here.

Downton Abbey edged out fierce competition from second-placed Band of Brothers (composed by Michael Kamen) and Inspector Morse (composed by Barrington Pheloung). Doctor Who, surprisingly, came in at seventh place, with another wildly popular series, Game of Thrones, only managing ninth place. 

See the full Classic FM TV Top 20 chart >

Speaking to Classic FM just before stepping on a plane to Australia for his first proper holiday in ten years, Downton Abbey composer John Lunn said it felt "incredible" to have won the poll of listeners - and to have beaten so many other classic TV themes in the process. 

"Game of Thrones is so popular; there are fantastic tunes like the Onedin Line; Doctor Who is so iconic; Brideshead Revisited is such a popular tune as well.

"I mean Doctor Who is a masterpiece really. To have done that with those instruments at that time is really something else."

Lunn admits the current popularity of Downton Abbey helped his win: "I knew it was a good tune when I wrote it. I knew it really summed up what the show was about in a really good way, so I was really pleased with it. 

"But it does help that the show has become so popular; if the show hadn’t been so successful it would never have won."

Lunn adds: "Even so, I’m incredibly honoured."

John Lunn on how he composed Downton Abbey from still photographs: