Will the BBC break The Chain?

Well there have been a few posts on this blog already about what we might expect from the BBC when they take over the coverage of Formula 1 in the UK from next year. There is one aspect of the coverage that I have not yet touched on because I have been planning a separate post on it — the theme tune.

Most people say they like ‘The Chain’, although I wonder sometimes you know. I think there is a bit of groupthink going on there. A lot of people say it just so that they can feel like part of the club. Nevertheless, Grand Prix on the BBC without ‘The Chain’ would be like cricket on the BBC without ‘Soul Limbo’.

ITV’s current theme tune, ‘Lift Me Up’ by Moby, is a bit of a mess. The title sequence is a bit of a farce as well. I can just imagine the meeting. “Do you know what our title sequence needs? A miniscule F1 car being launched from a giant helmet!”

The title sequence used from 2000–2002 was also a bit of a duffer. Apollo 440 were kind of cool in the 1990s, but they were getting pretty tired sounding by this stage. Their music is unmemorable — fitting for these F1 wilderness years of Mickey the Shoe domination.

ITV have had some good themes though. Their original was by Jamiroquai, and it’s rather good. Some of the sound effects used here are still used by ITV in some of their stings, twelve years on!

My favourite though was the Bachman-Turner Overdrive remix. I know this makes me unusual, but I am sure it’s Christine Blachford’s favourite as well so I’m in good company. 😀

As for the BBC? I do have a soft spot for The Chain, I have to say. Whenever I think of the Beeb’s coverage, I think of this title sequence. The 1994 sequence with the Williams livery materialising over a montage of classic Grand Prix footage was the first I can remember seeing.

I wouldn’t mind seeing something new from the BBC though. I suspect they will probably use a jazzed-up remix of ‘The Chain’.

But if the BBC bring back ‘The Chain’, I want FOM to bring back this.


  1. I’d really like to see BBC do a remake of the 1994-95 sequence based on Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren of this season as opposed to Hill’s 94 car.It’d work much better with all the winglets on today’s cars ironically (seeing as they are due to be banned) and the chrome McLaren livery.

    My favourite ITV intro has to be the first one – everything from then on except for the Bachman-Turner one has been awful really , especially the current incarnation.

  2. Man, I’d forgotten about the FOM/FIA thing. That rocked! They don’t use those logos anymore, I don’t think. They worked quite well and they changed it slightly for each type of motorsport – rally car for WRC etc…

    I liked the Bachman-Turner remix as well. Haven’t been too keen on any of the others. Regarding the new title sequence though, I can’t see the BBC getting away with favouriting one team again. Particularly as Williams aren’t running British drivers at the moment, and McLaren would just be too much Lewis.

  3. An interesting thought about using the 1994/1995 sequence with Hamilton instead of Hill. I think that might just work. It might be too much Lewis for some of us, but given that the BBC probably went for F1 precisely because of Lewis Hamilton it will probably be fine for them.

  4. I have only ever seen the ITV coverage, and here in OZ we don’t get the ITV theme tunes, so I can’t really comment.

    I must say though, that The Chain is one of my favourite songs ever, and that guitar riff is up there with the best ! So I’d not be sorry to see the beeb use it (although it is doubtful we will benefit from that in Oz, but as long as we get the ad free coverage as well then I won’t mind….. Yeah, right 🙁 )

  5. Would you have Match of the Day without ‘Offside’; Pot Black without ‘Black & White Rag’; Ski Sunday without ‘Pop Looks Bach’; Cricket without ‘Soul Limbo’; Wimbledon without ‘Light and Tuneful’ or golf without ‘Chaseside Shoot-up’? No of course not. And you can’t have Formula One without ‘The Chain’…..