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Television Trivia

The Saint theme

According to the end credits for the current run of The Saint (colour) on Granada Plus, the original theme was composed by Leslie Charteris (creator of The Saint) no less! Apparently, the classic Saint melody (eight notes or thereabouts) was originally a tune that the Charteris family used to whistle in order to announce their presence when walking up to their in-the-middle-of-nowhere house.

Gareth Randall

Oh f***

The first documented on-air utterance of the "f" word occurred in 1946 - in the USA of course. A stage technician got rammed in the bum with one of those multi-zillion candlepower lights needed back then. On a children's show, no less.

Can anyone make out the full words to the theme tune of the Top Cat cartoon show?

Created by Hanna-Barbera, Top Cat and his scruffy band of cats – Benny, ChooChoo, Spook, Brain and Fancy-Fancy – have occupied the heart of Manhattan's business district, watching out at all times for Officer Dibble, since their TV premiere in 1961. The theme tune words and music were written by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera as follows:

Top Cat, the most effectual
Top Cat, who's intellectual
Close friends get to call him TC
Providing it's with dignity.

Top Cat, the indisputable
Leader of the gang
He's the boss, he's the VIP
He's the championship
He's the most tip top, Top Cat.

Yes he's the boss, he's the King
But above everything
He's the most tip top, Top Cat!

Laurel Chamberlain, TNT and Cartoon Network, London.

Top Cat was based on Phil Silver's reprobate Army sergeant Bilko and his character was voiced by Arnold Stang, a good lookalike for Phil Silvers. Podgy Benny The Ball was based on Private Doberman, and for Bilko's long-suffering senior officer Colonel Hall, see Officer Dibble.

When Top Cat was first shown in the UK there was a popular brand of catfood called Top Cat and someone in the upper echelons of the BBC insisted on changing the main title to Boss Cat, lest it be deemed as advertising, despite the fact that every other word in the show was Top Cat.

Nick Mays, Cats magazine. [Daily Mail, Friday, 22nd March 1996]

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