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Keith & Matthew Strachan

First Country

United Kingdom

First Date

September 4, 1998

Latest Country

United Kingdom (since 2018 revival), United States (since 2020 revival), Gernamy, Vietnam (although there is a Rave intro, host entrance and commercial break)

Latest Date

Present

Keith & Matthew Strachan are the father and son duo who composed the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? musical scores, including the theme song from 1998 to 2007 and again from 2018. Keith was born on January 21, 1944 in Consett, and Matthew was born on December 11, 1970 in London.

A compilation of all the Strachan themes is featured on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: The Album. A couple of the themes are also used in the Millionaire scenes of Slumdog Millionaire.

In 2007, when the 12-question format was introduced, Ramon Covalo became the new composer of the theme songs, with most of the Strachan cues being replaced, with notable exceptions being the winning and losing cues, as well as the Fastest Finger First music. Other countries use the Ramon Covalo cues while some have stuck with the Strachan cues. In 2018, the UK version of the show returned to the classic format with the Strachan musical cues.

In 2008, the Strachan themes were slightly remixed for the clock format on the U.S. version of the show. For example, the question music was synced to the sound of a ticking clock. The Strachan music and cues were eventually replaced altogether in favor of themes by Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams in 2010 when the shuffle format was introduced. The shuffle themes continued to be used on the show until the final syndicated season , even though the shuffle format was dropped in 2015. Chris Harrison has stated in a Facebook live stream on February 6, 2017 that they have been constantly thinking about bringing back the old themes, as well as the hot seat, but the reason that they have not is that it might create a more formal feel that will not work for audiences of daytime shows.[1] The change in music for the U.S. version was a Disney decision, and is the result of The Walt Disney Company owning the rights to the show in the United States. Everywhere else around the world, Celador (now 2waytraffic) directly controls the show, but in the United States, Disney controls the show. However since 2020 the U.S. version is now distributed by Sony instead of Disney, and as well the Strachan musical cues are been returned.

Trivia

  • The £500,000 win and £1,000,000 question musics were the only cues that was never heard in Ireland, Czech Republic and Finland, due to a few contestants walking away on the 14th question.
  • In the Czech version in 2000-2005...
    • ...the lose cues were push up a level. The cues were like this:
      • £100-£1,000 lose cue played on the first 6 questions.
      • £2,000 & £64,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 7 & 12.
      • £4,000 & £125,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 8 & 13. (twice only on question 13)
      • £8,000 & £250,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 9 & 14. (never on question 14)
      • £16,000 & £500,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 10 & (probably if it had happened) 15. (never on question 15)
      • £32,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 11.
      • £1,000,000 cue was never probably been heard if someone flunking out on question 15.
    • ...after the commercial break, with the exception of the first 4 questions, the final answer cues were like this:
      • £2,000 & £64,000 final answer cue played in episodes 1-16, 18-38.
      • £32,000 & £1,000,000 final answer cue played in episodes 39-184, 364-383.
      • £4,000 & £125,000 final answer cue played in episodes 17, 185-363.
  • In Israel, the £4,000 question music was played for £8,000, the £8,000 question music was played for £16,000, and the £16,000 question music was played for £32,000.
  • During the risk format, £16,000 win was high-pitched by 1 semitone when someone answers the 10th question correctly on the studio Cologne for the German, Austrian, Switzerland, and Czech versions. This was later used also on the dock10 studio for the UK version and on the polish studio for the Italian and Spainsh versions unless if the safety net is set on the 10th question.
  • On May 13, 2013 in Australia, the £1,000,000 lose cue was played low pitched on Kevin Short's $1,000,000 question.
  • On January 28, 2017 in Russia, the £16,000 let's play and £20,000 question (at the slightest beginning) cues are played high-pitched on contestants on the 100,000 ruble question.
  • Strangely, when Tko želi biti milijunaš? in Croatia and ¿Quién quiere ser millonario? in Chile returned in 2019, only the original questions cues were played in the 2.000 Kn and 4.000 Kn, instead of the current ones.
  • Strangely, there is a Rave intro, host entrance and commercial break (composed by Ramon Covalo), but the Strachan 'Classic' cues for the other sounds in some countries such as Mexico (although partly because it shared its set with Venezuela), Venezuela (from 2011 to 2015), Kyrgyzstan, and more recently, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Iran (probably because it was unlicenced) and Vietnam (although they mixed up some cues, and recently the question 15's "Final answer" cue are heard for all questions after the second milestone instead of normal "Final answer" cue)

References

  1. Chris Harrison Live Stream from Millionaire's Facebook Page (see timestamp 5:32 (-12:13))
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