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Matthew Strachan, composer of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” theme music, dies at 50

Matthew Strachan, the composer who co-wrote the theme music for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is dead at age 50.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is a quiz show that is known all over the world due to its many international versions. Matthew Strachan wrote the show’s theme and dramatic incidental music with his father, Keith.

The show isn’t his only work, as he also composed for The National Lottery and EastEnders, and created a series of fake 1970s adult film soundtracks.

Matthew Strachan, in an interview with BBC Radio One London in 2014, recounted how he and his father co-wrote the quiz show’s music.

According to him, both he and his dad completed the task over an eight-day period in 1998. Then they went on to win the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award for the most-broadcast piece of music on US TV for their work for 10 years in a row.

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Matthew Strachan
Matthew Strachan, composer of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? theme music, dies at 50

See 5 interesting facts about Matthew Strachan

1. He was born on 11 December 1970 in London, England, and he would have been 51 on his birthday in 2021.

2. Strachan started writing songs as a youngster, and his first professional assignment was penning five songs for the BBC television series Boogie Outlaws.

3. He was married to Bernadette Strachan, a British author, and they welcomed a daughter, Niamh, together.

4. Strachan won twelve awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in recognition of ten consecutive wins for the soundtrack of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

See a list of his awards below:

  • ASCAP Awards, Hall of Fame Award, 2012, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2011, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2010, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2009, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2008, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2007, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2006, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2005, London
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2004, London
  • ASCAP 17th Annual Film & TV Awards, Top TV Theme, 2002, Los Angeles
  • ASCAP 16th Annual Film & TV Awards, Top TV Theme, 2001, Los Angeles
  • ASCAP Awards, US TV Theme, 2000, London

5. He died in his London home on 22 September 2021, and a year before, in October 2020, he appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates Court in London, charged with one count of arson.

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Jennifer Madunagu
Jennifer Madunagu is a diction/phonetics instructor and also a creative writer. She loves seeing movies and enjoys reading books. To follow Jennifer Madunagu - Twitter: @Jmadunagu

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