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Published on November 12th, 2010 | by Andrew Reynolds

Unheard Delia Derbyshire Interview

BBC Inside Out will feature a previously unbroadcast interview Delia Derbyshire – the woman who created the iconic Doctor Who theme – on Monday 15th November.

Excepts from the interview recorded in the late-Nineties by BBC Scotland’s John Cavanagh but never broadcast before will be featured along with footage of Delia later in life at a Doctor Who convention.

In the interview she reveals that one of  her primary influences on her music- including the Doctor Who theme- was the abstract sounds she heard during the Coventry Blitz.

In the programme BBC Radio 2 presenter Stuart Maconie looks at her career and explores why the woman herself remains a mystery despite her work influencing the world of electronic music, including Pink Floyd and today’s modern dance acts.

Inside Out explores how she took the electronic avant garde sound to the mainstream and why, after all that, she turned her back on music and disappeared.

Stuart begins his journey in war-torn Coventry, where Delia grew up, and follows her journey to the Radiophonic Workshop at the BBC. He talks to a range of people, including the man who invented the infamous sound of the Tardis, Brian Hodgson.

Describing her own style and her work on the landmark Doctor Who theme Delia says during the programme:

“Well, the first stage in the realisation of a piece of music is to construct the individual sounds that we are going to use. we can build up any sound we could possibly imagine almost.

We spend quite a lot of time to invent new sounds, sounds that don’t exist already, ones that can’t be produced by musical instruments.”

In making the programme Maconie sought to find out the importance of the woman behind her influential and groundbreaking music:

“Everyone knows the Doctor Who theme – most of us here have grown up with it. But the techniques developed by one woman to make it have changed the shape and sound of modern music for ever. But the woman herself remains a mystery.”

Recently, new compositions were found in her attic after her death in 2001 which have been lovingly restored by David Butler of the Manchester University’s School of Arts, Histories and Cultures.

One track in particular described as an ‘experimental dance track’ is striking for how contemporary it sounds- leading to long time admirer and Orbital member Paul Hartnoll to comment:

“That could be coming out next week on [left-field dance label] Warp Records. It’s incredible when you think when it comes from. Timeless, really. It could be now as much as then.”

Her work has been covered by bands as eclectic as Add n to (x) and Sonic Boom to Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers.

BBC Inside Out will be broadcast at 7:30pm on BBC West Midlands and will be available nationally on the iPlayer.

(via BBC Press Office)

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Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




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