The Great British Sewing Bee: who wrote the music and main theme?

Everything you need to know about the music in season 7 of the BBC's hit sewing programme The Great British Sewing Bee, from the 1950s songs featured in the background to the clarinet's quirky opening theme tune

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Who composed the music for The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC?

Each episode of The Great British Sewing Bee uses a blend of music from different eras in the 20th century, often tying in with the theme of the challenges involved for the sewers. Motown is often utilised as a style of background music accompanying the sewers as they make their way through the three challenges.


The Great British Sewing Bee‘s main theme music is written by Ian Livingstone, who has written for TV, film and video games.

The clarinet holds the predominant melody in the theme, with the strings joining later, adding long notes in line with the clarinet and finishing with an ascending flourish. The accompanying rhythm section has a similar beat to that used by the percussion in Shirley Bassey’s Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me, which is incidentally one of the songs featured in the first episode.

You might also recognise his music from the theme to The Repair Shop, also on the BBC. He is particularly known for his work in video game scores, having previously been awarded the 2011 Ivor Novello Award for best original video game score for Napoleon Total War. 

Which music is featured in series 7 of The Great British Sewing Bee?

The soundtrack to The Great British Sewing Bee uses songs predominantly from the late 1950s, an era when ‘home sewing’ came into its own, with many simple dressmaking patterns entering the mainstream. The music used often features lyrics that tie in with the challenges the sewers are undertaking. For example, in the second episode, the episode’s theme was ‘summer’ and the sewers were asked to create paperbag shorts, cocktail outfits and sun dresses. To tie in with the theme, songs that were featured had names like ‘Summertime Blues’, ‘Her Comes Summer’ and ‘Short Shorts’.

The music used in episode 1 of The Great British Sewing Bee 

Bobby Darin: Beyond the Sea (1959)
David Bowie: Space Oddity (1969)
James Last Orchestra: Jolene (original, 1973)
Beverley Knight: Keep this Fire Burning (original, 2002)
Shirley Bassey: Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me (1958)
Alma Cogan: Fly Away Lovers (1958)
Petula Clark: Jumble Sale (1962)
Sally Kelly: Little Cutie (1959)
Louis Prima: Angelina/Zooma Zoom (1956)
Alma Cogan: Tika Tika Tok (1955)
Cilla Black: Something Tells Me (Something’s Gonna Happen Tonight) (1971)

The music used in episode 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee 

Jerry Keller: Here Comes Summer (1959)
Royal Teens: Short Shorts (1957)
Beach Boys: Good Vibrations (1966)
Cliff Richard: Seven Days to a Holiday (1963)
Al Bowlly With Ray Noble: Brighter Than The Sun (1932)
Eddie Cohran: Summertime Blues (1958)
Duran Duran: Rio (1982)
Chad & Jeremy: A Summer Song (1964)


How, where and when can you watch The Great British Sewing Bee?

The Great British Sewing Bee is on BBC One every Wednesday at 9pm. The programme is not yet available to watch internationally.