Did you know that Hans Zimmer wrote the theme tune for this ‘80s BBC quiz show?

He’s known for creating some of the biggest movie soundtracks of the past 30 years, but like most of us, composer Hans Zimmer has a “guilty little something” tucked away in his creative past.

We’re slightly late to the party on this one, but it’s just come to our attention that the German blockbuster specialist was also responsible for the theme tune to British TV game show Going for Gold, which debuted on the BBC back in 1987.

Hosted by the genial Henry Kelly, the show was notable for featuring contestants from across Europe, all of whom were required to answer questions in English (which, looking back, seems a little unfair). The theme was a spectacularly jaunty earworm that featured some excellent synth slap bass and string sounds, and it turns out that it was Zimmer who wrote it.

Confirming this to The Guardian in 2014, Zimmer said: "Going for Gold? I’m not ashamed of it! It paid the rent and opened up all sorts of doors. I will admit to it: we all have to have our guilty little somethings!"

Going for Gold isn’t the only Zimmer composition from that era that you might not be aware of. In 1990, he penned the soundtrack for Tom Cruise NASCAR blockbuster Days Of Thunder, the highlight of which was a main theme that featured none other than the late guitar maestro Jeff Beck.

Considered at the time to be ‘Top Gun on wheels’, Days of Thunder isn’t remembered as fondly as the fighter jet-fuelled film that it largely resembles, despite being made by the same team of Cruise, director Tony Scott and legendary producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. 

Unsurprisingly, Zimmer and Beck’s theme has echoes of Harold Faltermayer's Top Gun Anthem, but doesn’t quite hit the same heights. We still think it’s somewhat underrated, though: take a listen below.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine