EastEnders' iconic 'doof doof' theme tune ending was an "accident".

Shane Richie as Alfie Moon

Shane Richie as Alfie Moon

Simon May, who composed the tune, has revealed the dramatic drum ending sound, which has become known as the 'doof doof', was initially only inserted into the song as a break between a London-style version and the main part of the tune.

He said: "I originally created a longer version of the theme, in which I had a separate section where the 'EastEnders' theme went back in time and was played in a true cockney piano-type style.

"So I asked my drummer, Graham Broad, for a special drum 'fill' to take us from the cockney version back into the main version again.

"When ['EastEnders' creators] Julia and Tony heard it, they said, 'That's genius - that's the end titles, isn't it?' But it was an accident."

The ending to Simon's theme is so well regarded by the cast that they often look straight to the final page of a script to see whether they have to play out the dramatic moment.

Simon said: "Shane Richie [Alfie Moon] told me that when the cast get their scripts, they go straight to the last page to see if they've got the doof doof line."

But Simon's first effort at composing the theme tune was not to creators Tony Holland and Julia Smith's taste because he came up with a "dark, edgy" piece of music instead of the "melodic and feel-good" song they wanted.

He added to Inside Soap magazine: "The show was called 'East 8' at that point. We had a delightful conversation.

"I picked up the vibe of it being an edgy, dark show. So I went back to my studio and wrote an un-cheerful, dark, edgy piece of music.

"When I went back to play them my work in-progress, Tony and Julia put on their earphones. As I pressed the 'play' button, I looked at their faces - and to my horror, they had a kind of glazed expression.

"I'd done almost the opposite of what they wanted."

Simon's 'EastEnders' tune has been heard more than 11,000 times since he composed it, and an alternative version, Julia's Theme, has since been created in tribute to the late creator.

This stripped-back piano version doesn't involve the doof doof ending, and is usually used when characters leave Albert Square, or are killed off.

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