Composer Philip Pope graduated from New College, Oxford in 1979. His long and varied career composing for film, television and radio includes highlights such as Spitting Image, The Fast Show, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Who Dares Wins, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Dame Edna Kisses It Better and Outnumbered.
Philip started his career as one of the stars, with Angus Deayton & Geoffrey Perkins, of the long-running radio show Radio Active, for which he also composed the music. The show went on to become KYTV for the BBC. In 1980 Philip co-wrote The Hee Bee Gee Bees’ hit single “Meaningless Songs” with Richard Curtis. He was also co-writer of many comic songs for ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ and ‘Spitting Image’, with his 10-year run as musical director for the latter including the co-writing of British No. 1 hit single “The Chicken Song”. Philip achieved further success in 2003, with an arrangement for Snow Patrol’s “Run”, from the album Final Straw.
Throughout his career Philip has composed and written the main themes for a number of much-loved British programmes, including ‘Round the Bend’, ‘A bit of Fry and Laurie’, ‘My Hero’, ‘Outnumbered’, and all 10 seasons of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’.
Philip was also the musical director and composer for popular BBC children’s programmes, ‘Words and Pictures’, ‘Fimbles’ and ‘The Roly Mo Show’. More recently he has fulfilled the same roles for all three seasons of Sky’s ‘Yonderland’ starring Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby & the Horrible Histories team.
In 2000 Philip worked on the score for teenage comedy ‘Kevin and Perry Go large’, based on Harry Enfield’s ‘Kevin the teenager’. Philip has since written the music for numerous productions starring Enfield, including ‘Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul’, ‘Harry and Paul: History of the 2s’ and ‘An Evening with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse’. Philip also worked on all The Fast Show series with Paul Whitehouse, composing all the featured music including Jazz Club. Nice!
In 2004 Philip featured in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ radio episode “Fit the Fifteenth” as one of three aliens from the planet of Krikkit. The aliens sang the song “Under the Ink Black Sky” (The Krikkit Song), which Philip also wrote. He reprised the song as Elvis Presley in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Philip was also music director and composer for two live stage productions of the show, in 2011 & 2013.
In 2015 Philip provided the music for political comedy ‘Ballot Monkeys’, starring Ben Miller and Hugh Dennis, and its recent sequel ‘Power Monkeys’. He was also music director for the BBC’s star-studded “The Life of Rock with Brian Pern”, in which he also starred as drummer Mike Phillips. Philip has more recently reprised these roles in a stage production of the show at the Lyric Theatre.
Philip has starred in a number of classic TV programmes including Blackadder, Who Dares Wins, Outnumbered and Only Fools & Horses.