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Happy Ending: Composer reunited with EastEnders score lost for two decades

Noteworthy: Auctioneer Rick Alexander displays the sheet music

A COMPOSER who wrote the iconic theme tune to EastEnders has been reunited with his original music score — after he accidentally gave it away 21 years ago.

Simon May, 75, thought he had lost the handwritten music sheet he penned for the TV soap in 1985.

He had completely forgotten he donated the manuscript to a charity auction in 1999 until it went under the hammer for a second time this week.

In the nation’s heads every week for 35 years: Simon May’s theme tune sheet music went under the hammer PICTURES: SWNS

Simon battled with EastEnders fans to buy back his own work for quadruple its estimate at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire.

He said he was delighted to be reunited with the page of music for E8, later known as EastEnders, which he began composing as a seven-year-old.

The sheet, together with Simon’s original letter of authenticity and a CD of his music, sold for £460 — smashing its estimate of £70-£100.

Simon, of Guildford, Surrey, said: ‘It was really exciting to bid at auction. I’d never done it before.

‘I booked a phone line to ensure I didn’t miss out. I’m surprised the price went so high but I suppose there are a lot of EastEnders fans out there.

‘I’m really pleased to get it back. It was an important extract from the E8 musical manuscript.

‘Now it can be returned to my family archives. It’s part of my family history.’

In the letter of authenticity, dated May 1999, Simon wrote: ‘Enclosed is one of my original sketched pages written in 1985 for E8 as it was then called before being renamed EastEnders.

‘Also enclosed, a recent signed CD of mine which includes music from EastEnders, Howards’ Way, Trainer.’

His EastEnders tune has been heard by the British public more than 5,700 times since the show hit the screens in 1985.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: ‘I’m delighted we’ve helped to reunite Simon with his music — an extract from a song that’s so familiar to us all we can recognise it in seconds.

‘The nation has been listening to Simon’s music every week for 35 years.

‘The musical extract arrived in our saleroom after we were asked to clear a Surrey home of objects and ephemera gathered over many years.

‘The seller was absolutely delighted to hear the music had gone back to Simon.’